For most, the thought of going green is something which is being readily embraced. Across the UK, numerous counties and regions are adopting energy efficient practices in order to make sure that they are doing their bit for the environment and naturally people want to be part of this movement.
Areas, such as Cambridge, are positioning themselves clearly on the national map of energy efficiency with stories relating to one woman’s decision to use solar panels to power her shower a clear testament of the way in which UK energy generation is moving forward.
Whilst the thought of using solar energy to power appliances such as showers and washing machines is a great idea in theory, some thought must be given to the practical restrictions which might be in place. Ultimately, solar power relies on sufficient sunlight cover to be successful – so how much sunshine would it take to power a washing machine?
Of course, the answer to this question is far from definitive. For a start there are too many extenuating circumstances which can apply to this situation for there to ever be a flat response. The energy efficiency and consumption demands of the individual appliance, the type and number of solar panels which are fitted and the climate of the local area at the time will all influence the end result.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that the thought of solar power should be abandoned. Already there are estimates that solar power is responsible for 20% of annual energy use, meaning that there are plenty of success stories (such as the Cambridge woman mentioned above) to use as examples.
Essentially, what people need to remember is that the driving force of solar power is sunlight – but this doesn’t necessarily mean heat. So long as sunlight is able to hit the photovoltaic cells which are held in solar panels, energy can be harvested and used to power washing machines and other appliances. This means that weather conditions such as rain have less influence on solar energy than some might have thought – although the more intense the sunlight the more effective the harvesting.
Ultimately, anyone thinking of adopting solar panels in their home will need to ensure that they take necessary measures to make the most of this renewable energy source. True energy efficiency can only be achieved as the result of dedicated change and this means adapting the way in which we use energy as much as sourcing it from elsewhere.
Tips such as changing to more energy efficient washing machines and appliances, only using such appliances when necessary and adjusting the spin cycle, temperature and wash programme can all help to reduce consumption levels. Ultimately, this will mean that the amount of energy needed from solar panels is reduced, providing plenty of environmental and financial benefits for the user.