What is Solar PV?
Photovoltaic or Solar PV systems allow you to generate electricity in your own home, thereby reducing your dependence on your electricity supplier and also significantly reducing your annual electricity costs. The Solar PV system converts the visible spectrum of the sun’s radiation into electricity. Essentially these systems comprise of just two components: a) the Solar PV Panels and b) the Solar PV Inverter.
The panels extract the energy from both direct and indirect sunlight. So they are equally effective on cloudy or overcast days, as on sunny days. This harnessed energy is in the form of direct current or DC.
The inverters convert this DC into AC electricity which can subsequently be used for daily Domestic electricity consumption. If you do not have an immediate requirement to fuel Domestic appliances, the electricity you have generated can be diverted to heat your hot water immersion tank, by simply including an I-boost in your installation.
Please check out our range of Solar PV Panels and Solar PV Inverters on the relevant page, by clicking on the links.
Benefits of installing Solar PV :-
- Significantly reduces your Domestic electricity and hot water costs.
- No environmental emissions, thereby reducing your carbon footprint
- Low maintenance
- No planning required for Solar PV systems that have a footprint less than 12m2.
- No moving parts or environmental emissions during operation
- Low operating system costs
Future Generation Energy has a team of qualified electricians who are also certified with QQI for Solar PV installation in Ireland. We use high quality European PV panels which ensure maximum performance.
Installation Process outlined:-
- Site Survey: We visit your property to assess the amount of sunlight (direct and indirect) it receives during the course of a day e.g. the orientation of your house, any factors such as overhanging trees, adjacent buildings, which might impact on this potential.
- Assess your energy needs: we ask you to complete a questionnaire to give us the full picture of your family’s energy requirements, and advise how best you can reduce your energy costs using a sustainable energy technology.
- Assess the effectiveness of your current energy system.
- Produce 2D and 3D customised designs of the proposed Solar PV system we recommend.
- Agree the most ideal location for your Solar PV panels, and the access point to the roof.
- Fitter and team arrive at agreed time and begin the installation process.
- Once completed, your Solar PV system will be tested and commissioned.
- We give each customer our Handover Pack which includes all relevant documentation for your equipment, and we ensure you are one hundred per cent happy with how to operate same.
- We advise you on best maintenance practice. Fortunately there is a minimal requirement with Solar PV systems.
- Complying with ESB requirements, we complete the NC6 form and submit it. This informs the ESB that a Solar PV inverter has been installed on your property.
- We do a follow-up call one month later to ensure you are completely satisfied with your new system.
Future Generation Energy has many satisfied customers who have had a PV system installed over the past few years. Our inhouse team have more than a decade of experience in the design and planning of PV installations for both the Domestic and commercial market. During the preliminary stages, we come up with a design on your property using 2D and 3D software. Additionally, we install tier 1 products, with the best guarantees and warranties on the market. This attention to detail and adherence to the highest quality of product and service are a cornerstone of our business.
How do PV systems actually produce electricity?
Generation of electricity by the photovoltaic effect uses Solar Cells which comprise of specially coated wafers and a lattice of metallic conductive strips: when wafers (silicon disks) are exposed to the sun's radiation, electrons (energy particles) are set free and create electricity. A special blue or black coating applied to these wafers increases their energy yield. The electrical current is then conducted via the affixed metallic conductive strips for consumer consumption. Solar cells are arranged into strings, a number of which form a photovoltaic module. So essentially this module converts sunlight into electrical energy.
What happens to the electricity produced by the Solar PV system?
The system is set up so that electricity produced by the Solar PV system is used preferentially by household appliances. Additional electricity generated automatically heats the water in your immersion tank. If the household electricity requirements needs to be topped up, electricity is subsequently drawn from your usual household supplier.
Where is the best place to position the Solar PV panel(s)?
It is best to install the panels in the brightest sunniest part of your roof, where minimal shade is experienced - ideally as close to south-facing as possible. Panels should be at an angle of 30 degrees approximately. There is only a minimal reduction in the energy yield, if a variation in pitch or orientation is required or suits the property better. Shade is best avoided or kept to a minimum in order to maximise the energy yield.
How much maintenance is required on an ongoing basis?
Maintenance is minimal, and is carried out more in response to staining (and so shading) by variables such as bird droppings or leaves, rather than in response to any intrinsic part of the Solar PV mechanism. It is recommended to keep these as clean as possible. Advice on regular maintenance can be discussed at the installation.
Can I make use of electricity generated which is surplus to requirements?
Unfortunately the facility to feed excess into the national grid is not available yet in Ireland.
Does the Solar PV system comply with Part L of building regulations?
Yes. Solar PV is a totally green renewable energy source and contributes as part of your Part L compliance.
What happens in the event of a power cut?
If there is a power cut in your area, the inbuilt automatic response in the Solar PV system (essentially the PV Inverters) is to close down any supply being sent into your house or back down the supply lines. This response is immediate and is an essential safety feature of all PV systems.
Is the Solar PV system safe?
Yes. This system is as safe as all other Domestic appliances in your home, once it is installed by a registered and competent installer, and all guidelines are followed.
Is planning permission required?
No. There is a planning exemption for panels up to a total area of 12 square meters. This is adequate for the majority of Domestic situations.
Will installing a Solar PV system improve my Building Energy Rating (BER)?
Yes, this will improve your BER rating.
Are there any grants associated with installing this Solar PV system?
Our Solar PV system qualifies for the government HRI Scheme, where the VAT component (13.5%) is refunded to qualifying customers, through your Income Tax.