As we experience further drastic changes in our climate, people become more eco-conscious. We tend to explore new sustainable energy sources and rethink our carbon footprint. Solar power is the efficient energy of the future. Not only do large commercial solar farms harness energy from the sun on a wide scale, but many homeowners are also leaving traditional energy sources in the past and installing solar panels. So, why not make a difference and switch to solar energy as well?
Every dedicated gardener wants their garden to stand out with lighting and decor. All those little details like path lights, lanterns, or even a fountain can set the mood, but all of these things run on energy. It doesn’t seem like much, but, nevertheless, they are used every single day. This is why switching to solar-powered garden accessories is a great first step. Then, you’ll get all the beauty of regular lights without the extra energy usage.
We all know that solar panels harness energy from the sun, but how do they do it exactly? Let’s take a look at the panel’s structure: a panel is made of a semiconducting material and divided into many squares or cells that are made to absorb particles of sunlight – photons. The cells form an electric field that free electrons from atoms, which results in an energy current that can power all your electronic devices.
Solar panels can be installed in many places: your summer house, garden rooms, or offices; even a shed can be turned into a mini solar farm. Some people choose to have solar panels directly on the ground, which resembles a small-scale commercial solar farm.
Of course, there are a few things you must keep in mind before actually beginning the installation process. Properly installing solar panels isn’t the easiest job. There is a lot of wiring involved, so you must completely understand how the whole system works. This is something that should be left to the professionals. Hiring a professional to install the panels may be a bit pricey, but it gives you many benefits like a warranty if anything goes wrong.
Depending on the size, some solar panels can weigh quite a lot. Even a standard domestic solar panel can weigh up to 20 kilograms. This means that they need a sturdy base to sit on. Not every roof is strong enough to withhold the weight of a solar panel, especially if there are many of them. Make sure your roof is in good condition before installing.
You might have noticed that all panels are installed at a certain angle. This isn’t a coincidence, as this angle plays a key role in harnessing the sun’s power. When the panel is perpendicular to the sun, it produces a maximum of energy. Plus, this tilt also, in a way, protects the panel from snow and access rainwater. If you have a flat roof, this shouldn’t discourage you from installing solar panels.
For the panels to work properly, make sure that they are not covered by anything. Any shade that falls onto the panel will block the rays of sunlight, which will lower the panels‘ productivity. If needed, trim the tree branches that are hanging over the roof.
Instead of having solar panels on the house, some people install them on the ground in the garden. If you are planning to install ground panels, you’re in luck because you won’t need any permit in the United Kingdom. But there are a couple of conditions you will need to consider, so it’s better or contacts your local council for more information. Some of these conditions can include height and size, but otherwise, there are no actual prohibitions. As mentioned before in this article, the angle at which panels are mounted is a crucial factor in harnessing energy. This means building a base for the panels is required. The base can be built using wooden beams and boards on a flat, leveled area. Hardwood is the best type of wood for this job, as it is durable and weather resistant. The cables that connect the solar panels to the house can be hidden underground, so there’s nothing intrusive in the garden.