Solar Energy Principles
The principles of generating solar power rest on the photovoltaic effect exhibited by the semiconductors used to build photovoltaic modules. The photovoltaic effect occurs when photons from the sun are absorbed by semiconductors such as cadmium telluride or crystalline silicon. They respond by producing electrons in DC voltage and are used to build photovoltaic modules which can pass this DC voltage through inverters which convert them in to AC voltage. Photovoltaic module prices depend on their size, application and power load requirements.
Photovoltaic Module Cost
Photovoltaic modules are also referred to as solar panels, solar PV panels or PV solar panels and photovoltaic module prices can be found for under £100. Photovoltaic modules for under £100 will have limited usage although very convenient for powering handheld devices and notebooks. Larger photovoltaic module prices will vary depending on their size and output rating and can be found for as cheap as £682 for a 60W folding photovoltaic module that folds into a carrying case. A MCS approved 2.5Kw photovoltaic module kit will cost around £6500 including all components required for roof mounting and connection to house mains, but excludes fitting cost. MCS approval is necessary for eligibility into feed in tariffs.
Benefits of Solar Energy
The benefits of solar energy installation are more than just reduced energy cost. The UK governments Feed in Tariff of FITs for renewable energy pays all owners of photovoltaic modules for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy produced. The payments made to producers of solar energy using solar panel systems and approved photovoltaic modules is paid whether the energy is consumed at source or exported to the national grid. Solar energy generated by photovoltaic modules is paid for at a rate of up to 41.3p per kWh of electricity produced and used by the household or business. Any excess electricity that is sold back to the national grid is paid for by the Export Tariff which will pay an extra fixed rate of 3p per kWh.
Comparing Photovoltaic Modules Prices
Comparing photovoltaic modules cost should only be done by comparing prices from Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited companies. Only those solar energy firms accredited by the MCS can provide photovoltaic module systems eligible for inclusion in the UK governments FITs for renewable energy. Be sure to double check that the supplier and photovoltaic modules are approved by the MCS before buying. For this reason it is advisable to use a reputable solar energy comparison website that only provides quotes and information on MCS accredited companies.