Solar energy is created by capturing light from the sun and with it, producing usable energy for homes and businesses. Solar energy is considered as the cleanest kind of sustainable energy sources available and can help to reduce the effects of overusing harmful fossil fuels for energy provision. The photovoltaic effect is responsible for the process of turning radiation from the sun into electricity and is an effect displayed by various kinds of semiconductors including mono and poly-crystalline silicon.
Solar panels can be fitted in any location where there is access to sunlight and many commercial applications use solar farms with thousands of solar panels. For those with less space than a commercial venture having hundreds of acres of land free, then on the roof of the house is the best place to install solar panels.
Solar Panel Orientation
Solar panel orientation requirements will vary from one geographical location to another. In the northern hemisphere it is better to have south facing solar panels that point towards the sun and towards the north in southern hemispheres. The angle of the sun hitting the surface of the solar panel should be as close to a 90 degree angle as possible and these requirements are the reason that many commercial installations have the ability to have the orientation of solar panels track the sun to maintain optimum positioning. South facing solar panels in the UK are the optimal orientation for solar panel installations.
Solar Energy Usage
Solar panels can be used to control small electronic devices that do not require much power. The recharging of mobile phones and notebooks can be done easily using solar panels for less than £100. Such solar panels are available at most reputable online electronic retailers and do not require any additional components to make them work. Larger solar panels used for operating domestic appliances and other high power rated electronic devices around the home require additional components to supply a safe and smooth power source for domestic purposes.
Domestic Solar Power
South facing solar panels can be used to power the average UK home and will normally form part of a solar panel system. Other components within the system will include an inverter to convert the DC voltage into AC or alternating current voltage. A battery bank will be required to power the devices.
The solar panels themselves will recharge the batteries that power the domestic appliances so the solar panels are never connected directly to the domestic equipment. Diodes are also used within a domestic solar power system to prevent current from feeding backwards and harming the panels.