What are we looking to achieve with a 101: solar panel product overview? We want you to know what solar panels do and why they’re worth investing in.
What do solar panels do?
Solar panels allow for the collection of solar or photovoltaic cells which convert solar energy i.e. sunlight into electricity. In other words, they harness the power of the sun and convert it into green, sustainable, noiseless energy that can power your home.
Installing PV (photovoltaic) solar panels makes your household increasingly energy independent and will save you money. To date, around 50,000 homes in Ireland have gotten in on the act with thousands more investing each year in a bid to cut down on bills and move away from fossil fuels. It all sounds rather good, doesn’t it?
How do solar panels work?
A PV system consists of a number of panels that are mounted on your roof at an optimum angle/position to capture light. They then generate DC (direct current – like a battery) which is converted using an inverter to AC (alternating current), that you use in your home.
In most cases and with most systems, you are able to control and monitor your solar electricity through an app. At Caldor, we use Solas and Solax, which allows you to learn about your consumption habits and to refine when you use your electricity, to further benefit the household’s efficiency.
The size of your house/building will dictate the size of the solar power system needed. At Caldor, we do an in depth analysis of what our clients want and offer a bespoke system based on their needs. At a certain level, planning permission may be called for but your provider will be able to advise you when it comes to your home and the size of the system required. Reform is expected at some point in the near to further relax the regulations surrounding planning permission.
What are the costs associated with solar panels?
While the upfront cost of solar panels can be expensive there is grant funding available which you can read about in more detail here. In terms of ongoing costs, PV panels are relatively maintenance free, the panels themselves have a guaranteed lifespan of 20-25 years and need only to be occasionally cleaned to ensure they can absorb as much light as possible. Thanks to the Irish weather, the rain plays a helpful role in washing the panels for you!
In more exciting news (news just in), the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications has officially announced a proposal for a microgeneration scheme which will roll out once approved. The scheme outlines a route to market for individuals, businesses and communities to generate their own solar electric energy and receive a fair and efficient price for selling it back to the grid. In short, this means that not only will you save money on your current bills through using the energy you produce but any unused and stored power will be pushed on to the grid and paid for. All this will be measured and processed through the installation of smart meters, which are currently being installed all over Ireland.
And there you have it, a bird’s eye view on solar panels and what they can bring to the table, your table.
Recommended further reading:
- 10 Interesting Facts About Solar Panels You Probably Didn’t Know.
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