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Last updated: 28 May 2020

What Are PV Panels?

How PV Panels Can Power Your Home

PV panels, also known as solar panels, capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Electricity generated by PV panels is mostly used for powering household appliances and equipment.

The most typical PV panel system is the grid-connected system, which as its name indicates, is connected to the national grid. This means that at night, when the solar panels do not work, you can use electricity from the grid.

Moreover, if your solar system produces more electricity than what you need, you can sell the surplus back to the grid, and effectively make money by having solar panels at home if you make use of solar panel grants, like the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

The second type of PV panel system is the stand alone system, which is not connected to the grid. In this case you can add solar batteries to the system to have electricity when it gets dark. This system can be really convenient in remote areas where there is no alternative for other sources of electricity. Nowadays, thousands of people power up their homes and business with the help of PV panels.

If you want to make the switch to renewable energy and invest in PV panels for your home in the UK, then all you have to do is fill in the contact form to receive up to four quotes from suppliers in your area. Compare the best offers on the market through our free, non-binding service!

How Do PV Panels Work?

PV in solar panels means ‘photovoltaic’, because the panels consist of small photovoltaic cells that are connected together. PV cells are made out of semiconducting material — silicone being the most commonly used.

PV cells are usually very small but when combined together to form solar panels and solar arrays, they can be very efficient. When the sun shines over the cells, an electric field is created. The stronger the sun, the more electric energy is produced. Nevertheless, the cells do not need direct sunlight to work, and they can still produce electricity on a cloudy day.

PV panels are available in various shapes and sizes and can be easily mounted on top of an existing roof.

An alternative to solar panels, which takes less rooftop space but is more expensive, is using solar roof tiles.

How Do PV Panels Work?

Benefits of Using PV Panels

Using PV panels as an electricity source can prove to be really beneficial. Once the solar panels are purchased and the installation costs are overcome, you can start saving money due to the reduced costs of the electricity.

Apart from these savings, there is also an opportunity to make some money out of solar panels. The current Smart Export Guarantee allows you to earn money by exporting surplus solar power back to the grid, meaning that you can break even faster.

Another of the many advantages of solar energy is that they are environmentally friendly. Using them contributes to cutting our carbon footprint.

What Are the 3 Types of PV Panels?

PV panels can be categorised into three common types of domestic solar pv panels:

  • Monocrystalline PV panels
  • Polycrystalline PV panels
  • Thin-film PV panels

Which of these PV panels are best for your home depends on your energy needs and budget. There are more types of solar panels, but these three are the most common domestic PV panels.

Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient, as they are made from a single piece of silicon, making it easier for electricity to flow through the cell. For this reason, they are also the most expensive solar panel type.

Polycrystalline panels are less efficient than monocrystalline because they are made by melting together several parts of silicon, making it harder for electricity to flow through the silicon. It is easier to manufacture polycrystalline panels, which is why they are also more affordable.

Thin-film, on the other hand, are the cheapest yet least efficient type of PV panel. If you are looking for flexible solar panels, then thin-film is a great option for you.

PV panels are not to be confused with solar thermal panels, which are used to produce domestic hot water.

Maintenance and Cleaning of PV Panels

Solar panel cleaning is fairly simple: they just need to be kept respectively clean and to not be overshadowed by trees. If dust or snow becomes an issue, they need to be rinsed off with warm water. If you don't feel like doing it yourself, you can always contact a window cleaning company and they will do the work.

PV panels are likely to last 25-30 years or more, but the solar panel inverter needs to be replaced after ten to fifteen years. However, it is always good to play it safe and check with your installer to find out what the specific maintenance requirements for your system are, as well as its respective insurance.

There are many solar panel facts that point to it being an excellent source of renewable energy and there are plenty of reasons why you should start taking advantage of the benefits it brings. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, you will also cut down on your electricity bills. What’s more, PV panels are easy to maintain and will last for a long time.

If you want to take the next step and invest in solar today, then GreenMatch is happy to assist you. By filling in the contact form above, you will receive up to four customised offers from suppliers nearest to you. This service takes just a few seconds, is free of charge, and non-binding!

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