What is Solar PV?
Energysmart Renewables Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels allow you to Generate your own Free Electricity During Daylight Hours.
Installed on your roof or on a frame (mounting system) on your property, PV solar panels generate electricity which is measured in Kilowatt hours (kW/hr). The more panels installed the greater the number of Kilowatt hours produced. The Kilowatt hours generated can be used to provide power for all appliances consuming electricity in your home or business.
So during daylight hours you can power your lights, cooker, oven , washer, dryer, fridge, freezer, TV and with a connector, power the battery for your electric vehicle. The excess electricity can be diverted to heat your hot water via an immersion , your heat pump, or stored within a battery pack for use at night.
How Solar Panels Work
Photovoltaics (photo from light and voltaic as a measure of electrical potential) allows for the conversion of light into electricity. Scientists working on space related projects, decades ago, discovered that silicone cells (wafers) could generate electricity if exposed to light. The amount of electricity generated by one cell is relatively small, so, more commonly, 60 cells are arranged to form a module or solar panel with an output typically of 250 - 350 watts. A number of solar panels connected together becomes an array producing a useable quantity of electricity. The electricity generated is in the form of DC (Direct Current) and this must be converted to AC (Alternating Current) for use by electrical appliances. This conversion is done by a piece of equipment known as an Inverter.
Commercial PV installations or Solar Farms can be made up of hundreds, or thousands even, of PV modules. A domestic PV system produces approximately 1kW for every four panels installed. If the panels are generating only 70% of the power that your home requires, the 30% balance will come from the grid, which is where your electricity comes into your home through your connection provided by the ESB. If you decide to install a solar PV system you will not only boost your own green credentials, but also those of the nation as a whole. Every solar install on this island will be contributing to Ireland meeting its targets for reduced carbon emissions. In addition to helping the Nation lessen its carbon footprint, an install will mean for you not only an increased BER rating but more importantly an auto-generated supply of free electricity * for the lifetime of the system
*That is when the capital cost of the PV system is covered, which can be in as little as five to seven years, depending on size of array, initial cost and expected government grants or incentives. Our PV panels have a guaranteed output for 25 years.
Building Energy Rating (BER)
If you wish to improve the BER rating on your existing or new build home, installing energysmart PV panels could prove to be the most cost effective method. Some new planning conditions insist on a PV installation (check regs with architect).
Domestic Solar PV Grant
- Grant is available to all homes built before 2011.
- Grant available of €700 per kW installed (approx. 4 PV panels) for up to 4kW.
- Grant available of €900 per kW up to 2kW installed (6-7 panels approx)
- Installs of 2kW do not require battery storage.
- Grant of €300 per kW for additional kW’s up to 4kW. The solar PV part of the grant is capped at 2,400 Euro. Installs using battery storage may apply for a one off grant of €600.
- Therefore maximum grant corresponding to a domestic install of 4kW or greater is €3,000 Euro.
The Grant application system is very straight-forward but should you need assistance, one of our staff will be happy to advise. For example you will need to have a valid email address and access to your MPRN number which can be found at the top of any electricity bill when filling out your grant application form. Applications can be sent to the SEAI by post or over the internet and will typically be assessed within 5 working days once accepted you will have 30 days to accept the offer.
The SEAI are also offering a grant of €3,500 for the installation of a heat pump. Naturally energy produced by your solar array can be used to power your heat pump.