We see them everywhere, on houses, barns, commercial and industrial buildings, even in fields sometimes. But how much do we actually know about them, and how they work? If you haven’t guessed what I am talking about yet, its solar panels or otherwise know as PV systems (Photovoltaic).
Did you know that not only do they save you money but they actually generate income as well! A lot of people believe that they are for tree hugging environmentalists and are a waste of money. But thats because they don’t understand how they work and even how much they cost.
A few years ago we saw a boom in the PV market as the government was offering record funds on the feed in tariff (FITS). This was over 40p/pKwh on a domestic premises. Unfortunately it didn’t last long as they met their targets much sooner than they thought, as everyone was jumping on the band wagon to cash in.
There is still a FITS, however its a lot lower now, but this should not deter anyone from installing a PV system. Prices of the Solar panels and inverters have decreased in price, meaning you can still achieve a decent return on your investment.
You hear people saying “the sun never shines in the UK so why bother”, well yes unfortunately we don’t have sunshine 365 days of the year but the good news is that the PV system does not require full sunshine to operate. The solar panels rely on the suns irradiance to work. this can still be achieved on a cloudy day, it wont be as efficient but it will still generate.
When the PV system has been installed and commissioned, it will start to produce energy. This energy will flow through a meter similar to the one in your premises. The units will be recorded and this will be your FITS. The energy will flow back to your consumer unit, this is where you need to be smart and try use high energy appliances during the day so you are using the FREE energy you are creating before it goes back on the grid. You will therefore be maximising your return on investment and reducing your energy bills.
There is more to PV than we think and with energy prices increasing constantly, a Solar PV system is a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.