Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it directly to electrical energy. The amount of electricity produced depends on the area of panels, the intensity of light and the efficiency of the panels. The most common installation involves mounting the panels on a south facing roof in order to maximize the level of sunlight falling over them. Although direct sunlight will produce the greatest amount of electricity, it is not essential and solar panels will usually provide some electricity even on cloudy days.
How does Solar work?
Solar cells absorb sunlight and produces a flow of electrons (electricity). The cells are linked together to form a solar panel and the panels can be further linked into modules, giving a wide range of possible voltage output.
Solar panels, convert sunlight into clean DC electricity.
A solar inverter converts the DC electricity into grid-compliant AC electricity to power the home. Utility power is provided when needed e.g. at night or during peak demand periods.
Excess electricity can also be exported to the utility for credit or revenue, depending on the available solar scheme.
How does this work for Solar Thermal?
When utilising solar energy to heat your home, the solar panels work in the same way collecting the sun's energy, however as opposed to the energy being sent to an inverter, the energy is directed to a Water Cylinder and will be used to heat the water that is in the tank and used within the home. This is almost always backed up by a secondary energy source for when the weather is milder or the hot water in the tank has been used and another energy source is required to provide hot water. Your project manager will be able to work alongside you to calculate your energy needs and the estimated generation of the solar thermal design.
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