Solar Energy in the Winemaking Industry – How to Start a Solar Energy Project

One of the great things about living in the UK is that we get to celebrate the beauty of natural light and the many amazing ways it can be used. Our national drink, tea, is a great example of how we have embraced solar power and used it to make the most of natural light during the day, with lots of stores opening up special offers on full-strength tea at certain times of day. The list of industries that can take advantage of the sun is endless, from keeping the cafe afloat during the day to sterilising fruit juices in small batch batches for the restaurant trade. With peak days of sunshine coming earlier and staying later than expected, there are plenty of opportunities for the amateur solariexperience seeker to get out there and shine.

Why Use Solar Energy in the Winemaking Industry?

Winemaking is a hugely labour intensive process and using modern equipment and automated processes, larger producers can get the same quality of grapes as smaller vineyards and avoid wasting as much time as possible. This naturally results in lower costs for the end customer which is always a bonus. Reducing your environmental impact by using less energy and less water is also a major consideration for every business, large or small, in the industry especially as we have seen prices rise alongside continued climate concerns.

With more and more businesses realising the benefits of going green and minimising their impact on the environment, there are now opportunities for smaller vineyards to get in on the act too, not only reducing their own carbon footprint but also allowing them to sell more bottles of wine.

The Downsides of Using Solar Energy

The great thing about solar energy is that it is free. This is also its biggest downside. The energy that you receive from the sun depends on various factors such as the time of day and weather conditions so you will never know exactly how much power you are going to receive. As a result, you will either have to buy expensive storage systems to be on the safe side or alternatively buy additional energy when you need it. The other downside to solar energy is that you need a large roof space to put up the solar panels. This means that in order to fully implement this form of energy generation you will either have to spend money on rent or buy a property with a big garden.

If you have decided that you would like to go down the solar energy route and start creating your own mini power station, the next step is to decide on what equipment you will need for the process. The first purchase you will make is a photovoltaic cell or solar panel. This is the part that actually converts the light energy from the sun into electricity. As a rough rule of thumb, make sure you get one that is at least 1 kilowatt and that can handle the capacity of your expected usage. Remember, the more electricity you generate, the more you will be charged per unit by your energy company. In general, solar panels generate somewhere between 12 to 24 watts so if you have a small commercial property with an expected usage of about 10 kilowatts, you should get a 12-24 watt solar panel.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels?

The price of a solar panel will vary depending on the size and brand but as a rough guide, you can expect to pay well under £500 for a 12 watt model that fits on your roof. This is a great price for a renewable energy source that you can rely on for the long-term.

Additional Equipment You Will Need To Install Solar Panels

In addition to the solar panels themselves, you will need a battery bank to store the electricity that they produce. The charge of these devices is built up as you generate more electricity than you need so they are always ready to go when you need them. Remember, it is better to have too much capacity and be able to store energy than to have too few and be without it when you need it most.

For the best results, you need to get a battery bank that is at least 12 volts. This means that if you are connecting several solar panels together, you will need a 12-volt battery to power them all. Of course, there are various sizes available so make sure you get one that can hold at least the capacity of your expected usage. In general, you can expect to spend about £500 on additional equipment and this is likely to be a one-time investment that will pay back many times over in saved energy costs.

The Advantages Of Solar Energy Over Other Forms

The beauty of solar energy is that it is clean and green. It doesn’t produce any harmful emissions so it is better for the environment in many ways. The fact that it is clean and green makes it a great choice for farmers, hoteliers and other organisations that are looking to minimise their environmental impact.

Solar panels have the advantage of being modular. This means that they can be expanded or decreased in size depending on how much electricity you generate. In addition, they can be moved to different locations, as and when necessary. If you have a large property or farm, you can increase the capacity of your solar power station by simply connecting multiple panels together.

Additional Benefits Of Going Green

One of the major benefits of going green is that you are saving money. This is because most electricity suppliers charge more at night so you are effectively cutting your costs in the long run by generating your own electricity during the day. In addition, you are doing your bit to reduce climate change. If you have a large number of solar panels on your roof, you are effectively trapping the sun’s energy which is preventing a significant amount of CO2 emissions.

If you have decided that you would like to reduce your environmental footprint and live a more eco-friendly life, then going green with solar energy is a great option. Not only will you be able to create your own power station but you will also be able to reduce your carbon footprint considerably. In addition, you will have a clean, green and reliable power supply which is great for equipment that is sensitive to electricity spikes and fluctuations.

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