We’re using this solar panel to pump water around a water wheel in our Back to Nature education area.
A solar panel is covered in millions of solar cells, all protected by a glass front. These transform daylight into electricity. This powers the water pump.
Hang on, did you say daylight?
Yes, solar panels don’t need bright sunshine. Daylight will do but direct sun does increase the amount of power they produce.
What happens when it gets dark?
Power made during the day can be stored in a battery. So the electricity can be used at any time – to power lights and radios for instance.
Is this all we use solar energy for?
No. It’s used imaginatively in an interactive soundbox in our Ice House and School Alloteemnt areas. We’ve also got a few more ambitious plans in the pipeline which we’ll tell you about later in the year – one of these involves generating 4 kilowatts from solar pv panels placed on the roof of our Biomass building.
Do you want to use solar power in your home, school, college or work?
There are a large amount of companies who supply small scale solar energy products. we can’t advise on these but we do suggest you have a look at what the Carbon Trust say about solar energy.