Solar Photovoltaic or Solar PV
What is Solar PV?
Solar PV systems convert light into electricity; this can be used to run household appliances and lighting. Many people have the misconception that solar photovoltaic panels will not work sufficiently in the UK as we don’t get enough sun; this isn’t true. In fact the UK, especially the South West receives 60% of the solar energy that the equator receives. Also photovoltaic cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – you can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day.
How does Solar PV work?
Photovoltaic solar panels can be attached to a roof, to walls, or fixed to a mounting system in a field or plot of land. Photovoltaic cells contain silicon, a material that can convert light energy into electricity (as opposed to heat). The brighter the light, the more electricity is produced. The electricity is then carried through DC (direct current) cables to an inverter, where it is converted into AC (alternating current) power to make it suitable for consumer use. This electricity can then be used to power our homes, farms, and businesses.
In order to tell if photovoltaic electricity is suitable for your premises, you must ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have a sunny place to put the photo-voltaic panels? – You will need a roof, wall or plot of land that faces within 90 degrees of south, and isn’t overshadowed by trees or buildings. If the surface is in shadow for parts of the day, your photo-voltaic system will generate less energy.
- Is my roof strong enough? – Solar photo-voltaic panels are fairly light; most of the panels we offer weigh only 16.5kg. The majority of domestic household roofs are strong enough to take their weight. But we can check this and offer you more advice during your site survey.
- Do I need planning permission? – In England, you don’t need planning permission for most domestic solar photovoltaic electricity systems, as long as they are below a certain size. But check with your local planning officer if your property:
• Is a listed building
• Is in a conservation area, and can be seen from the road
• Is a commercial building
The benefits of solar photo-voltaic electricity systems include:
- Reducing your carbon footprint – solar electricity is green and renewable, and it doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) or other pollutants. A 4kW system can save almost 2 tonnes of CO2 per year, equal to approximately 50 tonnes over it’s lifetime.
- Reducing you electricity bills – sunlight is free! Once you have paid for the initial installation your electricity costs can be significantly reduced. A 4kW photovoltaic system can produce approximately 30% of the electricity a domestic household uses or more, dependant on daytime electricity use.
- Making money from the energy you produce – most electricity suppliers will pay for power fed into the Grid (feed-in) from domestic solar photovoltaic systems. The easiest way to do this is by signing up to a Buy Back or Feed in Tariff scheme with your power supplier. You are paid for all of the electricity that your solar PV system generates even if you consume it in your home. You are also paid for the electricity that is exported back to the Grid.
- Increase the value of your property – the Energy Saving Trust states that having a solar Photovoltaic electricity system installed on your property can increase the value of your property.
Solar PV systems are currently eligible for the feed in tariff
, which is paid through your electricity supplier and can benefit you in the following ways:
- Generation Tariff - You get paid for every unit of electricity your system produces.
- Export Tariff - You get paid an additional amount for any unused electricity which is generated by your panels and fed back into the National Grid.
- Lower Bills - You make savings on your electricity bills as you use the free electricity generated by your panels.
- Payments are guaranteed for the lifetime of the Feed-in Tariff, are index-linked so that they increase with inflation every year and are tax-free for individuals. The tariff rate that applies at the time your system becomes eligible is the rate that applies for the Feed-in Tariff lifetime, so you are guaranteed continuous benefits for the duration of the Feed-in tariff.
Why buy a Solar PV System from Eco-Exmoor Ltd?
- As Accredited Solar PV installers in Somerset, Eco-Exmoor Ltd use well designed, high quality Solar PV systems
- All our systems are carefully selected and specified to be correctly rated for your particular property and lifestyle, so you gain the maximum benefit from your investment.
- Eco-Exmoor Ltd will advise you on the potential output and savings of a Solar PV system, based on your unique circumstances.
- Eco-Exmoor Ltd have been designing and installing high quality Renewable Energy technologies for over a decade
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