MoleEnergy are one of the premier suppliers of Solar PV across the South of England and are part of the Mole Valley Farmers Co-Operative. In the past 8 years we have successfully installed over 10MW of Solar PV arrays ranging from 2.4kW systems through to 500kW and above. Within the Solar PV industry, we are seen as one of the founder members of the deployment of this technology and have unrivalled pedigree within the marketplace.
Our mission is to ensure you are given best advice and practice in order for you to make an informed decision with all information clearly outlined. We manage the whole process internally from initial survey, paperwork, EPC’s, Feed In Tariff’s, design, installation and maintaining your system to ensure years of generation of renewable energy.
A thin layer of a semi-conducting material, usually silicon, is hermetically encapsulated in EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) to achieve this. When the semi-conductor is exposed to sunlight, electrons held within the materials’ atoms are knocked loose. These electrons then flow through the material and produce a direct electrical current (DC). The generated electricity for each panel is channeled to an inverter which converts the DC, into Alternating Current (AC), or mains electricity as we know it.
This electricity is then either used within the property or exported to the national grid.
Benefits of PV
- Benefit from the Government feed-in tariff (FiT) which pays an amount of money per kWh of electricity produced
- Benefit from a payment for any electricity exported to the national grid
- Help protect yourself against rising energy costs and reduce your energy bills
- Producing clean energy means that you will reduce your carbon emissions
- Security of supply – generate a portion of your own electricity requirements.
Choosing a system
- Do not purchase a PV system based on the up front price alone. The main question is “what will your return on your investment be over the 20(+) year period that you will receive the feed-in tariff?”. A cheaper system using lower performance panels may not be the best investment choice when compared to a slightly higher priced system using higher performance panels.
- Do your due diligence on the installer/supplier – will they be around in the future to provide any support that you may require?
- Can they provide valid testimonials? Have they done projects like yours before? Are they giving you the full details of the panels and inverters that they are going to use in your system?
- Are the panels that you are being offered high quality and from a credible manufacturer that is likely to be around to support their warranty, should the need arise?
- Do not believe stories that all panels are the same! They all perform differently in the “real world”; the best panels will bring you the best returns! (providing the system is installed correctly!)
Solar cells produce direct current electricity from sunlight, these are combined to form a photovoltaic module. The majority of photovoltaic modules are used for grid connected power generation. In this case an inverter is required to convert the DC to AC. There are six main factors that will affect how much energy a PV system will generate:
- Latitude/sun radiation intensity
- System size
- Quality of components
It is important to ensure that your PV array will not be shaded during the main part of the day. It is possible that surrounding buildings or trees may partially shade a PV array. Providing this is for only about an hour after sunrise or before sunset, it will have a limited impact on the annual energy generation, as little power is generated at these times.
South facing PV arrays receiving direct sunlight will maximise energy generation. Systems not facing due South in many cases are still viable.
The sun spends most of its time relatively high in the sky, therefore, to ensure that a PV panel maximises its exposure to direct sunlight, it should be mounted at an angle. This angle changes depending on the time of year. For a fixed array in the south west, the optimum angle is around 35° from horizontal. Seasonally adjusted ground mounts can increase yield by matching the sun’s angle at different times of the year.
Clearly, the larger the array of PV panels the more energy they will generate.
A typical single PV panel is around 1600mm x 1000mm and may be mounted either horizontally or vertically as required. The system size you select determines the number of panels needed for your array.
PV panels can be roof or ground mounted. There are advantages with ground mounting systems, however with changes in the feed in-tariff and the cost of
systems, roof-mounted installations are becoming more financially attractive.
Feed-in Tariff (FiT)
What are Feed-in Tariffs?
- Feed-in Tariffs (FiT’s) were introduced by the Government in April 2010 to encourage investment in renewable technology within the UK.
- The introduction of FiT’s are designed so that approved renewable energy solutions are financially viable and attractive.
- FiT’s are paid whether you produce energy for your own use and/or export to the national grid.
- FiT payments for PV are guaranteed for 20 years or more (depending on your installation date) and are index linked.
- FiT payments vary depending on the size of the PV system you install
- FiT payments are over and above electricity exported to the national grid.
In summary, the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) provides generators of renewable energy with an income from all their generated power.
How much do I get paid for my generated energy?
The rate of income is determined by the size of the system. The Feed-in Tariff is paid for every unit of electricity generated by your solar photovoltaic system, irrespective of you using that energy yourself, or exporting to the grid. In addition to the feed-in tariff, for any energy you generate and use, you save purchasing from your electricity supplier. For any surplus energy you don’t use and export to the grid, you get paid an export tariff.
Contact us today for a FREE quotation for your system