Sunday, February 27, 2011

Generating Electricity From Solar Panels

Photovoltaic’ means electricity from light. In essence, photovoltaic systems use daylight (not necessarily direct sunlight) to convert solar radiation into electricity. The light which shines on the PV cells creates an electric field causing electricity to flow. The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity.
Photovoltaic systems use semiconductor materials to convert solar energy into electricity. This technology is widely used in consumer products such as solar calculators, watches or garden lights, and is increasingly used as a cost-effective solution in Ireland for stand-alone applications where a grid connection is too expensive (e.g. parking meters, caravans or remote holiday homes).
Solar PV can also be used to provide free solar electricity to houses as well as for commercial and industrial applications. Recent developments in regulation mean that it is now possible to connect solar PV systems to the grid, opening up a new era for solar PV in Ireland.

Photovoltaic domestic systems range in size from 1Kw – 11 Kw.
Each Kw can produce approximately 1,000 units (1 unit = 1Kwh) of electricity per annum. The average Irish household uses 3,000 – 4,000 units per annum

ESB will offer to pay  of 19c per unit for the first 3000 units sold back to the grid that the user did not consume. This is worth €570.

Further excess units are rewarded with the  ESB Customer Service 9c there after.

Units that are produced by the user and used by the user are a saving of 17c each as of May 2009 for normal rate electricity.

ESB Networks are offering their 10c for the first 3000 units produced per annum to the first 4000 customers to send in their RECI certificate of completion for the micro generation installation.
Since 2005, PV electricity prices have dropped by 40pc and the cost of PV systems are expected fall by a further 40pc by 2015. According to the EPIA, if this is the case, PV systems will be able to compete with electricity prices for households in many countries of the EU within the next five years.

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