Solar PV is shorthand for Solar Photovoltaic which basically means solar electric panels. They work by capturing the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
The average domestic system running on single phase electricity is 4kw peak and this is usually made up of 14 x 285 Watt Modules, which come in all black or blue with a silver frame to suit the roof type. The direct current (DC) produced by the PV Cells are converted into alternating current (AC) which is what a house operates on.
The lifetime of an inverter is typically 10 to 12 years. The PV panels can be mounted on a south facing roof or on a stand alone ground mount frame. Having them directly facing South and resting at an angle of 39 Degrees will guarantee optimum performance. A typical 4kw system will generate approximately 3300 kwh per annum in Northern Ireland and 2950 kwh per annum in Central Scotland.
As well as generating energy to be used in the home, there are government incentive tariff payments that are paid out over a 20 year period and your electricity provider will also pay for electricity that is exported back to the grid.
At Daly we believe in the long term value of Solar PV Systems, and it will be more common in years to come to see people choosing to go “off-grid” where they generate their own electrical and heating energy, using a combination of wind, PV, solar thermal systems and heat pumps.
Our Ecoforest Ground Source Heat Pump now comes equipped with a controller to match the output of the PV array to the electrical load to run the heat pump. As it has an inverter compressor, it has the ability to vary it’s output depending on the power available from the sun. For example if the PV is running at 1.5kw, it
will be able to limit the heat pump to run at a lower RPM so that the heat pump never has to draw energy from the electricity network. Lithium Ion Batteries will have an important role to play in the energy mix, and will drop in price in the next couple of years, making them a viable solution to storing energy to be used at off peak times. Other factors to consider are human behaviour which would have to be altered to get the most of such a system. and it is imperative to have an electrical engineer design the system, taking into account average daily loads in kwh hours, peak hourly loads and how to integrate the renewable sources with the heating, lighting, domestic appliances and back-up generator if applicable. At Daly we have a wealth of experience in retrofitting heat pumps into existing properties and this market is a natural progression for us as we have an electrical engineer in house to work on designing, installing and most importantly commissioning/ tweaking this type of system.
With the dawn of electric cars on the horizon, the natural tie in with Solar PV Systems will mean that Solar PV arrays are here to stay.
Contact us for more information on Solar PV.
Solar PV is not suitable for every situation and it can relatively expensive to install. We will advise you on the suitability of your situation on our on-site audit, and provide you with sound running and return on investment figures so you can make an informed decision.