Making the most of your solar panels
Having solar panels won’t just reduce your carbon footprint – they could help to reduce your electricity bills too.
If you rethink the way you’re using the electricity produced by your solar panels, you could see a significant reduction in your electricity bills to the Electricity Distribution Companies.
PS: carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide or other carbon compounds emitted into the atmosphere by the activities of an individual, company, country, etc.
The savings you’ll make depends on a number of factors including the size of your solar panel system, your electricity usage, and your lifestyle (whether you’re at home during the day to use the energy your solar panels are producing).
Here you’ll find some information and advice on how to adapt your
electricity usage to make the most out of your solar panels – to help you use more of the electricity you’re generating yourself and reduce dependence on the Electricity companies
How do solar panels work?
Solar photovoltaic (or PV) panels convert energy from sunlight into electricity. This electricity is then fed into your home for you to use.
How to use the energy generated by my solar panels efficiently
The average Cloud Energy Solar Solution is 2.4kW (2,400W). At midday on a sunny day, your solar panels could generate up to 2,400W.
However, on a cloudy day, they may only generate around 200W. This means that you need to be careful about what appliances you’re using, how much of the electricity being used has been generated by your solar panels.
Let's assume that your solar panels are generating a steady 1,500W of electricity. Of this, 150W will be used by the fridge, and 250W by the freezer.
This leaves 1,100W for other appliances. So you could use the microwave and your laptop, and still have 200W of solar energy left to use.
What’s an inverter, and how do I use it?
All solar panels come with something called an inverter
. An inverter shows you how much electricity is being generated by your solar panels at that particular moment in time. It also converts the electricity which has been generated into the same form used by your appliances.
This makes it easy to see exactly how much electricity your solar panels are producing for you to use in your home at any point.
If you know how much electricity your appliances use, you can use your inverter to choose what appliances to run in order to make the most of the lower rate of electricity. It may even be worth having a list of the power ratings of your appliances next to your inverter display, to help you decide quickly which appliances to use.
A side note – the inverter will tell you how much electricity is being generated at that specific moment, but this can change very rapidly depending on the weather conditions.
Top Tips to help you make the most of your solar panels
Here are our top tips to help you make the most of your solar panels;
• Alternate the usage of your appliances, especially high energy-consuming appliances - this will help you to save electricity for longer time
• Set timers for your appliances (if possible) to come on at peak times – on average, your solar panels will be at their most productive between 10am and 4pm
• Charge any electrical items during the day – such as phones, laptops, rechargeable batteries,etc
• Upgrade older appliances to newer, more efficient ones (and more eco-friendly)
• Make sure that any trees or plants over-hanging your solar panels are pruned back so that your solar panels can absorb as much sunlight as possible
• During the day, use your microwave where you can to prepare food instead of using your gas cooker
• Save up your washing for sunny days – your solar panels will be generating plenty of electricity to power your washing machine (if you are using one).
By following this advice, you should be able to make the most of the electricity produced by your solar panels, and even see a reduction in your electricity bills!