There are many Solar Panel manufacturers round the world, mainly in Asia, but also in Europe and America. Typically, each Solar Panel:
- Is either Blue or Black in colour within an aluminium frame which can also be natural or black. The colour difference is due to the use of either Polycrystalline (blue) or Monocrystalline (black) photovoltaic silicon cells. Monocrystalline cells are more efficient in tropical areas. In the United Kingdom there is no real difference.
- Each Solar Panel is usually made up of 60 individual Solar cells to produce electricity, although some Panels use 90 cells to increase the amount of electricity produced within the same size of Solar Panel.
- The amount of electricity generated by the most often used Solar Panel is 250w. Some Solar Panels generate more than 250w within the same size. The type of electricity generated is Direct Current (DC).
- The size of each Solar Panel is usually about I metre by 1.6 metres and has a depth of 40 mm. Therefore, it is important to calculate the area where the Solar Panels are to be fitted to ensure the most efficient use of the space available.
- Has a surface of toughened glass which is anti-reflective and self-cleaning. Rigorous testing is carried out by most manufacturers to ensure many years of trouble free use.
- Usually have a 10 year product warranty and a 25 year linear power output warranty. Solar Panels do degrade of time. However, the linear power output warranty means that after 25 years, the power produced by each Solar Panel will be at least 80% of that from new.
Solar Panel Array Installation
A Solar Panel Array and Inverter(s) must be fitted in place by Qualified Installers. The qualification that Installers must obtain to carry out their work is controlled and monitored by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). MCS Installers must also provide the consumer with a 10 year guarantee for the installation works. To carry out the Installation:
- There will be a need for access equipment. The type of access equipment will depend on the property on which the Solar Panel Array is to be installed.
- When installed on a roof, a Solar Panel must not be less than 200mm from any edge.
- The time taken for Installation is usually 1 day.
- An Installer will first remove or lift the roof tiles to fix an aluminium bracket to the roof rafters followed by a waterproof sealant. The tiles will then be replaced. A set of aluminium rails are then attached to brackets and the Solar Panels (and Microinverter, if used) are attached to the rails.
- The Installer will then fit the Inverter (on a Single Inverter System), the Storage Battery (if used) and complete all the wiring to the Consumer Unit.
- A performance test is carried out to ensure everything is working as it should.
Energy Storage for Continuous Power
Let there be light at night! Store your daylight generated energy for night-time use.