Solar Power

Types of Solar Panels

Solar panels for residential use
by CERTs

Solar panels utilise the free, natural, renewable resource – solar energy and installing solar panels will reduce your energy bill, your carbon footprint and your dependency on fossil fuels and utility companies.
In this article we will discuss the various types of solar panel systems that you can install on your property. The systems in this article include water heating systems, evacuated solar tubes and PV electric solar panels.

Water Heating Solar Panels

These solar systems work all year round and heat your domestic hot water. A hot water tank or a conventional boiler is used to heat the water even further if required or if there is low solar energy. It is recommended to install a super efficient hot water tank to fully receive the benefits of solar water heating systems and if you have a combination boiler without a hot water tank then solar water heating may not be compatible.

With water heating solar systems it is possible to save over half a ton of CO2 emissions, dependant on the fuel you will be replacing e.g. gas and up to £100 on you water heating bill. Water heating solar systems generally provide higher annual outputs than evacuated tubes.

Evacuated Solar Tubes

These systems are also for heating your water, but use a different technology than the solar panels described above. These use glass solar tubes, rather than the flat glass, and because they are tubes they have the ability to absorb 360 degrees of solar energy, which gives a more even output of power throughout the day.

PV Solar Panels

These systems generate electricity from daylight through a process called photovoltaic’s. The “photo” refers to light and “voltaic” refers to electricity. Although these solar panels generate their electricity from light they can still work on cloudy days as the photons penetrate through the clouds. If you want to fully benefit from solar energy then PV solar panels are what you need. Using these panels you can get a Feed-in Tariff where you get paid for every unit of electricity you generate even the ones you use. Because of the feed-in tariff your energy bills will be reduced by up to 100 percent.

Not only will feed-in tariffs benefit you from your PV solar panel installation, the systems can also increase the value of your property. Furthermore the average household uses 3000 kWh per year, so if you install a small 1kW system you will save 25% of your electricity over the year because a PV system generally would generate 750 kWh/year per kW installed.

The article was written by Energy Measures, where more information on renewable energy technologies and articles can be found.