Solar energy

Solar takes advantage of a free and powerful energy source – the sun.

Solar panels capture the sunlight and convert it into electricity, just like that! A simple, clean and cost-effective way to power our lives.

It’s dependable, too – because unlike fossil fuels, the sun’s energy is unlimited.

And you don’t need to live somewhere warm and sunny, because solar needs only daylight not heat. Even the UK gets 60% of the sunlight (or solar radiation) found at the Equator. It’s true that the more light the panels receive, the more electricity they can generate. But they still work on cloudy days – just as a solar-powered calculator does.

Secure energy: How solar panels work

How solar works

  1. Daylight hits the cells on the solar panels and is converted to direct current (DC) energy.
  2. This DC energy travels to an electrical device called an inverter, which converts DC energy into alternating current (AC) energy.
  3. The AC electricity produced is just like the power supplied by your utility company, and can go directly to power all your household appliances and lights.
  4. Or the power produced can be exported back to the grid and redistributed locally.
  5. You can monitor your system’s performance over the web or, for a small additional charge, via a dedicated display.

Solar could save you thousands over its lifetime, and earn you an income too

  • Generate your own, free electricity – gaining control and cutting your bills.
  • Make a tax-free income from the government’s feed-in tariff. This is irrespective of how much of the energy you use yourselves, it is simply based on the total energy you generate.
  • Get paid by the grid. Any surplus electricity you don’t use, you can sell back to the grid.

What does 3kWp mean?

We don’t want potential solar devotees to be thrown by the maths or jargon surrounding solar. So we thought it may be useful to put together a graphic which contextualises what the numbers mean.

View here