Many people will know about solar panels and the renewable energy they generate due to their prevalence on residential buildings, as well as recent news stories. It’s a technology used by community energy groups at both a small and very large scale. You may well have heard about 'PV' in the news recently, especially in light of COVID-19 where we have seen clearer skies and reduced air pollution, meaning much stronger sunlight is reaching the ground.
Interested in learning more or getting your own solar panels? We're here to shed some light on the situation...
How does PV work?
Solar Photovoltaics (PV) generate electricity when sunlight strikes the panels which are normally located on roofs or in fields. They use an inverter to turn the electricity generated by the panels into the same kind used in the electricity grid.
They generate more electricity when they are south facing and angled at between 10-30 degrees. However, other orientations still generate electricity and aligning the equal number of panels east and west can create a well-balanced solar PV system.
What makes a good solar project?
Given they are easy to mount on most roofs, whether they are flat or pitched, solar panels are a very good option for community energy projects looking to generate clean energy in a city environment. Take a look at our project with Islington Sea Cadets, where solar is currently saving 2.13 tonnes of carbon and just over £1,500 per annum!
In recent years the cost of solar panels has reduced, while the amount of energy that a panel can generate has actually increased. This has helped the financial case and payback of projects, further encouraging uptake.
Solar projects are best suited to buildings which have most of their energy usage during the day and an accessible roof. It's important to consider how shading might affect panels and how they will be maintained over the 25-year life of the installation.
To find out more about installing solar on your building contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.