Solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) technology converts sunlight directly into electricity. This generated electricity can power your business, home or outbuildings.
If every roof in the UK were covered in Solar Panels, we could exceed the whole nation’s energy demand.
Why install a PV system?
There are many reasons to install a PV system:
- Under the “Feed in Tariffs” scheme the Government will GUARANTEE to pay you a premium amount for the electricity you generate – whether you use it or not!
- An average PV system of 3kWp could produce as much as £384 in “income” from the Feed in Tariffs and a further £245 in savings from free electricity*
- It is the most practical cost effective option for producing carbon-free electricity
- Can easily integrated into the fabric of a building
- Electricity can be supplied at the point of use
- The system will run silently
- Requires minimal maintenance or running costs can last over 30 years
- PV systems are modular, and can be added to at any time
- Produces no carbon emissions or pollution
- Can increase the value of your property
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What is Solar PV?
The process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage) is called the solar photovoltaic (PV) effect. Photovoltaic solar power cells convert sunlight directly into solar power (electricity).
These solar power cells are commonly used to power everything from calculators, watches and battery chargers to road signs and security alarms.
PV solar power cells are made of semi-conducting materials similar to those used in computer chips. When sunlight is absorbed by these materials, solar energy releases energy from their atoms allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce solar power (electricity).
It works during daylight hours – more electricity is produced when the sunshine is more intense and when it is striking the PV modules directly. However, the cells do not need to be in direct sunlight to work, so even on overcast days a PV cell will be generating some electricity.
Remember – you do NOT need planning permission to install Solar PV.Unless your property is in a conservation area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or is a listed building.
How big a Solar PV system will I need?
The amount of solar electricity produced will depend upon the type of solar panel technology used, the size of available roof space, pitch of the roof, orientation, shading and budget. A typical domestic system of 3kW in the UK would produce around a half of the annual demand of an average family household. However, calculating the system size depends on many factors, for example whether the system is grid connected, energy demand of the household etc.
Stand alone or grid connected?
Each system has its own advantages; stand-alone systems are particularly useful for remote locations, whether this is a shed at the bottom of the garden or an isolated dwelling. You are independent from the National Grid and can store the electricity for when it is needed in a battery bank. Most PV systems in Europe are connected to the National Grid; see Feed in Tariffs for more information
*Assumes Feed in Tariffs of £0.1388 per kWh and electricity cost of £0.15 per kWh; with half of the electricity used
Important Information to Protect Your Home
When making any change to your home it is always important to ensure that you and your property are fully protected, when you install solar PV this is no different. Eco2Solar would like to take this opportunity to remind you of two important steps which you should undertake to make sure that you are protected.
1. Please remember to contact your insurance provider, following your installation, to add the system onto your current policy. This will cover you in the unlikely event that something goes wrong with the system.
2. Please remember to inform your local fire department that your building has been fitted with solar modules. Often, fire fighters only learn that the building is equipped with a solar system when they arrive on the scene, which will make safely distinguishing the fire more complicated. In the event of a fire occurring in a solar powered home, information can lessen the risk to fire fighters and allow them to do their job without being impeded.
Thank you for reading this important piece of information, we hope that if you have a solar PV system you have already taken these necessary steps to protect yourself and your property. If you have any queries, or require assistance with these steps, please do not hesitate to contact the Eco2Solar office on 01562 977 977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.