The sun produces a huge amount of energy; in fact in less than one hour the earth is hit by enough energy to power itself for a whole year. By using solar panels we can harness this energy and use it to our advantage. Solar panels break into two categories; solar thermal and photovoltaic, thermal provides heat which can be used to heat a hot water tank to provide domestic hot water. Alternatively the heat can be used to heat up a thermal store where the heat can be stored and used for central heating.
Photovoltaic or PVs
Photovoltaic or PVs produce electricity, the price of an install however would never be recovered by a user based solely on electricity savings so the government has attached an incentive to the technology. RDI is MCS accredited for PVs and every install is therefore MCS certified. This means that along with electricity saving our clients are entitled to claim a feed in tariff for the generation of electricity. The price of a panel has subsequently been linked to the feed in tariff, i.e. when RDI did our first PV install the client paid approximately double what they would now as the tariff is now half of what it was at then.
There are a number of options today with PV systems, especially in how the electricity generated is reused in the home before any excess goes to the grid. A basic PV system will generate electricity and it is exported directly to the grid for Feed in Tariff (FIT) payments. Two options are available beyond that…
• Option one might be to route the electricity to a Solar Immersion system to convert the energy into heat via an immersion heater for your hot water tank (assuming you have one), once the tank is hot enough the system routes excess electricity out to the grid.
• A second option might be a home battery system which stores all of the electricity generated (up to the capacity of the batteries) for use in all of the household electricity (e.g. lights and sockets), once the batteries are full excess electricity is sent to the grid. This is also an option that can be retro-fitted to existing PV systems.
You get the full FIT for everything generated no matter how you use it. All our systems are certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and there is more information on the FIT here: Energy Savings Trust Feed In Tariffs.
Solar Panels are a great investment to lower energy bills and RDI Renewables Ltd. can provide advice and if requested a survey and quote.