Solar power is created using reflective solar panels that contain cells which can collect the sun's energy and convert some of it into electricity that can be used in the residential or commercial properties.

Solar power is a popular form of energy generation because it uses the sun's natural power source beaming down to create its power. This is very green and non-damaging to the environment as no carbon emissions are pushed out into the atmosphere during energy creation.

Power generation plants, by contrast, use coal, gas, nuclear fusion and other forms of less clean energy to power their plants, in order to generate electricity. In other words, they burn through one energy source in order to create another, which is both wasteful in concept and polluting of the environment in the execution. Power plants are some of the worst culprits for the continued expulsion of greenhouse gases.                                 

Wind Power and Solar Power

Recent improvements in the design for wind turbines making them much smaller, less noisy during operation, and requiring lower wind speeds to operate. Cost reductions in solar panel manufacturing have also made this type of renewable energy applicable for residential home use.

Solar panels are more popular with adopters of green technologies than wind power because more homes could use solar panels than have sufficient wind speed to use a wind turbine. Those in the west and north of the UK experience more windy conditions as so benefit the most from wind power, whereas many on the south coast are in the best position to benefit from solar power.

Solar Panel How-To

Roof-mounted solar panels is the most popular choice for optimal power generation. Each solar panel is slotted into a frame or rack, and fitted to the roof using a special mounting system.

The best roof orientation is south-facing in order to pick up the most sunlight during the day. Roofs need to be slanted at an angle in order to effectively activate the solar panels. Solar panels can generate energy using the sun's power even if it is a cloudy, overcast day and technologies exist to enable energy conversion even when parts of a solar panel installation are in shade while other parts are receiving direct sunlight.

A house or bungalow with angled roofs make for the best solar panel installations. For this reason, flats, maisonettes and town-houses usually lack proper access. Tenants need to discuss the idea with their landlord first and leaseholders must talk to the freeholder to get their permission before adding renewable energy to the home.

Good Installations

Solar panels mostly use roof-mounted installations because the elevated position helps to avoid shaded areas from surrounding trees.

There are a number of different mounting systems to choose from.

The most advanced is the solar tracker system which has the solar panels fixed to a rack with a rotating base that tracks the location of the sun throughout the day and alters position accordingly. Such a system is more costly, can break down mechanically from time to time, but is the most efficient collector of the sun's energy for conversion to electricity.

The more typical roof-mounted system relies on a frame of solar panels or racking where panels are slid in next to each other. Footing mounts, which do not usually go through the roof, or pole mounts, which usually do, are used to secure the mounting system to the roofing structure.