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Solar PV Panels for Your Home: What You Need to Know

Also known as photovoltaics, solar PV panels allow you to generate your own renewable electricity at home by converting the sun’s energy into electricity. Each solar panel features many cells made from layers of silicon and other semi-conducting materials which generate a flow of electricity when exposed to light. Even on cloudy days, solar panels can produce electricity, however, bright sunlight will generate more power.

Switching to a renewable energy source like solar PV panels is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment while also enjoying lower household bills. Ideally, solar panels should be installed on a south-facing roof where they will receive maximum exposure to sunlight, however in some cases they can be installed on roofs which face east or west. You need roughly 25m2 of roof space to accommodate an average-sized system.


The Benefits of Installing Solar PV Panels in Your Home

1. Reduced electricity bills

The electricity generated by your solar PV panels can be used to power everything inside your home, from lighting and appliances to your favourite gadgets. Instead of using and paying for mains electricity from the National Grid, instead you will be generating your own, renewable energy that won’t cost a thing.

In addition to reducing your monthly electricity bill, solar panels could help you earn extra cash. At times when you generate more electricity than you need, any surplus will be returned to the grid to be used by another household. You can receive payment for any surplus electricity generated under the Smart Export Guarantee, making solar panels an even more cost-effective option for powering your home


2. Cut your carbon footprint

Solar power is renewable and low carbon, which means it has less impact on the environment. As a result, switching to solar energy could help cut your carbon footprint, making solar PV panels good for the planet and for your pocket. In fact, the average home solar PV system could save around one tonne of carbon per year


3. Little or no maintenance required

Once installed, solar panels are relatively low maintenance, as the system is designed to withstand the elements and offer many years of use. Solar panels won’t need an annual service, unlike a boiler, and they don’t need cleaning either, as the rain will take care of any dirt or debris.


4. Made to last

Solar PV panels are manufactured to last between 20 and 25 years, which means each system offers a great return on investment over its lifetime. Throughout this time, you won’t be paying for electricity either.


5. Free electric car charging

As more of us switch to electric vehicles to reduce our impact on the environment and avoid soaring fuel costs, using solar energy to charge your electric car will make motoring even greener. So however many miles you drive each year, you could enjoy significant savings by installing solar panels at home to charge your car without spending a fortune.


How to Maintain or Clean Solar Panels

As explained above, solar panels require little to no maintenance or cleaning, as the rain will wash away any build up of dirt on the panel. Servicing isn’t required and your system should work reliably and efficiently from the day it is installed.


Different Types of Solar Panels

There are three main types of solar panels that are popular in the UK.

1. Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Recognisable by a rounded edge and dark colour, monocrystalline solar panels, or single-crystalline cells, are manufactured from pure silicon. A silicon crystal is grown to produce a long rod, which is then cut into wafers to form the solar cells. This type of panel provides the highest efficiency.

2. Thin Film Solar Panels

Made by covering glass, plastic, or metal with one or more layers of photovoltaic material, thin film solar panels are flexible and lightweight, however they can degrade faster than other types of panel. Less efficient than monocrystalline panels, they are generally more affordable and commonly used on large-scale projects.

3. Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline, or multi crystalline solar panels, are slightly less efficient than monocrystalline panels as the silicon is formed into a block of crystals rather than a single cell. These panels have a distinctive speckled blue colour and a square shape.


Are Solar Panels Worth It?

Installing solar panels at home can be a big investment, especially for those on a budget, however over the lifetime of the system it will save you significant money on your energy bills. This return on investment makes solar panels a popular choice for homeowners looking to cut living costs, especially as electricity continues to rise in price.

Despite the UK’s often-cloudy weather, solar panels are a reliable and effective way to generate electricity all year round, so even when the sun isn’t shining brightly, your solar panels will still be producing renewable energy to power your home.



Enquire About Switching to Solar

To find out more about switching to solar energy at home, call East Goscote Electrics on 0116 260 1749. We install solar PV panels across Leicestershire and can help you reduce your carbon footprint and your energy bills by investing in solar power.

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