Best Solar Panels on the Market
What is Solar Energy?
The term solar energy is used to mean electrical energy that is produced by harnessing and converting the radiation produced by sunlight into an electrical current. It is seen as 'green' energy because it uses a natural resource (the sun) and produces no harmful greenhouse gas emissions as a by-product. It is also regarded as one of the 'renewable' forms of energy because it relies on a natural, inexhaustible energy resource. Solar panels themselves require little maintenance once they're installed because they have no moving parts. Also, it is wrong to believe that solar panels require direct sunlight to produce energy, daylight is enough for the panels to produce usable electricity.
Comparing Solar Panels in the UK
Choosing the best solar panels for your home or business will depend on your own particular requirements. For example, the best kind of panels for a small home or other domestic property will be different from those that would be best for a large organisation or public building. The best panels are those that have the highest conversion percentage rate, that is that can produce the highest percentage of usable electricity from the sunlight that they absorb. Some panels are specifically designed to be at their most efficient in indirect sunlight. These would be best in places where there is less direct sunshine and a generally cooler climate.
Best Brands in the UK
It is probably impossible to say that there is one single manufacturer who is better than all the others on the market however their are certain characteristics you can compare solar panels on. In terms of reputation and quality the most reliable names are Suntech, Firstsolar, Sharp, Kyocera and Sanyo. When choosing an installer, it is best to make sure that they have been officially approved by the manufacturer as this guarantees that they have specific knowledge of their products and know how to install them.
Look for the Power Rating
When choosing which solar panels to buy it's important to check the power rating of the panel. However there are two different kinds of power rating and it is important to distinguish between the two. They are the STC (Standard Test Conditions) rating, and the PTC (PVUSA Testing Conditions) rating. The STC rating can be misleading because it gives its rating based on optimum conditions, i.e. direct, bright sunlight, and most solar panels particularly in the UK, will not be operating under those kind of conditions for the majority of the time. The PTC rating takes this into account and gives a rating that is much closer to a 'real-life' rating, and is consequently more accurate.
Best Domestic Solar Panels
Solar panels for domestic use can be found now for quite reasonable prices. When choosing a supplier, it's best to choose one who will install the panels as well as supply them as this works out cheaper overall. You also need to decide if your panel system will be on-grid or off-grid. It is better to choose an on-grid system as not only are the installation costs cheaper, but if your system is tied to the national grid you automatically qualify for the feed-in tariff, and can profit from selling the electricity you produce back to the energy supplier. Prices for solar panels are dropping all the time as interest in renewable energy in general increases.