We are just about ready to start thinking about setting up a PV system. The main difficulty so far has to do with us understanding just what it is that the various Chinese suppliers have on offer. Our thinking is that we need to start by costing the various kits, all before we start thinking about our specific needs.
And just in case you dont know..... Photovoltaic or PV cells are systems that convert sunlight directly into DC electricity. Solar PV, s can be used at a domestic level for lighting, and for powering low voltage appliances like radio, TV, computer, small water pumps. A small PV system will only produce a few hundred watts of electricity at most, but when linked up with a battery, and when used efficiently, they will provide enough electricity for a small cottage. Photovoltaic systems – sometimes known as PC’s – work by converting sunlight into to DC or direct current electricity. A typical PV cell structure – made up in sandwiched layers – has a back contact, two silicon layers, an anti-reflecting coating, a contact grid, and an encapsulating surface. When the rays of the sun – in the form of photons – shower the structure, the resultant steady flow of electrons produce a minute amount of electricity in the form of a direct or DC current. The amount that each cell produces is minuscule, but if you connect a whole batch of cells – in the form of say door-size panels, or tiles on a roof – and use an inverter to turn DC to AC, then you have a relatively simple and inexpensive energy source. The most common stand alone PV systems are designed to clip on to existing roofs. In action you mount the panels on the roof, plug into existing on-grid connection, and the system is ready to go. As to just how well a typical 1000 watt system will perform in the
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS THAT NEED TO BE SORTED
- WHY IS THERE SO LITTLE INTEREST IN PHOTOVOLTAICS ? Apart from the fact that there is a widespread suspicion of any black-box technology where you can’t actually see the wheels turning, PV’s are still relatively high cost.
- HOW ABOUT SIZE AND WEIGHT? So far we haven't been able to pin the various manufacturers down when it comes to weight and size...certainly they are happy to give us the power potential figures of such and such a panel, but as yet they are not so keen on giving the weight and size of the actual panels