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Solar PV – Pros & Cons of Solar Photovoltaic Systems

The term solar PV (photovoltaic) refers to an array of cells containing a solar photovoltaic material that converts solar radiation into direct current electricity.

Photovoltaic research and development has been upped in recent years as the technology is considered a leading renewable consumer energy source.

In fact, reports claim photovoltaic production has doubled every two years since 2002 making it the world’s fastest-growing solar power and energy technology as a whole.

How do Solar PV systems work?

Solar PV systems work by converting light into electrical power. This is achieved using a thin layer of semi-conducting material, most commonly silicon, enclosed in a glass or plastic casing. These can range in size with small versions used on watches and calculators to a system of hundreds of square metres of solar PV panels linked up to make an array to power large buildings.

When exposed to sunlight the semi-conducting material causes electrons in the materials’ atoms to be knocked loose. The electrons that are knocked loose then flow through the material to produce an electric current known as a direct current (DC). The direct current is carried through wiring to an inverter which converts the current to alternating current (AC) so it can be connected to your property’s main electricity distribution board which either used within the home or fed back into the national grid.

Pros and Cons of Solar PV systems

Pros

  • You can benefit from the Governments feed-in tariff which pays a set rate per kWh of electricity generated and an additional rate for any exported back to the national grid.
  • The feed-in tariff is guaranteed by the Government for 20 years.
  • Panels designed for European countries generate power even on cloudy days, they simply need light to produce electricity.
  • Clean energy means you reduce your carbon emissions by up to 1 tonne per annum.
  • Producing your own power protects against rising energy prices.

Cons

  • A large area of unshaded south, south-west or south-east facing roof is required to maiximise payback. Smaller systems can be installed but payback will be longer.
  • Panels degrade over time by approximately 20% over 25 years, this however is taken into account in most reputable suppliers calculations.
  • It may be beneficial to replace the inverter after 10 years to optimise power generation, although this is not essential.

You can calculate potential earnings via our Solar PV Calculator or should you have any comments or questions about PV the please post them below.

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Latest Job requests posted in the United Kingdom

27 Aug

Cambridge (CB22)

New Solar PV Installation

Property in the process of being built. Roof: north and south. Pitched and tiled. No shading. No windows on roof. Open to advice on size system. Install within(...)

27 Aug

Wokingham (RG41)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Maintenence or replacment of current solar panels. Replace within ASAP. Contact anytime

26 Aug

Banff (AB45)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

26 Aug

Kilbirnie (KA25)

New Solar Thermal Installation

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26 Aug

Orkney (KW17)

New Solar PV Installation

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26 Aug

London (SW6)

New Solar PV Installation

E/W facing. Pitched & slate. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Replace within 6 months. Contact anytime.

25 Aug

Leicester (LE3)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

25 Aug

Kilmarnock (KA3)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

25 Aug

Carnforth (LA6)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: West facing. Pitched and tiled. No shading .1 veluxe . Install within 3 months. Contact any time.

25 Aug

London (E11)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

25 Aug

York (YO62)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

4 bed semi. Put in 7yrs ago by everest and they have stopped doing them. Wants maintenance - wants to be reasured that all is working well. Just has 2 pannels.(...)

25 Aug

Kidderminster (DY10)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: Roof Faces South Pitched and tiled. No shading. Timescale within 3 months. Contact anytime.

24 Aug

Buntingford (SG9)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

24 Aug

Bicester (OX26)

New Solar PV Installation

Call after 5pm. 4 bed detached. Roof: All directions. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading - bar 1 tree. Call anytime. Install within 3 month

24 Aug

Exeter (EX6)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: Roof Faces South East. Pitched and tiled. No Shading. Timescale within 1 month. Contact anytime.

24 Aug

Buckie (AB56)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

I had solar panels installed in December and the " i Boost System " never worked . I had the company return and they took it away . They never came back with a(...)

24 Aug

London (E5)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: Roof faces west East. ·····ed and tiled. No Shading. Timescale ASAP. Contact anytime.

24 Aug

Winchester (SO22)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Just not working

24 Aug

Fakenham (NR219PH)

New Solar PV Installation

PV panels on pitched roof to new House to be constructed Preferred panel type to fit flush with external surface of roof tiles

24 Aug

WELLINGTON (TA21)

New Solar PV Installation

South facing. Pitched & tiled. No shading. 1 window. Open to suggestions re: system size. Install ASAP. Contact anytime.

23 Aug

Chesterfield (S42)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Fault on system

23 Aug

Hounslow (TW4)

New Solar PV Installation

S/E. Flat roof, rubber membrane. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Replace within 1 month. Contact anytime.( best available(...)

23 Aug

Halkirk (KW12)

New Solar PV Installation

To install solar panels to a building to cover business electric use over 2 buildings.

23 Aug

Milton Keynes (MK4)

New Solar PV Installation

4 bed detached. Roof: Has been told suitable for a 6kwh system! West facing. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 1 month

22 Aug

Ross-on-Wye (HR9)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Leeds (LS10)

New Solar PV Installation

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22 Aug

Barnsley (S70)

New Solar PV Installation

North/East & West facing. Pitched & slate. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestions regarding system size. Install within 1 month. Contact anytime.

22 Aug

Llandovery (SA20)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Port Talbot (SA12)

New Solar PV Installation

No description

22 Aug

Fochabers (IV32)

New Solar PV Installation

No description