Solar Energy: A Complete Guide 

Peter Elliston
Peter Elliston
Posted  underRenewable energyUncategorized
Solar Energy: A Complete Guide 

With energy prices rising and the economy resulting in a cost-of-living crisis, now is the time to start considering solar energy, solar panels and solar storage. 

Warmaway is here to bring you the full breakdown of everything you need to know about solar energy. 

How does solar energy work? 

In simple terms: solar panels are made up of small photovoltaic cells. These cells absorb the sunlight and generate electricity to power your home. 

The science behind solar panels 

Solar energy is power produced by the sun. 

It works through installing solar panels. These panels are made up of small photovoltaic cells. These consist of two layers of silicon (one positively charged and the other negatively charged, creating an electronic field) to allow conduction to occur.  

When the sun rays hit the solar panels, the particles from the sun knock some of the electrons which are bonded together in the silicon. This is due to the electrons being unable to travel in one direction.  

The solar panels also consist of metal plates which gather these electrons into the electronic circuits, allowing for electricity to be generated – ready to use in your home.  

What can this electricity be used for? 

The electricity generated can be used to power your home such as your TV, electric radiators, electric cars, exporting to the national grid and battery storage systems. 

What are solar battery storage systems? 

Solar battery storage systems are devices that can be installed at the side of your home to collect any excess solar energy generated. This excess energy can then be reused during the evenings or winter nights when there are less sun rays coming through.  

As a result, installing this into your home alongside your solar panels, is cost effective and energy efficient. For more information on how solar panels work during the winter, see our blog on how effective solar panels are in the winter

How to install solar panels 

With Warmaway, the installation of solar panels usually takes around 1-3 days. However, this is entirely dependent on how large the area is for solar panel installation. 

For more details, see our solar power page. 

Solar panel costs 

Over time, the cost of solar panels has reduced.  Depending on the amount of solar panels needed, installation can cost around £5,000. 

The more amount of energy your solar energy system annually produces, the dearer the installation costs will be. However, you will also save more in the long term. 

For example:  

A 3kW solar energy system will only be £5,000. However, a 6kW solar energy system could cost around £9,000. 

For a more detailed quote, fill in our free quote estimate subjective to you and your housing circumstances. 

Advantages of solar panels  

So, what are the main benefits of installing a solar energy system? Here are a few advantages that will ensure you are saving more money annually. 

  • Cost effective – through generating energy via solar power, you are saving on your annual energy bills in the long term – how much you save is also dependent on the size of solar PV systems you decide to install. 
  • Reduces your carbon footprint – due to solar energy not producing any fossil fuels, it is completely renewable energy. 
  • Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) incentive – this scheme makes it possible for you the to receive money in export tariffs when you export energy generated by your solar energy, back into the national grid. 
  • Compatible with other heating systems – your solar pv systems can be paired with heat pumps to further reduce your electricity bills. 

Disadvantages of solar panels 

  • Dependant on the weather – solar energy relies on sunlight. Sometimes if there isn’t enough sunlight, it could affect the amount of energy you can generate. However, they are still effective through the winter and dull days especially when paired with solar battery storage. Read our article on how.  
  • High initial costs – installing solar energy may not be cheap, however they are beneficial for savings in the long term and are less expensive in comparison to other renewable energy systems. With this in mind, there are other incentives from the government enabling you to earn money if you have one installed, such as the SEG and the renewable heat incentive cutting the initial costs.  

How effective are solar panels? 

In the UK, the efficacy of solar PV depends on factors such as how much sun your property receives to generate electricity, as well as the size of the solar PV system you install. 

However, there are other products that complement your solar panel systems such as solar battery storage. This enables you to reuse any solar energy during the times where there may not be enough sunlight, such as during a dull/cloudy day or during the night. 

As a result, solar energy is effective in reducing your heating bills, electricity bills and can increase long term savings. With its compatibility with other heating systems, it further reduces your carbon footprint and can optimise its efficacy when paired with solar battery storage systems. 

Find out more about solar panels 

For more information on solar panels, check out our solar power page and solar battery storage page. 

Equally, if you are interested in installing a solar energy system, contact our team today and make an enquiry. 

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