With solar energy becoming a bigger part of our lives every year it’s only right we all become solar savvy people and most importantly understanding how they work and how we can benefit from them not just as a family but as a nation too.
If someone was to say to you ‘where is the best place for harnessing solar energy?’ You might have an image of a desert full of lines and lines of solar panels or perhaps a beach or very tall building in some exotic holiday resort crammed full of solar panels. You’d be wrong…
…The Artic Is Calling
You might struggle to imagine a freezing cold, desolate expanse of land being the ideal place to harness the sun’s energy; however it’s one of the most perfect places in the world! In these Polar Regions temperatures easily dip below 50 degrees below freezing so clearly it’s very cold there! However for six straight months they have sunlight for 27 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many researches have previously benefitted from solar and wind energy to power their bases.
Research has shown that Antarctica, the Himalaya Mountains and the Andes are some of the most ideal solar locations in the world. There is a lot of research being conducted to find out just how much power could be harnessed from setting up a solar grid in the Artic. However capturing power in Antarctica is one thing, getting it back to civilisation to be used in our homes is something very different! So watch this space…
What Does That Mean For Us?
Here in the UK, many people worry about how effective renewable energy sources like solar panels would actually be especially given that we’ve just suffered through the wettest summer on record!
However the most important thing to remember is that it’s not the temperature that you need to worry about, it’s light not heat. Sunlight is the essential ingredients and although we may have our fair share of cloudy days here in the UK your solar panels will continue to work.
What About the Winter?
It’s a common misconception that solar panels aren’t effective in the winter but as they work on light not heat they are still fully functioning throughout the winter months. We all know how light and sunny it can be during the winter months, think how many times you’ve reached for your sunglasses in the car because the sun is so bright!
Solar Energy in Britain
Ok so Great Britain might not have quite as much daylight at the Polar Regions and fortunately it doesn’t get quite as cold but it’s still a pretty good place for harnessing that all important solar energy. Your panels will work all year round here in the UK, being most effective from May to September. There are also a few things you can do to ensure your solar panels are positioned in the most beneficial place:
• Placing your solar panels in a south facing position (within 30 degrees in either direction) is the most beneficial place for them to get the most sun
• A roof slope of between 25 and 70 degrees is ideal
• If you have your solar panels pointing within 70 degrees of south then you can work with a roof slope of between 10 and 90 degrees and still achieve around 90% efficiency.
This post was written by Meredith Watts on behalf of Solar Tech, a leading company in supplying and installing solar panels, helping you to live a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly lifestyle.