Introduction to Solar PV
Solar PV (photovoltaic) systems are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. This is due to a number of reasons: the introduction of the Feed-in tariff (FIT), the maintenance-free operation and the ease of integrating into the existing structure of the house. There are a number of ways of integrating PV into homes: above or on-roof systems; in-roof/integrated systems; tile imitation systems; flat roof and ground mounted systems.
Benefits of Solar PV
High reliability - No moving parts that can fail.
Generally maintenance-free operation.
Can reduce electricity bills as well as providing an additional, tax free, income stream.
Solar energy is free and reasonably predictable
Grid-connected systems can be as small or as large as is suitable or wanted as there will still be a grid connection feeding the property.
Sample Solar PV System
The below details are for a sample solar PV system. It assumes a house with a suitable sized, unshaded and south facing roof.
|System rating||2.82 kWp|
|Total array area||20 m2|
|Typical system cost||£ 13,000|
|Estimate of annual energy produced||2,400 kWh|
|Equivalent energy to running a 60W laptop for||4.6 years|
|Annual CO2 saved||1,013 kg|
|Proportion of average households electricity produced||33%|
|Likely return on investment||7-8%|
|Likely total annual financial benefit (FITs and energy savings)||£ 1,040|