Generate Cheap, Green Electricity From Sunlight

Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used  to run household appliances and lighting.

The Benefits Of Solar Electricity

Cut your electricity bills: Sunlight is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced.

Get paid for the electricity you generate: the government’s Feed-In Tariffs pay you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it.

Sell electricity back to the grid: If your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can't use it, you can sell the surplus back to the grid.

Cut your carbon footprint: solar electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn't release any harmful carbon dioxide] or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year –that's more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.

How Do Solar Panels (PV) Cells Work?

PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, t he more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof. The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof , but you can also fit solar tiles.

Maintenance

Solar PV needs little maintenance – you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't overshadow them. In Nigeria panels that are tilted at 15° or more have the additional benefit of being cleaned by rainfall to ensure optimal performance. Debris is more likely to accumulate if you have ground mounted panels. If dust, debris, or bird droppings are a problem they should be removed with warm water (and perhaps some washing-up liquid or something similar –your installer can advise) and a brush or a high pressure hose (or telescopic cleaning pole) if the panels are difficult to reach.