Solar photovoltaic systems (PV) use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. When light shines on the photovoltaic cells which make up the panel, it creates an electric field across the layers.
A solar PV system is usually made up of one or more photovoltaic panels built on to a modular racking system, a power converter (AC/DC inverter) and various electrical connections. The panels produce electricity come rain or shine, but generally the stronger the sunlight, the more electricity is produced.
Ideally panels would be located on a south facing rooftop angled at 30 – 40 degrees. The electricity generated can be either: stored, used directly or fed back to the National Grid.
Solar thermal energy is a system for converting solar energy to thermal (heat) energy, generally used for heating water. Sunlight is collected on solar panels (which look very similar to PV panels) or tubes, and the resulting hot water is usually stored in a hot water cylinder. A conventional immersion heater can be used to increase water temperature or provide hot water when solar energy is not available.
There are two types of thermal panels available; evacuated tubes and flat plate collectors. These are normally positioned on a rooftop much the same as a photovoltaic panel.
Discounts and incentives are available under the Green Deal. The Green Deal is a government backed scheme that lets people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills.
Further information on the Green Deal is available here
Biomass North East can advise you on the best system for your requirements, as well as offering fitting and maintenance of alternative energy equipment. Contact us for more information.