Solar Electricity (PV)

Solar PVSolar Electricity (PV)

The use of residential solar-electric systems began decades ago in rural locations where utility electricity was not available. While the number of off-grid PV systems continues to grow, grid-tied PV systems are an increasingly popular urban and suburban option for generating clean, sustainable electricity. Not to be confused with solar heating (which uses the sun’s heat to warm air or water), PV modules use photons in sunlight to excite electrons and generate electricity. PV’s have no moving parts, are virtually indestructible, and typically carry a 25-year warranty

You’ll face a major choice when planning a grid-tied PV system (and increasingly with wind and micro hydro systems)—will you have batteries or not? If your primary motivation is environmental, a battery less grid-tied system is probably the best choice. Battery less systems are simple, economical, maintenance free, and highly efficient. If your home experiences frequent or extended utility outages that are an inconvenience to you and your family, then you may want to consider a system with battery backup.

Photovoltaic Panels are a type of solar panel that converts the suns energy into electricity. The amount of electricity produced depends on the amount of light the cells of the panel are exposed to. Normal daylight (rather than direct daylight) is sufficient.

When light hits the cells of the solar panel an electrical current is generated in the form of direct current (DC). This form of electricity is normally stored in batteries and most portable electrical equipment run from DC power.

Home appliances connect to the mains and that is alternating current (AC). For the solar panel to provide this the current is passed through an inverter. From the inverter the power can then be passed through the fuse box for supply into the building.

If there is less power demands than the energy provided by the solar panel the surplus power from the solar panel can be sent via an export meter to the power company.

Cost Savings and Benefits

  • It is estimated that your electricity costs could be cut by as much as 60%.
    This is dependant on your energy consumption and the size of system you install.
  • You could improve your property through improved energy performance recognised by the new “Home Information Pack”.
  • You could reduce your impact on the environment.
  • You could take advantage of power companies buy back schemes to make extra money from the electricity your solar panels produce.
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