We’ve installed solar at over 10,000 UK homes, so no one knows solar panels like we do.
A solar panel system works using a number panels (an array), which is normally mounted on the roof. Each solar panel is made up of photovoltaic cells. These are usually made of wafer-thin layers of silicon and look a bit like blue or black tiles. When daylight hits the cells it creates an electric field. The brighter the sunlight, the more electricity is produced.This direct-current (DC) electricity then flows to an inverter, which converts it into alternating-current (AC) electricity for you to use.
If you have a solar panel system installed at home, it will automatically feed the power you’ve generated to your appliances, so a lot of the power you use during the day will be free. During the night times, or if you use more energy than you produce, your power supply will switch back to the grid. You won’t notice any disruption or change – just smaller bills.
To make the most of all that free electricity, it’s best to use appliances like dishwashers and washing machines during the day. Solar panel systems can’t store electricity, so if you produce more than you use during the day, any excess will be fed into the national grid for others to use.
Solar panels are a great investment for the future. Not only will they help you save on energy bills and protect you against rising fuel prices, they will also generate a tax-free income through the government’s feed-in tariff payments.
Further reading: You can read more about the feed-in tariff here