Solar PV - What is Solar PV? - Photovoltaics
Solar Photovoltaics, or Solar PV for short, is a technology in which daylight is converted into electrical power. Solar PV takes advantage of energy from the sun to create electricity, that will operate electrical appliances and lighting
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- Solar PV Array is the collective name for a number of Solar PV panels that are connected together
- Solar PV Panels can be connected together to create a Solar PV array
- A Solar PV Cell is a solid state device that converts the energy of sunlight directly into electricity
- Solar PV Thin Film technology can be used to deposit PV cells onto building materials
- Solar PV Tariffs are payable for Solar PV installations under the UK Feed in Tariffs scheme
Installing Solar PV Panels
For the installation of Solar PV panels, a clear, uninterrupted and unshaded section of roof is required, with south or near south orientation. The roof needs to be large enough to accommodate the Solar PV modules, structurally sound and built using materials that are compatible with a fixing system that is readily available.
Direct or diffuse light shining on the Solar PV cells induces the photovoltaic effect, generating direct current (DC) electrical power. This electricity can be converted to alternating current (AC) power for use in the building or it can be exported to a utility company through the national grid connection. Under the UK government Feed in Tariffs scheme (Clean Energy Cashback) qualifying individuals or groups who install Solar PV can benefit from regular payments.
Building Integrated PV
Solar PV cells can be grouped together to form Solar PV panels and used to generate electricity on the various features of a building envelope. Building Integrated PV systems, not only produce electricity to run a building's electrical systems, but also form an integral part of the building envelope. The individual Solar PV cells are connected together and can be framed in panels or laminated onto to glass and other building products.
The Future of Solar PV
As more and more architects and building professionals gain experience in the integration of Solar PV systems into the built environment, this relatively new technology will begin to blend, almost imperceptibly, into the nation's urban and rural landscapes.
Before an investment is made in renewable energy or low carbon energy systems the building owner should make sure the building is as energy efficient as possible, so that the Solar PV energy generated is not wasted
The building owner should ensure that the building has adequate loft and cavity wall insulation, efficient central heating controls, all old light bulbs have been replaced with low energy lighting and energy saving domestic appliances have been installed
About Solar PV - Solar PV Panels - Solar PV Thin Film