Noiseless, easy to install and with a lifespan of more than 25 years, it's no surprise that more and more homeowners are turning to solar panel roofing as a great source of renewable energy.
Using solar photovoltaic cells (PV) to capture the sun’s energy, solar panels convert sunlight straight into electricity: the stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced (although panels don’t necessarily need direct sunlight and solar energy can easily be stored for use on dark and cloudy days). As sunlight is free, once the initial installation is paid for, the long-term savings are vast, providing long-lasting and affordable energy for generations to come from a totally renewable source of energy, a source of energy at once free and inexhaustible.
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp), which refers to the rate at which a cell can generate energy at peak performance. In the south of England, a 4kWp system can generate about 3,800 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which is roughly equivalent to an average household’s electricity needs.
As well as being easy to install and cost-efficient, solar panels require little in the way of maintenance. As long as the panels are kept relatively clean and away from trees which might overshadow them, there is little else to do in terms of upkeep. In the UK, the panels will be tilted at a 15 degree angle so that they have the additional benefit of being cleaned by rainfall, ensuring optimal performance.
There are no greenhouse gases produced by solar panel roofing, meaning you are able to cut your carbon footprint dramatically, as solar electricity is a green, renewable energy which releases no harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants into the environment. A typical home solar PV system typically saves 1.5 to 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year (which equates to more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime), meaning that significantly less carbon emissions are produced.
In turn, this means a less harmful impact on environment and climate, as well as significant public health benefits. Research has found that, in the grand scheme of things, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy is not just better for the whole environment, but has reduced premature mortality and overall healthcare costs for the entire country.