General Information About Solar Cells
Over recent years, awareness of the environment and the issues it faces have become more apparent and been highlighted in media. Green solutions and renewable sources of energy have, as a result, becomes increasingly popular.
One of the green and eco-friendly alternatives to the traditional methods of generating electricity and heating is the use of solar energy via solar cells. They are the best and most ideal solution for those who want to produce their own green energy.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, solar cells also provide you with massive savings on your electricity bill. This can be hugely beneficial to those who are looking to save some money on electricity and heating. Solar cells that have been installed on a roof can be static, or they can track the sun during the day.
Are Solar Cells Something You Want to Invest in?
If you are interested in solar cells and want further information, we were here to help you. We have a whole range of comprehensive information pages to teach you more about solar cells and what they can offer you. Or, you can get in touch with us quickly and easily using the no-obligation form on this page.
Our service is simple, free, and completely free from obligation. All you need to do is fill in the form, and one of our expert installers will be in touch with you to discuss the kind of solar cells you want and talk to you about the various offers they have for you.
If you like one of the offers presented to you, you are free to choose it there and then. Or if there is nothing that appeals to you, you can decline it. For more technical information, you can talk to our installers, or you can continue reading this page and others that we have available.
What Are Solar Cells?
Solar cells are also known as photovoltaic cells (PV), which are different to photovoltaic thermal cells (PVT). What solar cells do is generate electrical power directly from sunlight. They are connected electrically and neatly organised together in a large frame that is known as a solar panel. The solar cells themselves are made of silicon semiconductors that absorb the sunlight and then convert it into electricity.
Presently, solar cells that are used for domestic purposes are only turning around 20% of the sunlight they receive into electricity. This is what is known as solar efficiency. There are other forms of solar cells available that are used for commercial and industrial purposes. These have an efficiency level of up to 40%, but they are much more expensive than the domestic models.
However, there are constantly new advances in solar technology, and it is expected that the efficiency will only continue to increase just as the price of solar panels will continue to fall. This will make it more accessible to more and more people.
The Benefits of Solar Cells
Most energy sources rely on fossil fuels, a method that is not sustainable and causes damage to the environment. Solar energy, on the other hand, relies solely on the energy it is given by the sun. Unlike fossil fuels, this will not run out anytime soon – especially since the sun is only approximately halfway through its lifespan.
Here are some of the other benefits you can expect from solar cells:
- Solar cells provide energy that is completely environmentally friendly. There are no pollutants or harmful gases emitted while it’s in use.
- They don’t produce any noise, which is nice for you and the environment.
- The process of installation is quick and easy, so there’s no hassle.
- Solar cells require hardly any maintenance once it has been installed and there are no significant additional costs, which is a plus for your bank account.
- Solar cells have an incredibly long lifespan of around 30 or 40 years, and the technology is constantly being worked on and improved.
- The initial investment pays itself back to you after just under ten years, and you can even make money off it by selling excess energy to the grid.
How Much Do Solar Cells Cost?
When you go and check the price of solar cells and compare them, what you are generally looking at is the cost of the entire solar panel system. The price of this system tends to vary according to the size and amount of panels that need to be installed. The same goes for the power level of the panels and the method of installation.
At a rough guide price, a full solar panel system could cost between £3,000 and £5,000, with some additional costs that would be given to you at the time of a quote. While this may seem like a considerable investment, it is important not to isolate the cost when the benefits are so much bigger.
It may also interest you to know that the price of solar cells has continued to drop dramatically over recent years because they are becoming so popular. Solar power is already 99% cheaper to install and buy than it was in 1979, which is phenomenal.
What Is the Return on Your Investment?
Once you have considered the total cost of the cells, it is possible to calculate your return on the investment you have made in the solar cells. Calculate your electricity needs, the value of your electricity bill, and the value of the electricity you will generate with the solar cells.
Generally, the investment will pay itself back within ten years. However, if you invest in a system that is close to the peak pricing for electricity rates, you can expect to see that payback a lot sooner. The return can also be dependent on weather conditions. While they still work on cloudy days, they are not as efficient and will generate less energy compared to sunny days.
Before You Invest in Solar Cells
Of course, the price and return on your investment should not be the only factors you consider before you invest in solar cells. Here are some of the things you should consider before you take the step to go green with solar energy.
The location. Will the system be located in a place where the solar cells are able to capture sunlight from 9am until 3pm (at least) every day? Solar cell systems that are fitted on the roof are massively dependent on their location. However, there are tracking systems that will move the panels with the sun automatically. This can make them more efficient, especially during peak times.
Suitability. You need to ensure that your roof is suitable for the solar panels. Solar cells can be quite heavy, so it is vital that you determine whether or not the roof will be able to support its weight before you go and purchase it.
Size. Solar cells come in a range of shapes and sizes, and it’s important you take the size of the solar panels into consideration. If you calculate your energy needs before, it will give you a much better idea of the panel size that you require for your home or business.
The Storage of Energy from Solar Cells
Many people find themselves concerned by whether or not the visibility of the sun will affect the workings of the panels. In fact, many think that it will stop functioning altogether. This is a myth. It can work just fine during cloudy days, although it will work at a lower level of efficiency.
Of course, it will not be generating energy at night, and this is where storage comes in handy. If your panels are connected to the grid, you can use the energy from the grid at night to power your home. You can also integrate batteries into your solar cell systems, which can be used as a form of energy storage. They store the energy gathered by cells, saving it for days with low sunlight levels or night time.
The solar battery systems are a little pricey, ranging from £2,000 to £6,000(depending on the size and capacity), but they are definitely worth the investment. Of course, if you don’t want to spend that kind of money it is likely that an alternative solution will come in the near future thanks to all the solar research that is being done across the globe.
Available Solar Cell Incentives
When you decide to install green energy solutions, like solar panels, it is possible for you to receive a government incentive. Some of these grants are given in the form of a one-off payment for the panels or a discount on the overall cost. Some are loans that are paid back over time. It is also possible to receive a tax reduction when you decide to invest in solar cells, so it’s very beneficial for everyone involved.
The grants themselves vary depending on whether the solar installation works as a system that is tied to the grid or one that is off-grid. It is also very important to keep in mind that many of these incentives work on a first-come-first-served basis. Therefore, it is important to know and understand the current grants that are available before you go and invest.