How Solar PV Works
A solar photovoltaic (PV) system consists of three main elements – the solar PV panels, an inverter and a generation meter. The PV panels convert energy from the sun into DC current. This electricity then flows into the inverter and is transformed into AC current – a form of energy that’s suitable for a domestic supply. Finally, the meter measures the amount of electricity that’s being generated by the system. These readings are then used to claim the Feed-in Tariff (FiT).
Once the system is up and running, you will benefit from using your own renewable energy – and it will be maintenance-free for a number of years. You’ll be pleased to know that many PV panels are designed to be self-cleaning, so all you need to do is read the generation meter every three months so you can claim your FiT payments.
Because of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) – Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems represent an excellent return on investment. There are three ways in which you will financially benefit from a solar PV system:
- Generation tariff – This is a set rate which you will be paid by the energy supplier for each unit of electricity you generate. Under the scheme, you are paid for every unit of electricity you generate, whether you use or export it to the electricity grid. The FiT rate is guaranteed by Government legislation for 20 years from the installation of your PV system and is RPI index-linked. For domestic systems, this payment is also a tax free income.
- Export Tariff – You will receive a further payment for energy you export to the national grid. For domestic systems and PV systems under 30kW there is no requirement for an export meter to measure how much electricity you export to the grid – without an export meter the FiT scheme assumes 50% export whether you use all your generation or not.
- Savings on energy bills – using the electricity you generate will reduce the amount of electricity you use from your electricity supplier. This saving can contribute significantly to the return on investment for a PV system.
Your FiT payments are index linked and will rise with RPI. Your projected savings do not take into account any increases in fuel costs and as a result, you may save even more money on your utility bill.
Microgeneration Technologies can also install energy management products like the Solar iBoost which redirects unused electricity generated by your solar panels to heating hot water – further increasing your energy savings and benefits. The Solar iBoost can be easily retrospectively fitted to a home with a solar PV installation – contact us for further details.