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Way over your head

 
You don't have to look far to see how the Science Museum is trying to save energy' If you're reading this at the Museum, then the answer is right above your head!

We have installed a new roof on the building. This roof is special. Rather than using roofing tiles, the new roof is covered by 270 square metres of solar panels - roughly the area of three tennis courts. These panels use energy from the Sun to make electricity. We use this electricity to provide some of the heat and light for the Museum's galleries.

The solar panels themselves are made from layers of special silicon materials similar to those used in computer chips. As the sunlight falls on the material it becomes 'excited', causing electrons to jump off and form an electrical current.

Lots of energy was used to make the panels and they didn't come cheap - but now that they're in place we can generate electricity without using up valuable energy supplies or contributing to climate change. Overall our solar panels are good news for the environment.


What is "Electricity"?
 
What is "Solar panel"?
 
What is "Sun"?
 
Fascinating fact
Fascinating fact

Silicon crystals
Silicon crystals

Solar panel roof
Solar panel roof

Solar power
Watch: Solar power