What is Solar PV?
Solar Photovoltaics , or Solar PV for short, is a technology in which daylight is converted into electrical power. Solar PV takes advantage of energy from the sun to create electricity that will operate electrical appliances and lighting. Solar PV systems generate electricity from solar radiation and not just from direct sunlight this means that even on cloudy days they will produce energy, just at a reduced rate.
Solar PV installation with MCS accredited GD Electrical & Solar means you will benefit from:
- Generating income from the Feed-in-tariff for every kw hour your solar pv system produces, regardless of whether you use it in your home or export it back to the grid
- Receiving an additional income from the Export tariff at for every kw hour you export to the grid (based on a 50% estimated usage)
- Savings on your electricity costs by using the green energy that you produce in your own home
- Reducing your carbon footprint as your solar energy is green and doesn’t produce any CO2 or other harmful pollutants
- Add value to your home by improving it’s Energy Performance rating
See how much you could save! Take a look at our case studies and see how some of GD Electrical & Solar’s installations are performing so far!
The Solar Panels
Solar panels come in a variety of sizes and power outputs. Some are more efficient than others, for example a 3 kw system from one manufacturer may yield more energy despite the kw rating being the same. With this in mind, it is important to look at more than just the kw rating and the price being quoted. For example, the system maybe £2000 cheaper to install but the reduced yield could mean you are worse off on your financial return each year for the 25 year feed in tariff period. This may not be clearly demonstrated by the Estimated Performance calculation, which all installers are required to use, as it does not take into account panel efficiency. This calculation is a standard government approved method of providing customers with an estimate of the yield for a solar pv system but is based purely on size, location and orientation. Feedback from our Somerset clients is showing yields substantially higher than predicted. You can see how much if you take a look at our case studies page.
GD Electrical & Solar are accredited as REC Professionals and therefore often recommend their solar panels which are high yeilding, efficient panels. This is demonstrated by independent field tests carried out by Photon. We also often quote for Conery and Panasonic modules, however we are happy to quote and fit any MCS approved panel at a customers request. GD Electrical & Solar believe in giving our customers a range of options and information when quoting to allow them to make their own informed decisions on system choice taking into account efficiency, cost and financial return.
- Hybrid cells are currently exclusive to Panasonic due to their patent. These solar panels use a HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer) construction, where the solar cell comprises of a thin monocrystalline silicon wafer surrounded by ultra thin amorphous silicon layers. This makes them extremely efficient in converting light into energy, which means HIT can generate more power output per unit area then conventional silicon solar cells.
- Thin Film cells have mainly been used in commercial installations due to their low wattage per square meter compared to mono and polycrystalline. Although recently there has been massive improvements in output and are now nearly reaching output per square meter of the other technologies. The advantages which are unique to thin film are better performance in low light conditions, vastly improved performance in shaded and partially shaded conditions, low degredation and an initial increase in output after “the bedding in period”
- Monocrystalline cells are essentially a single precisely cut slice of silicon crystal. they must be kept completely rigid and therefore mounted in a solid frame for protection.
- Polycrystalline cells are sliced from a block of sandwiched silicon containing a large number of crystals.
This is a unit which converts the DC voltage from the panels to AC voltage. This unit is also an important safety device making sure that during any loss of power it will isolate the panels. This means that no one will receive an electric shock from your solar panels when working on the electrical systems either inside or outside your house. GD Electrical & Solar prefer to use inverters which are produced by Steca, SMA, Fronius and Power One. In most cases the inverter is mounted within the loft void.
The Mounting System
The mounting system is the bars, anchors and clamps which secures the system to your roof. GD Electrical & Solar use the best mounting system on the market made by the German manufacturer, Schueco. The products are engineered to a high standard, tested for wind loading and are recognised throughout the solar industry as being the best on the market. Our installers have received training from Schueco directly on the installation of their products.
You will be able to see how much your system has generated on the generation meter which is generally fitted near your distribution (fuse) board at the time of installation. However wireless desk top monitoring devices are also available on request to allow you to monitor more easily your systems generation. These units will show you the current level of generation of a system and record up to 7 days history. You can also save several years worth of data by transferring it to your pc. These units can be a useful addition to a Solar PV system as they enable you to make the most of the energy being produced. For example when the device shows you that generation has reached 2.5kw you may decide to switch on a heavy load appliance such as the washing machine.
For further independent advice on solar pv you can visit the Energy Saving Trust which is a government backed organisation. They are the uk’s leading impartial organisation helping people save energy and reduce carbon emissions.