Robert Porteous
Roofing, Scaffolding & Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Specialists: the North East's first MCS Accredited roofer. We also now specialise in fibre glass roofing.
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t: 01665 833 270
M: 07709 165 734

Types of PV Systems

Grid connected

The most popular arrangement of a Solar PV system for homes and businesses is one that is connected via your mains circuit board to the local electricity network allowing any access solar electricity produced to be sent to ‘the grid’ and sold to any electricity supplier. Depending on your usage and electricity consumption profile electricity is consumed – for free. For example, during the day the home/ business will consume power generated direct from the solar PV array, in the evening it will consume direct from the stored energy in a battery bank, whilst should this renewable electricity be fully-consumed then during the night electricity will be imported from the grid under the cheaper night- time tariff. If, during the day, you have a little requirement for power any electricity produced will automatically be sent to the grid via an electricity meter for which you will be sent a monthly cheque from your electricity supplier for that which has been produced.

Commonly known as solar cells, Individual PV cells are electricity-producing devices made of semiconductor materials (amorphous silicon, polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon to name but a few). These PV
cells come in many sizes and shapes- from smaller than a postage stamp to several inches across. They
are usually connected together to from PV arrays of different sizes and power output.

The size of an array depends on several factors, such as the amount of sunlight available and the power requirements of the consumer.

The Solar PV system produces power as direct current and is converted into useful AC current by an inverter for use either in the home or export. If you are planning a new- build or are not connected to the mains electricity distribution system (e.g. mobile homes) then much scope exists to introduce DC appliances such as fridges, lighting and TV’s that will not require the use of an inverter within the system thus saving on the conversion losses associated with this power conditioning (up to 5% on some arrangements)

Off Grid

Completely isolated from the grid, the solar system is directly connected to a battery bank through charge controllers which maximise the electricity stored. From here your in house loads(fridge’s, TV’s, computers, lighting) will be supplied from this DC current if enabled or powered via an inverter that produces AC current from the DC supply stored in the battery bank, enabling the use of normal appliances without mains power.

Where can photovoltaic’s be used?

Photovoltaic systems can be used anywhere-with varying degrees of success- they can be mounted as ‘solar tiles’ in replacement of normal slate or roof tiles, they can be installed on vertical walls .

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