Solar

Special light sensitive surfaces called photovoltaic cells are arranged in a grid over a large surface area of a panel. These cells capture the energy from sunlight and convert this into electricity.

The sun also radiates heat which can be captured by heat absorbing panels and used to heat water.

Benefits

  • Solar is a clean, efficient and sustainable form of energy.
  • The worldwide demand for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy is greater than supply.
  • Every minute, enough solar energy arrives on Earth to meet our energy demands for a whole year – if only we could harness it properly !!!
  • The largest vertical solar panel array in Europe, attached to three sides of the CIS Tower in Manchester, generates enough electricity in one year to make 9 million cups of tea.
  • Houses can be designed to capture the sun’s heat energy so that there is no need for specialised technology.
  • Solar energy is free – it needs no fuel and produces no waste or pollution.
  • Solar power can be used to generate electricity in remote places.
  • Energy is usually generated at the point of consumption so keeps transport costs low.
  • It is excellent for low-power uses such as garden lights and battery chargers.

Downsides

  • Does not work at night.
  • Very expensive to build large scale solar power stations.
  • Need to cover a large area with panels in order to produce meaningful amounts of energy.

Local Applications

  • Bridge of Don Academy solar heated swimming pool.
  • City and Shire road sign illumination.