Solar panels are currently the most popular form of renewable energy for homes, and even motorhomes. They provide a silent, effective, and generally reliable source of power to our homes. They are environmentally friendly, with no emissions or pollution when they are running, although small amounts are produced during manufacture. The technology is always evolving, with scientists searching for ways in which the systems can become better, cheaper, and more efficient than they are now. 250w models tend to be a standard for use in homes, and they might just be the right option for you.
How Solar PV Works
PV stands for photovoltaic, and it is the PV technology that turns the energy from the sun into electricity. It doesn’t require direct sunlight to work (although it helps to improve efficiency), meaning that it can work even in cloudy weather. The energy that is produced does not contribute to climate change in any way, and there is no associated pollution – making it a greener energy option. There are no moving parts either, which makes it more reliable and also low-maintenance. There are also no running costs, so once it has been installed, it is completely free.
The way in which PV solar energy works is that electricity flows between two semiconductors, which are traditionally made from crystalline silicon, when they are put into contact with each other and exposed to the sunlight. By linking a number of these cells into a panel, a steady and useful flow of electricity can be created. Any number of panels can be used in a system (or array), as long as you have the space for it.
If you combine your solar PV panels with a battery (or batteries), you will be able to provide yourself with a reliable source of energy throughout the day and night. PV systems that use battery storage are a very popular option, and are used worldwide to power things like lights, sensors, recording equipment, switches, appliances, televisions, and power tools. The list is almost endless, and being able to store the energy is a huge advantage. However, you should expect to lose around 20% of the overall power stored in the battery due to natural loss throughout the day.
Working in Cloudy Weather
It may come as a surprise that PV solar panels tend to work better when at colder temperatures. In fact, some of the best efficiency levels were recorded at the South Pole. They are also perfectly capable of working in cloudy weather, so the British climate doesn’t need to put you off this fantastic energy source. Of course, while they do work in cloudy weather, they are not as effective at producing electricity in it, and so you may see a decline in efficiency levels.
If there is some overcast, so light cloud, the solar panels may produce around half as much as they normally would if there was full sunlight. During dark overcast, you may see as little as 5-10% of the usual amount produced. This can be disappointing for many, but it is a factor that is constantly being worked on and improved.
In fact, it is possible to purchase panels that have three semiconductor layers, which absorb a different part of the light spectrum. This means that in temperate conditions (especially in the north of the world) power may be produced more efficiently than before. Overcast conditions will not necessarily result in such drastic changes in efficiency levels, which can be beneficial to many. It may even help with better operation when there is only partial cloud, resulting in better efficiency control once more.
Common Uses for a 250w Solar Panel
You will most commonly find a 250w solar panel on the roof of your home. They tend to be placed together to form a solar array, providing your home with hot water or electricity (or even both). Their higher wattage makes them idea for running a home, as each panel works together to absorb sunlight and transform it into electricity.
It is also possible to use these panels on caravans, motorhomes, and boats – fuelling out electrical needs while you are on holiday or travelling. While you may find these panels on stationary homes as opposed to motorised ones, they do provide an excellent source of energy – especially when connected to a 12v battery.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Panels
As with most things, there are several advantages and disadvantages to the use of solar panels. Below are some of the main reasons for and against this form of renewable energy.
- They produce clean energy
- They produce a completely renewable source of energy
- They require little maintenance
- They are reliable
- They don’t produce any noise
- It is possible to make money from them
- The technology is always improving
- It is a widely available source of energy
- Solar panels are completely silent
- They are expensive to buy and install
- Do not generate power at night
- They are not very efficient (yet)
- They require a lot of space
Want to Know More?
Have you found yourself interested in solar panels? If you want to know more then make sure you head to our marketplace where you can find our full range of products, each with the relevant information. Or simply give us a ring using the number at the top of this page and have a chat.