The Green Series: The Future Of Solar Panels (Part II)
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In our second instalment of the Green Series’ look at solar
panels, we’re going to be considering how they can be made more
cost effective. Currently, solar panels in the UK are thought
to cost £5940 for the average
household. This price is determined by the amount of electricity
needed by the household, which in turn determines how much roof
space is needed for the solar panels. The cost reduces for smaller
households, but a single adult may find a solar panel
cost of £1562 to still be prohibitively
Solar panel costs have reduced over time, as the solar panels
themselves become more efficient. However, initial installation
costs can also be a significant barrier to wider solar panel usage.
Here are some inventions intended to reduce solar panel
US2005217716A1 discloses a solar panel with a mounting rack
comprising an integral weight. In older systems, a separate weight
is needed to avoid the solar panel being moved by wind. This is
done by drilling a hole into the roof. By having the weight be
integral to the mounting rack, the number of components needed to
install the solar panel is reduced and the solar panel can be
installed by simply placing it on a flat roof rather than drilling
into the roof.
US2012024350A1 discloses a solar panel designed to be more
efficient to package and transport. The solar panel comprises a
photovoltaic panel and a plurality of module mounting frame
segments, wherein the photovoltaic panel is held in place on a
rooftop by the frame once installed. The frame segments and
photovoltaic module are designed to stack as efficiently as
possible, improving space efficiency when packing and transporting
and hence reducing the packing and transporting costs of the
WO2017168277A1 discloses a roof panel with integrated solar
modules. By having the solar panels integrated with the roof tiles,
an additional installation stage for the panels is not needed.
There is also no need for additional components to attach and
anchor the solar panels to the roof. However, the tiles themselves
may be more expensive than traditional roof tiles.
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