How Many Solar Panels Do You Need to Charge a Lightbulb?

Solar Power - All Night Long... A solar storage battery can provide solar energy day or night

Solar panel output depends on a wide variety of different factors, from panel efficiency, to the amount of panels in your system, to where you live in the UK, and many other things.

So why does it matter how much electricity our lightbulbs use? Well it has been stated by energy conservation groups that our lightbulbs account for 20% of our electricity bills – so how many solar panels do you need to power the lightbulbs in your home?

How Much Electricity Do Appliances Use?

Home Appliances Electricity Usage – kWh/year Cost Over Year
Fridge-Freezer 427 kWh £62
Plasma TV 658 kWh £95
Desktop PC 166 kWh £24
Electric Cooker 317 kWh £46
1 Lightbulb 109 kWh £12

To calculate the usage of 1 lightbulb we knew that a 60 Watt lightbulb would use up 0.06kWh of electricity per hour. We decided by looking at each of the seasons that 5 hours was a good average for the amount of time a lightbulb would be on each day. This worked out as 0.3kWh per day and 109kWh per year.

 

But Who Has One Lightbulb?

Nobody! We had a look online and decided that 9 lightbulbs is a good average amount of lightbulbs for many homes and bungalows. Accounting for all of those lightbulbs we can work out that these cost us upwards of £108 per year in electricity costs! AND that is if you remember to turn them off!

 

How Much Sun Does A Solar Panel Need?

You might think that solar panels need red-hot summer sunshine to work but this is not actually true, whilst solar panels are more efficient on clear sunny days they still produce electricity on cloudy, rainy, foggy or cold days.

On average across the whole year we get around 4 hours of bright clear sunshine a day, which equates to 1460 hours of sunlight across the year. (So to calculate your panels minimum output 4 hours of sunshine a day is a good place to start).

So with 9 lightbulbs in our home, running for 5 hours a day on average, this means we would need 981 kWh of electricity to power them for the whole year.

 

So, to figure out how much electricity we need from our solar panels we divide our lightbulbs electricity requirements by the minimum sunlight our panels will get each year:

981 kWh by / 1460 hrs of sunlight per year
= 0.67 KW’s

After this we must know the KW’s each of our solar panels can produce. So if we get a high efficiency 120W solar panel, this equals 0.12KW’s. So we divide the energy we need by the amount of energy each solar panel can produce to find out how many solar panels we need.

0.67KW / 0.12 KW
= 5.58 panels.

Which means that you would need 6 solar panels to provide the electricity needed for 9 light bulbs in your home for a whole year.

12-16 Panels

Most UK solar panel systems are made up of between 12-16 solar panels, averaging at around 3.5 KW’s for the whole system. So, if you opt for a standard solar panel array you wont just be saving on the 20% of your bill made up by your lights. You would be saving considerably on the costs of every single appliance.

How Many Panels Would Fit On Your Roof?

BUT! We Only Use Lightbulbs At Night!

 Well, most of us are out of the house during the day and most of us only use our lightbulbs in the evening… but thanks to solar storage batteries you can benefit from your solar electricity day and night.

A solar storage battery will store electricity generated by your panels during the day for use in the evening. As soon as the sun goes down and your panels stop generating, your solar storage battery would discharge the electricity it has stored across the day.

Battery manufacturers claim that you can cut your bills by a further 50% with a solar storage battery, as you would be buying less electricity back from the grid during peak hours.

How Much is Solar Storage?

4 Surprising Reasons Why UK Homeowners Are Turning To Solar…

solarandfam1
In the UK we pay more on our energy bills than most of Europe. On top of that our energy bills have been steadily rising over the last 20 years. It only makes sense that as the demand for energy grows so will the cost of our bills.

Can We Trust Our Energy Providers?

Many people do not know that recently the wholesale cost of energy has fallen for the energy companies but we as consumers have not seen the difference in our energy bills. We all need electricity and heating but the companies in charge do not seem concerned about providing a fair service at a fair cost.

So, What Can We Do?

Can our homes become our own personal power stations? well actually, many UK homes already have. With solar panels popping up all over you may have wondered why they are considered a really great investment.

One reason solar power has seen a boom in recent years is that the price of installing solar panels has come down massively. Solar panels are now more affordable than they have ever been. Here are four more of the best reasons for installing solar.

 

  1. Cut Electricity Bills in HALF

    Average estimates state that you can save up to 50% off of your yearly electricity bills with solar panels. You would also be protected against any future electricity price-hikes as you would rely less on energy companies by providing your own free electricity.

    You can save even more with a solar storage battery. With this you can store the electricity your panels make for use in the evening. This way you can use your free electricity during the night and spend less on bills.

How Much Could You Save?

  1. Tax-free Money For Solar

    The government still offers a tax-free incentive to homes with solar panels. You are paid a small rate for each unit of electricity that your panels produce… for 20 years. You should act quickly though as this scheme will not be in place forever.

    It is vital that you find a properly accredited solar installer otherwise you would not be able to claim the government scheme. There are many solar cowboys out there so you need to ensure that the company you choose is trustworthy, reliable and highly recommended.

  2. Increase The Value of Your Home

    Estate agents now consider solar panels as something that can add value to your home. This is because the many benefits of solar can make a home more desirable.

  3. Easy Peasy

    Once solar panels have been installed you can pretty much leave them to it. They last 20-30 years with little maintenance. So just sit back, relax and let your solar panels do the work.

If you want to avoid solar cowboys click on where you live on the map below to get a fast, free, online quote for solar panels in your postcode.

map

– Click Here For a Fast, Free, Online Quote –

 


 

Are Ikea’s solar panels a good deal?
 
Solar quotes - click here

Swedish home furniture giants Ikea are to begin selling solar panels in all 18 UK based stores within 10 months, following a successful trial period, but do they offer value for money and should you even consider buying solar panels from a furniture store?

Firstly, their price of £5,700 for a 3.36kW system, which is the size for a typical semi-detached property, is expensive. Comparing pricesfrom accredited solar installers shows that a larger 4kW system can now be installed for under £5,000, and a 3kW system for as low as £4,000. Though Ikea have to start somewhere

On the plus side the investment figures still stack up, with Ikea’s smaller 3.36kW system, on a south-facing roof in Southampton, forecast to earn £770 each year from the Government Feed-in-Tariff (guaranteed for 20 years) – meaning you can recoup the cost within just 7 years.

Though installing the same size system for a lower cost from an accredited solar installer makes more sense and will give you a shorter repayment period.

From a personal opinion, Ikea are making a smart move, they have seen the Solar Panel business on the rise and must be expecting a big boom soon like the rest of us. Hence the first UK solar advert airing last week and the noise Solar has been making in the news recently

New to Solar Panels? Here’s an introduction!

Did you know? The amount of the Sun’s Energy hitting the Earth Solar-System
daily is enough to power the entire planet 20,000 times over. And yet we only harvest a tiny fraction of this valuable resource that will continue to provide us with Free Energy for another 4 billion years.
If you had an oil or gas well under your Home or Business would you extract it?
Why ignore the most powerful resource known to man? Solar Energy is a clean form of renewable energy that if utilised correctly can provide vast amounts of energy daily & save your home or business  a lot of money over the lifetime of the system (roughly £17,000 over 20 years.)
With Energy costs constantly rising & our demand for fuel growing all the time,we are at serious risk of fuel poverty if we don’t reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Lets not run on dead Dinosaurs! We need to look at alternative, renewable way of heating our homes & businesses.
In 2012 the population reached 7 billion & the UN estimates by 2050 it will reach 9.2 billion by which time the Worlds fuel reserves will be 75% less.
 Either we stop going at it like rabbits or we change to renewable energy, I think we all know which one we would prefer!

Solar Panels providing Solar Water Heating

Solar Water heating can provide up to 70% of domestic hot water annually thus
reducing your reliance on fossil fuels which will equate to an approximate 30% saving on fuel. There are also environmental benefits to solar energy. A typical domestic system can save approximately 350kg of COannually or over one third of a tonne.

How Solar Panels Work

How it works – Solar panels are mounted on your roof ideally 45East/West of due South 1800. There are possibilities if you don’t have a South facing aspect but ideally anywhere within that 90windows optimum. Because solar technology has progressed so much in recent years they don’t need direct sunlight as they work on natural daylight.
At daybreak your panels heat up. The energy is sent from your roof to your hot water
tank via stainless steel insulated pipework & is transferred to your hot water cylinder.
When the temperature in your cylinder is reached the pump shuts off & you have a
fully heated tank of water at your disposal. When you run a bath or take a shower
the temperature in your hot water tank drops & the sensor tells the pump to deliver
more energy to the tank. The new heat that is being stored in your panels is sent straight down to your tank so even whilst you are showering your water is reheating. It’s a bit like leaving an immersion heater on all day except you are getting free energy from the sun. It really is that simple…
 
How to keep your Solar Panels efficient 
There are new materials coming out all the time to make Solar Panels more efficient e.g. new cells, metals. So my advice is to research a few companies that have the key ingredients so you know your Solar Panel will at the top of it’s game! Sort of things you would need to look for are Solar Panels with less wires as they would block sunlight, PVT cells etc.
Over a period of time your Solar Panels will get a bit mucky, just like how a glass house does over the years. This affects how efficient the panel is and will slow how much electricity you make right down. There are solutions to the problem though, in fact there are solutions for the solution! Basically you can buy most of the products to clean your Solar Panels online. I recommend a good Solar Panel cleaning solution and at least a 24ft cleaning pole if you’re too lazy to go up the ladder with a wet rag! If you are even lazier or have money to burn, (usually come hand-in hand) You can hire cleaning companies to do it for you that range from about £30-£50.
 
Until the next time, I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Popularity rise in Solar Power, why?

Solar Power

Solar Power has grown incredibly in the recent years; with Britain now having 500,000 homes with Solar Panels, the business is booming! The general public are definitely opening their eyes to the brilliant benefits and opportunities that Solar Power has to offer.

 

Financial benefits

 Solar Panels obviously offer to cut down your electricity bills by becoming more dependent on solar power. The ever increasing prices of energy providers is clearly making people looking into Solar Power as it is an easy, cheap way of saving money. Also with the feed-in-tarrifs the government currently provides it makes it possible to earn up to £750 a year! Who doesn’t want extra money in their back pocket? From the financial side of things, Solar panels are definitely a great benefit to home-owners looking to save money.

 

Feel good factor

Solar Power is a clean, renewable energy which makes it GREEN! You can feel smug as you tell the world of how you produce clean energy which is potentially saving the Planet. Also speaking from personal opinion, there is nothing that makes you happier than seeing how much energy you’re producing, and there is nothing that makes me look weirder than grinning insanely when I see that electric bill cut down to size!

 The Buzz!

 There is massive spike in the amount Solar Power is making into the media recently. Various government projects getting behind Solar Power like how the U.S. Navy plan to beam down energy from orbiting Solar Panels. Or even how one of Britain’s biggest landmarks, Big Ben, could possibly be getting Solar Panels (Story here).



There is also gigantic leaps in the technological side of the Solar Panel world. With ‘mad’ scientists developing transparent solar panels, Solar panels that work better on cloudy days ! And even the revolutionary idea of the near possibility of being able to grow solar panels from BACTERIA. ITS ALIVE!!!

 With all these contributing factors, it’s no surprise that Solar Panels have been on the rise. There has never been a better time to get into the Solar Powered world, with so many people getting involved now, shouldn’t you as well? If anything you have read has interested you in Solar Panels, visit this excellent site here for a FREE quote on Solar Panels ! 


Links:

All links to the stories can be found above. If none work I will post them down here too

 

How much can you earn from solar in your town?

 

From April 1st the Feed-in-Tariff, that pays you for generating your own electricity from solar panels (whether you use it yourself or not) will drop to 14.38p/kWh, but what does that mean in your area?

 

Based on the Energy Saving Trusts’ calculations you can see how much you should expect to earn and save in your region each year:

  • Scotland: £624
  • North East: £635
  • North West: £650
  • Yorkshire: £643
  • East Midlands: £655
  • West Midlands: £661
  • Wales: £667
  • East of England: £672
  • London: £688
  • South East: £718
  • South West: £742

Remember, these are estimates for a 4kW system, and the FiT is index-linked and should increase year upon year with inflation.

Not installed solar panels yet? Find prices here.

Who will get paid by the RHI and by how much?

EPC - small changes

Are you confused by the Govenment’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)? You’re not alone.

The RHI scheme will begin for the domestic market in 2013 and will pay homeowners a tariff, similar to the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT), for installing renewable technologies like solar thermal technologies, air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

It is likely that any of these heating methods installed since 2009 will be eligible for the RHI provided they satisfy the installation criteria.

The UK Government published their consultation on domestic RHI in September 2012. The key proposals in the consultation are:

  • Indicative tariff ranges for air source heat pumps (6.9-11.5p/kWh), biomass boilers (5.2-8.7p/kWh), ground source heat pumps (12.5-17.3p/kWh) and solar thermal technologies (17.3p/kWh) that are MCS certified and meet relevant required standards, including specific emission limits for biomass systems.
  • Payments for householders over seven years for each kWh of heat produced for the expected lifetime of the renewable technology and based on deemed heat usage.
  • Tariff levels set to provide a better return for householders living off the gas grid.

The UK government has also confirmed that people who have installed equipment under RHPP 1 or 2 (which offers people up to £1250 towards the cost of installation) will be eligible for support through the RHI providing they meet the eligibility criteria of the full RHI scheme. In addition, the UK government are proposing that consumers who installed a renewable heat installation since 15 July 2009 will be eligible to apply for the domestic RHI.

This means that anyone installing these technologies now will be able to claim up to £1,250 towards the cost of installation and then receive the RHI payments next year for 20 years, AND they will be reducing their heating bill considerably.

Feed-in-Tariff frozen, but solar doing well

Early reports say that the Feed-in-tariff (FiT) will be frozen where it currently stands, at 15.44p/kWh for a domestic PV system under 4kW. Does this mean that the Government has achieved what it set out to do with the reductions: to stifle the growth?

solar panels in your neighbourhood

Well more and more homes are installing solar panels still, to a point where they are becoming common place in everybody’s neighbourhood. This is of course the ultimate form of advertising for solar as a whole. Already we are noticing a sharp increase in enquiries from people wanting to know just why their neighbours have these contraptions on their roof, which on hearing the benefits, they want them too.

The rate at which installations increased has slowed for the industry as the tariffs have reduced, but enquiry levels and installs are still considerable, no doubt helped by solar panels being physically in people’s field of vision, falling costs of installs, and promotions from select companies like the VAT scrappage scheme on solar panels.

Solar Panels are “contagious”

Keeping up with the Joneses used to mean getting a bigger car to match your neighbours’ or making sure your lawns are neat and tidy – but in the 21st century, it means going solar.

EPC - small changes

A recent study suggests solar  is “contagious” as people are more likely to install PV panels if their neighbours have.

This is most likely down to the fact that seeing panels on a neighbour’s house serves as a constant reminder that they’re enjoying big savings on their bills AND receiving regular tariff payments.

How long is the solar payback in your neighbourhood?

A new report published by The Guardian highlights the difference in the time it takes for solar panels in different regions to payback their investment. It’s no great surprise that southern cities get on average more hours of sunshine per year than the north, but Met Office statistics show that the difference is not actually that great.

Unsurprisingly, cities in the south came out tops, with Plymouth, Exeter and Truro named as the three cities with the highest return on investment for domestic solar panel installations. In Plymouth, it takes only 8.4 years for a domestic solar panel installation to pay for itself, compared with the national average of 9.5 years.

You will notice on the table to the right that all the northern regions show payback will be less than 10 years, and given that the term in which the FiT payments are guaranteed for is 20 years, you can see why solar is still such a popular investment.

To read the full article – click here.