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Always read all of the pages and subjects before starting a solar system installation - If you are unqualified or in any doubt about your own ability then consult a qualified solar system installer.

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Solar Power - Free energy from natural resources

Solar panels and how they can function for you.

Using the power of the sun to produce hot water or electricity - when you think about it seems quite a natural thing to do! It is, and it is free.

It is possible to fit a small panel on any wall that is approximately facing south providing it is not shielded from the sun. The panel in the picture is a 27watt panel producing 2.25 A per hour and is connected through a controller to a 85Ah leisure battery.

Picture above - It is possible to fit a small panel on any wall that is approximately facing south providing it is not shielded for too long from the sun. The panel in the picture is a 27 watt panel producing approximately 9 A per day (during summertime) and is connected via a controller to a small 85 Ah leisure battery. It then is distributed to one or two principal 12v lights that are used for about 4 hours each a day. This simple and basic system saves approximately 5% on the yearly electricty bill.

The sun as we understand it is the ultimate sustainable source of energy, and now with the benefit of modern technology we can get a very satisfactory result in terms of free energy from it. Solar panels turn daylight and sunlight into electricity, the panels absorb the light and create electricity which then needs to be stored for later usage and distribution. You can of course draw electricity directly from the panel using a suitable regulator and diodes but the power will of course fluctuate with the varying strength of the light falling on the panel(s). So the best plan is to collect and store your free electricity using good quality leisure batteries. My own recent research with a small 27 watt solar panel and one 85 AH leisure battery showed it produced electricity all year round supplying power to two highly used 12 volt double florescent tube lights. Only three weeks before and after the mid winter solstice (Dec 21st approximately!) was it to dark to sustain sufficient long term power. Had I used for instance two batteries then the power would of been sustainable, as on the very sunny days the harvest would be very good helping the weekly light averages. To read more about how to work out how many panels and batteries you need why not read the Getting Started Article and the Live Experiment page.

How solar cells work:

A solar cell consists of two layers of semi-conducting material (usually silicon). There a two layers, the top layer being the negative and the lower being the positive, between these two layers the electrical field exists when exposed to daylight.

Other pages to help you with the installation are:-

free energy  button How to wire up a basic system
Is your battery bank correctly wired up?
free energy  button The Big Live Experiment
See how our 27w solar panel performs under live conditions
free energy  button Battery care
free energy  button Looking after a leisure battery
free energy  button Solar circuits

To communicate with us over technical issues please use the Solar Chat Forum, also take a look at the Solar Q&A page.

Global Warming - it's why we are making changes to our way of life!

David Bellamy has a very interesting article on global warming where he gives another point of view, Read the article

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I Getting Started I Looking After A Leisure Battery I Solar Q&A I Links I Ohms Law I Wind Power I

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