SOLAR PV IN 400 WORDS
THE QUICK GUIDE TO A PV SYSTEM
There is a huge amount of information online about pv solar panel systems.
Some of it good, some of it bad. On our "How To Research Your System" page we list what we think are the best sites for unbiased and detailed information.
We recommend you visit these sites prior to meeting with a pv solar company.
We highly recommend you visit the Reneable Energy Consumer Code website on:
The REA was established in 2001, as a not-for-profit trade association, representing British renewable energy producers and promoting the use of renewable energy in the UK. Its members, of which we are one, agree to operate by a strict Code of Conduct designed to ensure you the customer have a good professional and no pressurised experience.
You can download a copy of their Code of Conduct from our "How To Research Your PV System" page.
Meantime here is our two minute Guide To PV Solar and the Feed In Tariff. Its been written to give you a simple and quick overview.
ELEMENTS AND FACTORS
The six main elements of a PV system are:
- The Roof Mounting System
- The Panels
- The Inverter
- The Generation Meter
- The Cabling
- The AC & DC Isolator Switches
And the six main factors that affect the amount of electricity it produces are
- The power the panels can generate
- The efficiency of the inverter
- The direction the roof faces
- The angle of the roof
- The part of the country it is situated in
- The amount of shading that may hit the panels
HOW IT WORKS
- PV Panels are very simple structures. In essence they are simply two sheets of silicon and a junction box protected by an aluminum frame and toughened safety glass.
- The photons in the daylight hit the silicon which vibrate causing a current. The brighter the day the more photons that are in the air.
- This current then passes along cabling to the inverter where it is converted from DC to AC.
- It then passes along more cabling through a Generation Meter where it is logged.
- The current then flows through the house looking for anything needing electricity.
- Once its done that the surplus leaves the house and flows into the Grid where it is used to feed other houses.
- Your Energy Company pays you an agreed amount for an agreed period for every kilowatt your system produces plus an allowance for every kilowatt you export.
- The more you use of your own electricity instead of taking it from the grid the less your bill will be.
BITS AND PIECES
Very little. A good hosing per season is usually enough. The glass on most panels has a self-cleaning chemical imbedded which reacts with water to help remove dirt.
Panels are solid state. i.e They have no working parts so are expected to work for at least 40 years.
Inverter efficiency can reduce significantly after about 15 years.
Two main types. Monocrystaline and Multicrystaline.
Monocrystaline are more efficient but multicrystaline tend to have a higher yield.
The efficiency of a panel is the amount of photons hitting the surface that are turned into electricity.
The yield of a panel is the amount of electricity it actually generates over a tester period.
In our opinion go for the higher yielding panel every time.