Photovoltaic' is a combination of two words: ‘photo', meaning light, and ‘voltaic', meaning electricity. At the heart of photovoltaic (PV) technology is a semi-conductor material which can be adapted to release electrons, the negatively charged particles that form the basis of electricity. The most common semi-conductor material used in photovoltaic cells is silicon, an element most commonly found in sand. There is no limitation to its availability as a raw material; silicon is the second most abundant material in the world.
All PV cells have two layers of semi-conductor material, one positively charged and one negatively charged. When light shines (not heat energy) on the semi-conductor, the electric field across the junction between these two layers causes electricity to flow, generating DC (direct current). The light that hits the array is converted into clean electricity, and as there are no moving parts this is done silently. The electricity the array creates is direct current DC which needs to be converted into alternating current AC so that it can be used in the building; this is performed by the inverter. The AC electricity then passes via the generation meter, which measures how much electricity has been created by the array, and on to the consumer unit where it can be fed into the property for use or exported back to the mains grid via the electricity meter.
A typical grid connected roof mounted system consists of a number of components which are scalable and highly versatile enabling them to be used for a variety of applications from small domestic properties to large commercial installations. A solar photovoltaic system can be mounted onto almost any type of commercial building to help reduce the carbon footprint and deliver on-site renewable generation targets. A south facing roof can have panels mounted onto the roof to maximize the energy capture, panels can be mounted onto a flat roof using low weight mounting structures that enable the panels to be angled and orientated in the most optimal direction or used as building cladding where appropriate. A typical 10kWp commercial system will generate approximately 8,000kWh per year saving nearly 5 tonnes of CO2.
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We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with one of the worlds leading heating and energy suppliers to become accredited to design supply and install photovoltaic (PV) energy systems.