Solar Energy is a simple technology which comes in two distinct versions:
Solar thermal, for heating hot water and solar photovoltaics (PV) for making electricity.
Photovolataic systems are extremely reliable, since they do not contain any moving parts, and the panels themselves are guaranteed for at least 20 years.
How Photovoltaics Work
1. The panels are installed on the roof and capture energy from daylight, creating DC electricity.
2. The DC electricity is converted to AC by an inverter, usually situated in the loft.
3. The inverter is wired into the home's fuse board, providing 'free' electricity during daylight hours. At night electricity is imported from the National Grid like normal.
Now, thanks to the 'Solar Feed-in Tariff', you can now make money from having solar PV installed.
PV installation is a simple process, which usually takes less than one day. There is no change to your wiring and electricity will always be available, just like before, but you will not pay a penny for the electricity you use during the day! At night you will still need to 'import' energy from the grid, like normal. Any 'excess' units you generate during the day will be 'exported' to the grid.