How it works

What is solar? 

Solar takes advantage of a free and powerful energy source – the sun.

In a single hour, the sun transmits more energy to the earth's surface than the world uses in a year.

Solar converts this energy into electricity, making it a simple, clean and cost-effective way to power our lives. It’s dependable, too – because unlike fossil fuels, the sun’s energy is unlimited.

Just imagine what that could do for your wallet, your bottom line and the environment.

What are solar panels?

Placed on roofs or on the ground, solar panels capture the sunlight and convert it into electricity.

And you don’t need to live somewhere warm and sunny, because solar needs only light not heat. Even the UK gets 60% of the sunlight (or solar radiation) found at the Equator.

It’s true that the more light the panels receive, the more electricity they can generate. But they still work on cloudy days – just as a solar-powered calculator does.

Their full name is solar photovoltaic panels, or PV. (“Photo” means “light” and “volts” means electricity.) At Tesla Energy Afghanistan, we usually just say “solar” for short.

How do solar panels work?

You’ve probably seen solar panels on roofs, or maybe on the ground. The panels are frames made up of solar PV cells (these are layers of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon):

  • The sun’s radiation hits these cells and is converted to direct current (DC) energy

  • This DC energy travels to an electrical device called an inverter, which converts DC energy into alternating current (AC) energy

  • The AC electricity produced is just like the power supplied by your utility company, and can go directly to power things like computers and lights

  • Or the power produced can be exported back to the mains national electricity grid and get redistributed around the country

 
Why Should I use solar?

An investment to be proud of

The UK government has committed to generate 15% of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020 – but by 2010, the UK had only reached 3.2% of its target. By choosing solar, you make an investment you can be proud of and show you’re commitment to clean, renewable energy. What’s more, you’ll be supporting British installers and the UK economy in these tough times.

Clean

Unlike fossil fuels which create harmful air pollution and global warming, electricity created from the sun is clean. So a typical home with solar could save a tonne of carbon dioxide a year, while an acre of solar could save an amazing 10,000 tonnes.

Easy

Solar is fuss-free, easy to install and very low-maintenance. The power from the panels is warrantied for 25 years and expected to continue generating for many years beyond its guaranteed life. All you need to get started is a building or some land – and it’s quiet, with little visual impact.

Unlimited and reliable

At the moment we rely on fossil fuels, and increasingly on imports. But the sun’s energy is unlimited, so it’s a secure source of power for the future.

Free

When electricity providers hike up their prices, the sun keeps shining for free. Solar panels produce energy from daylight, so they still work on overcast days. You can generate your own free power, and stop worrying about soaring bills.

Money-earning

With government tariffs and payback schemes, you can earn money from producing solar power – even if you use it all yourself. It’s low-risk, with predictable year-on year-yields giving you a better rate of return than an ISA!

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