Photovoltaics - Solar PV Panels

Solar Photovoltaic Panels (PV) use small semi-conductor cells to convert solar radiation into Direct Current (DC) electricity, this is then converted into Alternating Current (AC) electricity via a transformer (inverter). This “free” power from the Sun can be used around the home or business in place of electricity purchased from a utility company.

solar pvClearly there is an immediate benefit from using solar generated electricity – you will need to buy less from a utility company and therefore your energy bills will reduce. The longer term benefit is that you contribute to a lower Carbon emission for the UK.

Not only that, but as an added bonus via the Feed in Tariff system (FIT’s) for renewable energy, you can also earn a long term income for up to 20 years which for domestic installations can be free of UK Tax.

The Tariff income is paid by the utility company direct to the installation owner and is based on reading the meter which was installed at outset with the panels. In effect you are paid to use the power you generate, plus any surplus power that you do not use gets exported to the National Grid (for which the installation owner receives an extra payment). The Tariff is linked to the amount of Kilowatt hours that the registered installation generates.

Features & Options

FITS EXAMPLE

Income from Tariff Over 20 years = £12,000 +

  • Reduce electricity Bills
  • Income From the UK Feed In Tariff
  • Income From the Export Tariff
  • Virtually No Maintenance
  • Install without Planning Permission*
  • Easily Fitted Without Disruption

In general, domestic installations for Solar PV panels are fitted to the roof of a property, but if you have space suited at ground level this can be utilised also – many commercial installations make use of ground mounted panels.

Southern facing is the recommended orientation for the direction of the panels, however they will operate East or West but slightly less efficiently. Installations facing over 55 degrees away from South or face a Northerly direction are not recommended.

Power Outputs & Configuration

solar panels 3

Solar Panels Mounted on a Flat Roof

There are many layout options when it comes to fitting the panels as they are manufactured in differing power outputs – this is measured in kWp (kilowatt peak output).

  • an array producing 4.0 kWp would need 16 x 250kwp solar panels installed

There are some design elements to bear in mind for a roof mounted installation, and therefore it is not always possible to use the whole roof area – and using a Thatched roof is not possible.

Notes about Installers & Contractors

Any renewable energy home improvement needs to be installed by a professional company certified by The Microgeneration Certification Scheme or MCS for two important reasons

  1. the company is vetted independently for competence
  2. you will not be eligible for FIT's if the system is installed by a NON MCS contractor

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Reduce Bills, Tax free Income, Enviromentaly Friendly