Purdy Contracts Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Systems

Purdy Contracts Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Systems
Purdy Contracts Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Systems

Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Microgeneration Systems - FAQ's


What are Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Microgeneration Systems?

Solar panel electricity systems, also known as Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Systems, capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work - they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.

How do Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels work?

PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced.  Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof.

The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof, but you can also fit solar tiles.

What are the benefits of Photovoltaic Solar Systems?

✔ The energy produced from the system is clean, green and completely free.

✔ PV Solar Systems significantly reduce energy bills 
✔ PV Solar Systems offer protection against any future energy price increases
✔ PV Solar Systems enable you to get paid for the electricity you generate

✔ PV Solar Systems are scientifically proven to reduce CO2 omissions
✔ PV Solar Systems can increase the value of your property
✔ PV Solar Systems require minimal maintenance
✔ PV Solar Systems can be installed with the existing electrical installation
✔ PV Solar Systems can guarantee performance for up to 25 years

How are Photovoltaic Solar Panels fitted?

Photovoltaic panels can be mounted on a roof or ground mounted. Ideally the roof will be south facing, or near to at an angle of 30 degrees with the horizontal for optimum performance. The panels produce DC electricity, so a small inverter will be fitted inside the house, to change the DC into AC (used in all normal homes and the Grid). Installation is clean, with minimal disruption and no extra space needed indoors.

Do l need planning permission for Photovoltaic Solar Systems?

Most domestic properties in England and Scotland do not require planning permission before installation of photovoltaic solar panels. Those in Conservation Areas, listed buildings and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or World Heritage Areas must consult local Planning Departments.  Wales are reviewing planning permission requirements, some areas do not require permission, contact your local planning department. Non-residential buildings still require planning consent.

How long do Photovoltaic Solar Systems last for?

A Photovoltaic Solar System that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 20 years.  The basic Photovoltaic Solar System has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. 

Will my PV Solar Panels work in winter and cloudy conditions?

Solar panels work on light not heat but with shorter daylight hours in winter, solar panels produce proportionately less power. If the panels become covered with snow, they do top producing power however snow generally melts quickly when the sun strikes the panels. You can of course brush the snow off and the panels resume operation immediately.

A cloudy day provides sufficient light by which the panels will produce electricity. Optimum electrical production occurs with bright and sunny weather conditions. Under a light overcast, the panels might produce about half as much as under full sun, ranging down to as little as five to ten percent under a dark overcast day.

In remote, off-grid applications, a PV system is connected to a battery storage system as a backup power source. In grid-connected applications, the PV system works in parallel with the utility power grid. So, if electrical needs exceed the solar power output, the local utility makes up for the shortfall. Conversely, when the PV system generates more energy than the property requires, the excess power is exported to the utility grid, reversing the electrical meter.

What is the Feed-In-Tariff?

The Feed-in-tariff began in April 2010. For every unit a solar panel system generates up to 4kWp, the Government will pay 43.3p.  For systems up to 10kWp the tariff is 37.8p and up to 50kW the tariff is 32.9p. Once you install, your feed-in tariff is secure for 25 years and will increase with RPI/inflation. The Feed-in tariff is due to drop on April 2012 for new installations.

How much maintenance does my system need?

PV systems need very little maintenance, we recommend that you simply regularly keep your solar panels clean and check that there is no shading on the panels. Any wiring or system components should only be checked by a qualified technician.