Dispelling Solar Energy Myths

Despite the exponential rise in clean power such as solar energy, there are still many misconceptions surrounding the functionality, benefits and ___ of solar energy. Here are some examples:

Myth 1: Solar panels do not work in cloudy/overcast/rainy/snowy weather.

Any light which hits the panels is converted into energy, so as long as there is daylight available (which there is until the sun goes down) then solar panels can still function effectively and efficiently. Of course there is more energy generated on clear days with higher UV light exposure, but clear weather is certainly not a necessity to reap the benefits of this energy source.

Bonus info: You would be forgiven for assuming that the hot, sunny days are the best for solar energy – however – it is actually the cold, sunny days which ___ optimal functionality conditions because cold weather increases conductivity, ___ the efficiency of electrical flow.

Myth 2: Solar panels are high maintenance.

Some people assume that because solar panels are a ‘hi-tech’ product that there will be elevated levels of upkeep necessary to maintain their functionality. But, alas, all you need to do is keep them clean and free of obstacles which might block sunlight.

Solar panels only need cleaning once or twice a year to optimise efficiency and you can either employ a company to do this for you, purchase cleaning kits which can be found online, or invest in special solar panel coating which deflects dirt and helps protect the panels – resulting in pretty much non-existent maintenance.

In terms of keeping the panels free of obstacles, this can be done through simple observation, or you can invest in a monitoring system which keeps you updated on your panel’s functionality and alerts you to anything which is affecting their output for any reason.

Myth 3: Solar panels are harmful to your roof.

Not only are solar panels completely harmless to the existing roof when installed properly, they can also aid in maintaining the roof’s integrity by working as a barrier between the roof and the elements.

Myth 4: Solar panels are not cost-effective.

Solar panels require capital output at the beginning, but result in savings and, in time, pay for themselves: they are an investment. Compared to conventional energy prices, the Energy Savings Trust estimates around £85-£220 savings on your annual bill for a standard kilowatt peak system and on top of this there are government incentives which pay you for energy generation and for exporting unused energy back to the grid.