Table of Contents
Information accurate as of 6/11/2023
Solar energy is one of the most popular forms of renewable sources in the world and one that many countries are shifting to, the UK being no exception.
In recent years, the UK has made substantial changes in its policies and legislation to make way for a cleaner and greener environment for future generations to live in. It has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions, one of the key reasons for climate change, and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Solar energy has played a significant role in achieving these goals and is a key player in supporting sustainable energy generation. It has made the switch from fossil fuels much easier and continues to be a primary energy source for the residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and transportation sectors.
Although solar panels and battery storage technology have been in the market for quite some time, their growth is far from over. They are continuously evolving and getting better and more efficient and have a significant impact on the country’s energy generation and usage as well as a positive impact on the environment.
This continuous growth makes it all the more important to understand the trends and latest innovations in solar panels and battery storage technology in the UK. Read on to find out all about solar panels and battery storage technology and the trends to look out for:
Solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) panels that use the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Since their inception, they have undergone a massive transformation and are now their best and most efficient versions. The good news is that this isn’t where it ends. There’s still a long way to go and the solar panel industry is undergoing continuous growth and development.
Today, solar panels are not only more efficient than before but also more affordable and easily accessible than ever, making them a viable option for a broad range of applications for the global population.
Combined with battery storage technology, solar panel systems are a powerhouse of energy generation that allows the end user flexibility and savings and helps minimise their carbon footprint for a cleaner and greener environment.
Here are all the reasons they are so important and should be something to consider investing in right now or in the near future:
Compared to other energy sources, solar energy has the least negative impact on the environment and is a great option if you’re looking to switch to a cleaner and greener alternative.
Solar power generation doesn’t produce any greenhouse gasses and also does not use or pollute water. Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants that need an exorbitant amount of water for maintenance, solar energy requires very little, helping conserve water reserves in addition to minimising greenhouse emissions.
Another great thing about solar energy is that it is noiseless, unlike other forms of energy generation, making it an ideal solution for residential properties and urban areas.
Generating your electricity using solar panels means that you are less reliant on the grid and can save a lot on your energy bill.
Apart from reduced energy bills, you can also make money by exporting the excess energy generated by your solar panels to the grid for money. Grants such as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) allow you to make your solar panel investment even more beneficial by saving as well as earning through them.
When used with solar battery systems, you can produce even more energy and conserve it for later use. This way, you can be completely independent off the grid and be completely self-reliant when it comes to energy generation.
Energy demand is higher during certain hours of the day and naturally, it is also when the tariffs are at their highest. When relying on the grid to provide you with electricity, you have to pay a higher price for using electricity during those hours.
Luckily, those using solar panels for energy generation do not have to worry about these peak tariff times since solar panels happen to reach their maximum production capacity during peak hours, particularly from 11:00 to 16:00.
The good thing about solar panels is that deploying them is pretty straightforward since all they require is sunshine. This can be particularly beneficial for people living in remote areas and who do not have access to electricity from the grid.
Independent solar panel systems could be installed in such regions so that everyone can have access to clean and green energy. Also, since around 3 to 5% of energy is lost during transportation and distribution, with longer distances (such as properties in rural areas) losing even more, it is more efficient and beneficial to invest in solar panels and lose zero energy in the process.
Solar energy is a form of renewable energy that has gained immense popularity over the years as a means of achieving sustainable development. Its adoption in homes, businesses, and other sectors has helped minimise carbon emissions and make the world a better and cleaner place for current as well as future generations.
Solar power protects the world’s water reserves as it requires no water during energy generation and minimises the risk of oil spills which are a huge concern when transporting oil and gas via ships.
Another great benefit of using solar panels and battery storage technology is the number of jobs that they are creating. A huge part of the costs associated with solar panels is their installation which requires a specialised skilled force that understands how the system works and how to best deploy it. This contributes to local job creation and positively affects the economy as a whole.
Over the past few years, solar panels and battery storage technology have been improving tremendously and are making advancements every single day. Compared to the early years of solar power, these systems have become more accessible to everyone and their advancement and demand have significantly driven down their cost.
A common sight nowadays in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, solar panels have seen massive growth in the UK with more and more solar systems being installed with each passing day.
Today, solar panels are a reliable and sustainable energy source not just for big corporations and affluent homeowners but for homes and businesses of all sizes. A lot of this switch to solar energy has to do with the UK’s adoption of cleaner and greener energy sources and the public’s willingness to play their part in being responsible people.
Technological advancements and developments have made solar panel systems cheaper, flexible, and more efficient than their traditional counterparts and they continue to play a pivotal role in energy generation.
Although the growth and shift to solar energy have been massive, there is still a long way to go in terms of making the systems more efficient, reliable, and accessible.
Technological advancements and innovations improve an older, proven technology, increase the system’s efficiency, and improve material availability and lifespan while reducing the cost of manufacturing.
Here are some of the latest trends and innovations in solar panel and battery storage technology:
When it comes to innovations in solar panels and battery storage technology, the main focus stays on improving efficiency for residential as well as commercial solar energy systems.
For people investing in these systems, apart from the environmental benefits that they provide, a major draw is their potential to lower their energy bills, both of which depend heavily on the efficiency of the system.
The efficiency levels of a solar power system can depend on the type of panels and batteries that you install. Other factors include the temperature, solar irradiance level, cell type, and cell interconnections.
The good news is that newer and more efficient solar panels are being released in the market that not only have a higher efficiency but also require less area for installation, making them ideal for smaller rooftops.
These panels use highly pure N-type cells that have a lower degradation rate and the ability to function at a higher rate even after 25 years of use. The higher rate of power generation gives them a higher and quicker return on investment (ROI) and you are able to pay back the upfront costs of the material and installation much earlier than expected.
In addition to this, an Oxford-based tech firm is working on a new technology that can raise efficiency even further. It involves coating the panels with a thin layer of special crystal called perovskite that has shown great potential in increasing performance and lowering the cost of solar cell production.
Compared to standard solar panels, thin-film panels have been less efficient. However, with new developments, this is changing resulting in thin-film solar panels that are more efficient, more flexible, and less expensive.
In the past, the most common material for thin-film solar panels was amorphous silicon, but now, it has been replaced with materials like Cadmium Telluride, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide, and Gallium Arsenide for higher efficiency rates.
This shift has resulted not only in more efficient thin-film panels but also ones that can be used over any structural shape. They can be folded and even rolled, making them suitable for a range of applications and the material is also long-lasting and responds well to temperature changes.
What’s great about these cells is that they work great in low-light conditions as well. They are easy to install, are a great solution for the residential, commercial, and transportation industry, and their manufacturing results in much lower levels of emissions compared to other variants.
Structural integration of photovoltaics (PVs) is a popular concept in solar energy that is gaining popularity all over the world. What this technology does is that other than harnessing the sun’s light and heat for energy generation, it also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the building.
Instead of being mounted on the rooftops, these glass panels, also called Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), are a part of the architecture of the building and help save up on construction material, reduce electricity costs, reduce emissions, and reduce maintenance costs.
Made using transparent photovoltaic cells, the PV glass is sandwiched between two toughened glass layers, and the transparency of the glass can also be adjusted according to the lighting conditions. Some special types of organic polymer PV glass can also operate in low-light conditions.
The inability of the solar panels to generate energy at night time is considered a major drawback. However, with the latest innovations and developments in solar technology, you can generate solar energy during the night time as well!
The development of anti-solar panels has allowed solar energy to be harnessed during the night as well. Specially designed to capture infrared radiation, aka the heat that is radiated from the earth, these special panels allow clean solar-powered energy to be generated after sundown as well.
Compared to day-time energy generation, the figures are much lower; however, they are enough to improve any traditional solar system’s overall capacity and power generation. Besides, the efficiency is expected to increase in the coming years as the technology continues to develop.
Solar panels being able to generate electricity during the night makes them more reliable and a more practical and viable option for many industries and applications. Once this technology becomes more common and widespread, it will have a significant impact on the future of solar power and energy generation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into every industry and the solar energy industry is no different. Solar systems integrated with AI algorithms are more efficient and adaptive to specific needs and requirements.
With AI integration, particularly in solar battery storage technology, users can benefit from intelligent energy management that analyses data from various sources to optimise both storage and consumption.
AI-powered solar batteries can use past energy usage trends to predict future consumption patterns. Factors such as weather conditions, time of day, and the number of users can all be used to optimise energy use and result in reduced electricity bills and a higher efficiency rate.
AI can integrate seamlessly with your solar panels to analyse real-time solar production and automatically adjust the solar battery’s charging and discharging cycles to maximise energy production and utilisation. This minimises reliance on the grid and enables users to make the most of their solar panels and battery storage systems.
Another great benefit of AI-integrated solar batteries is that they can dynamically interact with the grid and determine when to draw energy from it based on real-time monitoring and predictive analysis. It also enables them to determine when to sell excess energy back to the grid and when to charge or discharge to support the grid’s operations.
Calder Electrical Services provides a wide range of solutions to help you play your part in making the world a more sustainable place.
If you wish to have solar panels installed on your residential or commercial property, our experts can conduct a site visit to determine your requirements and propose the best location to install them.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our experts right away!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001