Understand Solar Panels and How They Work

Posted on 24th June 2011 in environment

Solar power is a good green source of energy and a serious option to consider for your energy needs. Other options such as wind turbines and hydroelectric generator can be used in but for most homes and smaller business solar is one of the most achievable options.

solar pv Scotland

Solar panels and solar power generates power from the sun by converting sunlight to electricity with no moving parts, zero emissions, and no or little maintenance. A solar panel is made up of a series of individual silicon cells that generate electricity from sunlight. As the light hits the surface of the solar panel the light particles produce an electrical current on the surface of small silicon wafers. One single solar cell produces around half a volt of energy.

Smaller solar panels can produce up to 12 volts of energy. These smaller panels contain an average of 36 solar cells. Large solar panels will produce up to 24 volts of energy. These will contain around 72 solar cells.

Solar panels can be wired together to create a bank of panels and increase the amount of energy you can harness. This gives the advantage of using a higher voltage output so the solar panels can use smaller wire to transfer the electric power from the solar panel to the output, charging batteries for example.

Solar panels come in different types. One is a Monocrystalline solar panels. These are most efficient but the most expensive solar panels made. The solar cells use very pure type of silicon and use a complicated growth process for the silicon crystals.

The middle ground for solar panels is possibly Polycrystalline. This type of panel is sometimes called Multi-crystalline solar panels as they consist of a range of Polycrystalline cells. This form of solar panel is less expensive and less efficient than the type using Monocrystalline cells. This is down to the fact that the cells are not grown in a large block of many crystals.

The Amorphous solar panel is not made from crystals like other types of panel. These are metal or glass coated with a layer or silicon to create the solar panel. Amorphous solar panels are in the bracket of the cheaper type of panel, as they are less expensive than other types. This type of solar panel is less energy efficiency so more are needed to generate the same amount of energy as more expensive alternatives.

Solar panels are a real option and a potentially good investment to help save money and energy. After the installation and set up costs that can be expensive and off putting, the payback will work for itself. For homes and small business solar is a real solution to meet the demands of trying to find lower costs energy and reduce your energy bills.

Richard I. Green is an expert on solar panels Scotland and renewable and wind energy. For more information on solar panels and solar pv visit the www.absolutesolarandwind.co.uk and web site.

Harnessing The Power Of The Sun To Make Solar Electricity

Posted on 1st March 2011 in energy

Free energy … What a dream, eh? One of the biggest household burdens is the cost of energy. The cost of energy is frequently 40% of total household bills. So, free energy would assist every family that is not rich a great deal. However, free energy is a pipe dream, is it not? There is alternative energy, that is non fossil fuel based energy, like nuclear energy, but that is not low-cost either.

Other alternative sources of energy include wind-driven turbines and solar power. In this piece, I want to talk about harnessing the power of the sun to create solar electricity. Creating solar power is nothing new and most people are acquainted with the general theory of how the scheme works. In deed, most of us have owned a solar powered pocket calculator or solar powered clock at one time or another.

Solar electricity is just as good and just as powerful as traditionally generated electricity and they can be utilized for exactly the same purposes. However, solar energy has one huge benefit, it is not ‘dirty’.

Electricity produced from the sun’s energy has not been made creating any greenhouse gases whatsoever. Additionally, because there are no moving parts in a solar panel, there is no wear and tear and so less maintenance.

Solar panel systems are more adaptable too. For instance, if you have a small house with couple of appliances, you still need the same method of delivering grid electricity as a huge house and you still have to have a metering system and a means of paying for the electricity consumed.

However, if you take the same small house as an example, you might find that ten solar panels will power it. Therefore, for a one-off payment, you are free of electricity pylons and their cables, the meter box and the monthly bills. A huge house would just have to fit more panels, say a hundred, to achieve the same freedom.

This freedom from the instruments of supplying electricity is a very real benefit if you live in a far-flung place, where you are expected to pay for the electricity pylons and their cables all on your own. The down side of using solar power is the cost of setting it up. A professionally installed solar energy system can cost about $30,000.

If you save $200 per month on electricity, then you will recoup your expenditure in about 300 months, which is 12.5 years. However, if you could get the system fitted more economically, you would recoup your costs more rapidly.

This is possible, by assembling the solar panels yourself and installing them yourself. No matter what sort of a ham-fisted person you think you are, you can put together and fit the average solar panel kit. In fact, most teenagers can do the job. If you decide to buy solar panel kits to assemble yourself, you can save about half of the above costs, but if you were to make the panels from parts that are easily obtainable in DIY shops, you could be harnessing the power of the sun to make solar energy for up to 75% of the cost of a professional installation.

Finding My Carbon Footprint

Posted on 27th February 2011 in environment

In the United Kingdom the Carbon Trust gives the definition of a carbon footprint as “the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an organization, an individual, or product such as a car, or bicycle”.

Contributing your part can help reduce this, by looking at the way every day tasks influence your carbon consumption. Look at the way you travel to work, consider car sharing, recycle plastic, glass and cans and buying eco friendly products will all help.

The products you buy will all contribute to your carbon footprint. This is because they have to be manufactured, picked and packaged and then transported to the shops where you buy them. The energy used in this process all contributes to green house gases. Try looking for local products that have not travelled far and low eco friendly packaging.

Determining your carbon footprint is measured by the quantity of greenhouse gas that you are contributing to the planet’s atmosphere. This term first originated from carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is the widely identified as the main contributor to climate change today

You can try and offset your personal carbon emissions, by doing so you are doing your part to help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced and help slow down global warming and climate change.

Carbon offsetting schemes are available help you offset your personal carbon emissions. These schemes invest in green projects to invest in energy efficient schemes, wind power, solar power, or new tree plantations. Try and make sure the company you purchase your carbon credits/offsets from is a member of a reputable body or well know organisation such as the Carbon Trust or the Energy Saving Trust.

Being proactive in reducing your carbon emissions can be done with the use an individual carbon calculator to determine your carbon footprint. You could get a surprise just how much carbon is creates every day, and hopefully learn a little about where you can make some real changes.

Tips to help reduce your carbon emissions can include making few trips to the shops, using electricity at off peak times, using a green energy supplier, and simply turning off the lights when not in the room can all make a difference.

Ian. R. Richardson is an expert author on renewable energy and environmental topics. For more information and news visit for the www.personalcarbon.co.uk and www.tradingpersonalcarbon.co.uk web sites.