The Benefits of Solar Electricity – Generate cheap, green electricity from sunlight
Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
- Cut your electricity bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced.
- Sell electricity back to the grid: if your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can’t use it, you can sell the surplus back to the grid.
- Use surplus solar energy to charge a battery so that you can use the energy later and reduce your bills still further. See here for more information.
- Cut your carbon footprint: solar electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide] or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.
How do solar panel (PV) cells work?
PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof.
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That’s the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof..