Producing solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in your own home provides electricity that would otherwise have been imported from the grid
Generating power from solar PV has been used for over fifty years and is a green sustainable energy technology.
In 90 minutes, enough sunlight strikes the earth to provide the entire planet’s energy needs for one year. The direct conversion of sunlight to electricity takes place without involving any moving parts. This results in lower operating costs and lower maintenance in comparison with other renewable energy sources. Furthermore, there are no environmental emissions during operation, a significant benefit of this green technology.
The amount of electricity produced depends on:-
- The efficiency of the solar panels.
- The overall size of the PV array.
- The direction in which the panels face.
- The angle at which the panels are mounted.
- The latitude of the location.
- The amount of shade that may cover the panels.
Future Generation Energy offers customers a choice of PV Photovoltaic Panels:-
- SOLARWATT panels made in Germany : These panels are particularly light and strong. They come with a 30 year product and service warranty, a testament to the confidence the manufacturers have in their product. SOLARWATT claim that the performance warranty on their glass-glass modules guarantees you 35% more performance than the market average over the entire warranty period. Some features of these glass-glass modules include:-
- Highest quality
- Top resistance
- Exceptionally reliable yield rates
- Extreme durability
- Optimal cell protection
These Solar PV panels made by Solarwatt are a glass-glass module. The outer glass layer prevents moisture and oxygen from penetrating the module surface, and are protected against salt-mist, ammonia and sand-storms. Along with giving the modules exceptional resistance against extreme environmental conditions, glass is also highly durable and long lasting. Solarwatt uses the thinnest glass on the front sides of the modules which facilitates a) more light penetrating and b) improved cooling. This makes for higher efficiencies, as solar cells supply more energy at lower temperatures. Ensuring a high-quality look for your property, Solarwatt comes in both Poly-block and mono-block designs, The black mono-block models are probably best suited to the domestic situation while the blue poly-block designs are favoured most in commercial properties.
A significant feature of this brand of PV system is its energy management facility, which can be adapted to individual user needs. Once it has been set up at your home, the system functions automatically and can be controlled at any time via a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer.
2. Trina Solar panels made by Rexel Energy Solutions: Trina Solar’s varying solar modules offer you a choice between different types of photovoltaic solar panel, including polycrystalline modules, monocrystalline modules and hybrid modules. Your choice of solar module may depend on budget, space and preference.
- Trina Solar 275w Monocrystalline – black frame, black backsheet
- Trina Solar 290w Monocrystalline – black frame, black backsheet
- Trina Solar 270w Polycrystalline – silver frame
Future Generation Energy has successfully installed many installations for satisfied customers. Our inhouse team have over a decade of experience in the design and planning of PV installations for both the domestic and commercial market. We install tier 1 products with the best guarantees and warranties on the market.
How do PV systems actually produce electricity?
Generation of electricity by the photovoltaic effect uses Solar Cells which comprise of specially coated wafers and a lattice of metallic conductive strips: when wafers (silicon disks) are exposed to the sun's radiation, electrons (energy particles) are set free and create electricity. A special blue or black coating applied to these wafers increases their energy yield. The electrical current is then conducted via the affixed metallic conductive strips for consumer consumption. Solar cells are arranged into strings, a number of which form a photovoltaic module. So essentially this module converts sunlight into electrical energy.
What happens to the electricity produced by the Solar PV system?
The system is set up so that electricity produced by the Solar PV system is used preferentially by household appliances. Additional electricity generated automatically heats the water in your immersion tank. If the household electricity requirements needs to be topped up, electricity is subsequently drawn from your usual household supplier.
Where is the best place to position the Solar PV panel(s)?
It is best to install the panels in the brightest sunniest part of your roof, where minimal shade is experienced - ideally as close to south-facing as possible. Panels should be at an angle of 30 degrees approximately. There is only a minimal reduction in the energy yield, if a variation in pitch or orientation is required or suits the property better. Shade is best avoided or kept to a minimum in order to maximise the energy yield.
How much maintenance is required on an ongoing basis?
Maintenance is minimal, and is carried out more in response to staining (and so shading) by variables such as bird droppings or leaves, rather than in response to any intrinsic part of the Solar PV mechanism. It is recommended to keep these as clean as possible. Advice on regular maintenance can be discussed at the installation.
Can I make use of electricity generated which is surplus to requirements?
Unfortunately the facility to feed excess into the national grid is not available yet in Ireland.
Does the Solar PV system comply with Part L of building regulations?
Yes. Solar PV is a totally green renewable energy source and contributes as part of your Part L compliance.
What happens in the event of a power cut?
If there is a power cut in your area, the inbuilt automatic response in the Solar PV system (essentially the PV Inverters) is to close down any supply being sent into your house or back down the supply lines. This response is immediate and is an essential safety feature of all PV systems.
Is the Solar PV system safe?
Yes. This system is as safe as all other domestic appliances in your home, once it is installed by a registered and competent installer, and all guidelines are followed.
Is planning permission required?
No. There is a planning exemption for panels up to a total area of 12 square meters. This is adequate for the majority of domestic situations.
Will installing a Solar PV system improve my Building Energy Rating (BER)?
Yes, this will improve your BER rating.
Are there any grants associated with installing this Solar PV system?
Our Solar PV system qualifies for the government HRI Scheme, where the VAT component (13.5%) is refunded to qualifying customers, through your Income Tax.