Solar photovoltaics, commonly known as Solar PV, is the technology that generates electricity from daylight. Solar PV should not be confused with solar thermal, which generates hot water only (Please see below), as these are two different technologies. PV will work in low light conditions, even in UK wintertime, but the amount of power produced will vary with the amount of daylight.
A solar PV module is a device which produces electricity when exposed to light. During daylight hours this PV array will produce energy, which is then fed to the lights and sockets etc where it is used in the usual way.
A unit of electricity generated by your PV system will always first be used within the house when there is demand for it. If you don’t use all the electricity you produce, for instance when you are away on holiday and there are not many appliances on in the house, the surplus can be fed back into the national grid for a cash return.
Why buy solar PV?
There are a number of reasons to install this state of the art technology:
Help reduce energy bills.
Helps reduce global warming (climate change)
No emissions produced in electricity production
Clean, sustainable and efficient energy solution
Reduces your own environmental impact
Reduces your electricity demand from non-renewable fossil fuels
Daylight is all that is needed to create your own electricity
Surplus sold back to the national grid for cash return
Virtually silent operation and visually unobtrusive
Low maintenance with a long life
Well proven technology
What is the Feed-In Tariff?
From 1st April 2010 the UK government has offered a ‘Feed-In Tariff’ (‘FIT’). This is a scheme designed to increase the uptake of renewable energy technologies by guaranteeing the returns from installations such as Solar PV systems for 25 years.
The generation part of the tariff is a payment for every unit (or kWh) generated by the PV system regardless of whether it is used in the home or exported to the grid.
The export element of the tariff is an additional 3p for every surplus unit that is exported to the National Grid.