Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are a popular way to generate renewable energy, by turning energy from the sun into electricity. If you are wondering what the benefits may be for installing commercial solar panels, this quick guide will take you through the key facts of this form of renewable energy.
Solar PV panels are capable of absorbing energy from the sun via individual PV cells, which are joined together to form a full panel of conductive cells. These are capable of converting the suns energy into electricity which is then taken from the panels to an inverter, to provide your business with an electricity supply.
If your business does not need the full electricity supply, the inverter will send surplus electricity to the grid. Many businesses choose solar PV as it can significantly reduce the cost of electricity bills and save on business energy costs, although in most cases the business will still partly rely on electricity from the grid.
If you have large commercial premises, solar panels are a great way of utilising unused space and your business could benefit from a significant reduction in its energy bills. The panels typically pay for themselves within 6-9 years, although your business will need to have the cash available to cover the initial outlay. In addition, if your business is committed to lowering its carbon emissions, solar panels are an excellent way to reduce your businesses impact on the environment.
It is a common misconception that the solar panels need direct sunlight to work efficiently. Solar PV panels are still able to generate electricity on dull days, however they will run more efficiently when in direct sunlight. It is also possible to store energy produced during the day for use during the night, or on days when less power is produced.
The best solar panels for your business energy will depend on the space you have available, your budget and what your usage requirements are. The main types of solar panels available are:
Monocrystalline solar modules
Polycrystalline solar modules
Thin film solar cells
Amorphous silicon solar cells
Biohybrid solar cells
If you are looking for a budget friendly solution, thin film solar cells are mass produced, so are often relatively cheap whilst still being efficient. If your space is limited monocrystalline solar modules will take up less space, although they are more expensive. In general, the lower quality panels will generate less electricity, so always consider the Kwh generation figures when comparing panels. In addition, always choose a solar panel provider which is experienced and accredited by industry bodies such as MCS, NAPIT and REAL.
A high-quality system which is professionally installed should require very little maintenance, although the environment can have an impact. Solar PV panels benefit from an energy generation warranty, so they should be able to deliver 80% of the energy they generate in the first year once they reach 25 years old. However, they are expected to last well beyond 25 years, if they are maintained and cleaned every 1-2 years.
The inverters are designed to last roughly 15-20 years, so you will benefit from lower energy bills and greener energy for many years.
If your business is not quite ready to invest in its own energy generation system, there are a growing number of energy suppliers which offer competitive green business tariffs. We can help you compare and find the most competitive green energy deals, so you benefit from cheaper energy whilst reducing your businesses impact on the environment. To find out more, please contact our team today.