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Lots of people consider climate change to be an important issue and constantly look for ways to make their homes more energy efficient so that they can help the environment and save money on their fuel bills.
There is lots of focus on the little things that we can do like switching to energy saving light bulbs and switching things off when we are not using them. There is also a lot of talk about other changes we could make, like getting solar panels put on the house, but what are solar panels and how do they work?
How they work for electricity
Solar panels work by converting energy from the sun into electricity. They do not need to have direct sunlight, simply daylight to be able to do their job and so they will still work on days when there is not as much sunlight.
The cells that make up the panels, photocells, are made from materials that are semi-conducting, and when light shines on them they generate an electrical field.
These panels are made up of several layers of what is often silicone crystal, and these are designed to allow the elections to move around because the atoms are unstable. When the light shines on the panels, the negatively charged electrons become loose and free to move around between the layers.
When the light hits the panels it will generate a direct current, and it then passes through an inverter so that it can be changed from a direct current into an alternating current which will allow it to be used by the electrical items that you have in the home.
Obviously, the more light there is, the more efficient the panels become. Any excess electricity that you generate is that put back out onto the grid.
How they work for hot water
You can also get solar panels that you can use them to generate hot water supply.
Cold water is pushed through the solar panels by a pump, where it then heated up by the energy that the panels get from the sun. From there is put back into the water tank so that it can be used in the home. Sometimes, it will work alongside your home’s heating system to provide more heat.
Many companies, like Mark Group, offer solar panels to customers and provide information on how the technology works.