October 31, 2022

How do Solar Panels work?

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular for those wanting to save a lot of money on their energy bills. The current energy crisis is causing problems for many households across the UK, and many are still unaware that solar panels are a fantastic option to beat the price hikes. In this article, we’re answering the question – how do solar panels work?

What are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are an assembly of photovoltaic cells (PV cells) mounted in a framework for generating energy. Solar panels convert natural sunlight into electricity. The natural source of electricity means that solar panels are a great renewable energy source that can be used in the home to power household appliances.

There are several types of solar panels that you can have installed for your home. These are the three main types of solar panels in the UK.

  • Thin film
  • Polycrystalline
  • Monocrystalline

Thin Film panels

Thin film solar panels are a more affordable option for those wanting to save money on electricity bills. While they are an effective option, they don’t tend to last as long as the other, more expensive options. You won’t need to compromise on appearance as these solar panels still have an attractive and sleek design. Thin film solar panels are a flexible option that can be wrapped around a roof.

Polycrystalline panels

The polycrystalline option is a slightly higher price but does come with a higher efficiency rating. These solar panels are more standard in that they are formed into a rectangular shape. The silicon can lead to a blue colouring over the panel, which some homeowners like. Others prefer to spend a little more to avoid this colouring.

Monocrystalline panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are one of the more expensive options on the market. However, they are also a very popular option for homeowners due to their appearance. In addition, monocrystalline panels are one of the most energy-efficient options. Their increased efficiency comes from only having one crystal, giving the electrons inside the panel more room to move and produce electricity.

When selecting the right solar panel for your home, there are many aspects to consider. You’ll need to think about the appearance, efficiency, roof space and price.

Solar panel roof space

How do solar panels work on a house?

Solar panels use their photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. Solar power panels generate a direct current (DC electricity) which needs to be converted to an alternating current (AC electricity), so it can be used in the home. This is done using solar inverter technology.

Some solar panel users have a next-generation battery system, which allows them to store excess electricity, so it’s ready for when they need it. Alternatively, excess electricity can be sent back to the National Grid, and there are even ways that you can be paid for this! So that’s another reason why installing solar panels is a great idea right now!

Do solar panels work when it’s cloudy?

Yes, a solar PV system can still be effective on cloudy days.

A common misconception regarding solar power panels is that they need direct sunlight all the time to be effective. This is not the case. Solar energy is created by light, which means that daylight can be enough to keep them working efficiently, rather than needing the sun’s energy every day. 

That being said, solar panels tend to work more efficiently and generate more electricity when more sunlight is available, so with this in mind, it’s essential to consider the placement of solar panels carefully. For example, placing the panels on an area of the roof that is heavily shaded by nearby trees or other objects may make them less efficient than you had hoped.  

A knowledgeable installer can help you with the best placement for your solar panels so that you can get the most out of your system. Use our free solar panel estimator tool to find a local, trusted installer near you today.

How much do solar panels cost UK

With many household items increasing in price, money is at the forefront of everyone’s minds! So it’s understandable that you’re wondering how much solar panels cost in the UK. 

You can expect to pay varying amounts based on the type of solar panel you choose to have installed. Some of the more affordable options will start at around £200 per panel, with the more expensive options rising to around £400 per panel. 

It is important to remember that the more expensive options tend to have higher efficiency levels and are built using more robust materials, allowing them to last longer. However, that’s not to say that the more affordable options don’t still do a great job. 

Another element to consider with the cost of solar panels is how many you plan to have installed. For example, if you have a large roof space, you may choose to have more solar panels installed.

Use our free tool to find out how much you could save by installing solar panels for your home.

Government grants for solar panel installation UK

0% VAT

There have been many solar panel grants available in recent years. One of the most compelling reasons to have solar panels installed soon is that the government is currently offering 0% VAT on all solar panel purchases and installations. This incentive could save you around £1000 and is running for the next five years (from April 2022).

ECO4 Scheme 

If you are a low-income household, you may be eligible for support from energy suppliers. The ECO4 scheme is worth £4 billion and aims to provide low-income households with energy-efficient heating measures in the home. We recommend looking at the eligibility requirements for this scheme if you are a low-income household. 

SEG scheme

The SEG (Smart Export Guarantee) scheme allows you to be paid for the electricity you generate and don’t use. The excess usable electricity is sent back to the National Grid so that other homes can benefit from it. Currently, you can receive between 2p and 5.6p per kWh of energy. 

Keep an eye out for solar panel funding and grants in the UK, as more options may become available to you. 

Are solar panels worth it?

We live in a time with a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of that stems from money. So it’s no secret that many households are looking for ways to save money, and solar panels could be the perfect way. They are low maintenance and can support all of your energy needs.

There are many benefits of renewable energy. You’re not just saving money; you’re reducing your carbon footprint and helping to protect the environment too! So we say go for it if you’re debating whether to install solar panels! Solar panels are worth it, and we can help you find the best quotes online right now. We hope this article has helped you to understand the question – how do solar panels work?