Introduction

Pure Energy Ltd. was established in 2010 by business partners Steve Hill and Dan Turner as part of Pure Electrics. Over the past 4 years the Solar PV industry has undergone some dramatic changes beginning with the Feed In Tariff (FIT). Introduced in 2009 the FIT tariff is a government incentive designed to pay all customers for the electricity the produce and use. The current FIT rates are listed below.

In April 2010 a (FIT) Feed in Tariff was introduced by the government that will give a rebate for all the free electricity produced from the Solar Photovoltaic solution for any ‘Microgeneration Approved’ system installed from the 16th July 2009 by an Accredited Installer.

What is solar PV?

The production of electric power through solar cells is known as solar photovoltaic’s or solar PV. Solar PV panels, or modules, consist of many photovoltaic cells that are made up of thin layers of semi-conducting material, normally crystalline silicon, which produce electricity when exposed to light. Solar PV differs from solar thermal in that PV enables property owners to generate electricity while solar thermal provides hot water.

How important is the location?

tilt west 75 60 45 30 15 south 15 30 45 60 75 east
10° 83 85 86 87 88 89 90 89 88 87 86 85 83
20° 82 84 87 88 91 92 93 92 91 88 87 84 82
30° 79 83 87 91 95 96 96 96 95 91 87 83 79
40° 73 81 86 90 92 98 100 98 92 90 86 81 73
50°   78 83 87 91 95 96 95 91 87 83 78  
60°     80 82 84 90 91 90 84 82 80    
70°       78 81 84 85 84 81 78      
80°           75 77 75          
90°             72            

The location of the solar PV is very important because of its sensitivity to the intensity of light. Solar PV modules need to receive the maximum possible amount of light and should therefore be installed on a south- facing roof. Due south is preferable as efficiency drops off in correlation to the angle of deviation from a due south orientation. The angle of tilt of the modules is also important with the ideal range in the UK being between 35° and 40°, depending on latitude. Please refer to the table to the right.

It’s not advisable to install solar PV modules where trees or surrounding buildings will cast shadows on the array as any shadow affects the performance of the entire array and not just the modules in shadow.


How does solar PV work?

Solar PV explained Pin

During manufacture, the silicon material is chemically treated to alter its electrical properties. This means that when light hits the cell, an electric field is created across the layers and produces a current flow. The greater the intensity of light, the more electricity is produced. Solar PV panels are linked to each other in series and then connected to the building’s main consumer unit or fuse board via a device called an inverter. This device converts the panel output from direct current (DC) to the alternating current (AC) form compatible with mains electricity. The inverter constantly monitors the grid voltage and frequency to ensure that its output matches.

As well as allowing household devices to use this solar power just like normal mains electricity, this also allows excess electricity to be exported onto the grid at times when the instantaneous demand from the building is less than the power produced by the panels. This ensures that all the electricity produced is used and achieves a maximum reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The main components of a solar PV installation are shown in the following diagram.


How Much Electricity Can Solar PV Produce?

The output of photovoltaic panels is generally specified in kilowatts (kW) or kilowatts peak (kWp). The size of the area require to accommodate a typical 4kW system using EC Solar modules would be approximately 8.6m in length and 3.6m from ridge to gutter. A typical 4 kW system on a roof with a pitch of 30 degrees and facing due south would produce approximately 3716 kWh of electricity a year. This production would result in a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of around 1958 Kg a year.

How Does this Relate to the Feed-in Tariff?

Based on a 4kW Solar array with optimal sue south orientation and a 30 degree roof pitch you could expect to generate 3716 kWh (units) of electricity per year. Assuming an electricity price of 14.5 pence per unit of electricity and that 75% of the electricity you produced is used by yourself this could mean a potential saving of up to £404.12p per year off your electricity bills also on top of this saving would be the amount you would be earning from the FIT (feed in tariff) which currently stands at 14.38p/kWh this in turn could earn you up to £534.36p/kWh. As electricity prices rise by on average 7% a year your savings will increase and your payback time for the system will reduce.

The Feed in Tariff has been set as follows there tariffs apply to installations installed after 1st November 2012 and are currently under review by the government.

Installation Size (kW) Current generation tariff (p/kWh)
0 - 4W 14.38
> 4 - 10kW 13.03
> 10 - 50kW 12.13
> 50 - 100kW 10.34
> 100 - 150kW 10.34
> 150 - 250kW 9.89
> 250 - 5MWW 6.38

From the 1st of April 2010 building owners who install solar PV and other low carbon electricity technology are paid for all the electricity they generate, including the electricity that they use. The FIT rate for retro-fitted installations up to 4kW is now 14.38p per kilowatt hour and the same for new builds. The FIT rate for installations between 4kW & 10kW is 13.03 pence per kilowatt hour. For installations between 10kW & 50kW the FIT rate is 12.13 pence per kilowatt hour. ( please see table opposite for larger installations ). These rates are in addition to the savings you will be making on you electricity bills. For surplus electricity not used within the building but fed back to the grid there is an additional 4.77p payment for every kilowatt hour exported. Payments are linked to inflation and will continue for 20 years from the installation date. Tax free.

PV panels produce no noise, have no moving parts and can be made to blend unobtrusively into the surrounding structure. With an average lifespan of thirty years, no direct impact on the environment, minimal maintenance requirements and an income for all the electricity generated through feed-in tariffs guaranteed for 20 years, solar PV looks set to become a much more common sight on homes as well as commercial and public buildings over the next few years.

One of the fasted growing technologies of recent years is solar photovoltaic (PV) which has been led by the need to find alternative, decentralised ways of generating electricity. Feed-in tariffs, in countries like Germany, have proved a strong incentive for property owners to invest in solar PV.

Solar PV is a renewable energy system which uses photovoltaic modules on the roof of a building to convert light into electricity. Voltaic cells are made up of thin layers of semi-conducting material (usually crystalline silicon) which generate an electrical charge when exposed to direct light.

In the UK, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has introduced feed-in tariffs to encourage building owners to install solar PV, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and helping to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources. This is an important strand in the Government’s efforts to meet our target of 15% of energy generated from renewable sources by 2020.

Generate your own electricity with Solar PV and receive up to 14.38 pence per kWh!

Pure Energy Ltd. helps customers assess the feasibility and size of a solar PV array, supplies complete packages and project manages the complete installation. For further details please contact us.

Additional information

From April 1st 2012 new domestic and commercial Energy Efficiency requirements will come into place. A domestic or commercial building must meet energy efficiency requirements set out by the government.

All buildings wishing to have any size of Solar PV installed must first have an Energy Efficiency Certificate (EPC) completed and then submit this certificate with there Feed In Tariff (FIT) application form to there nominated supplier.

To meet the requirement, generators will need to demonstrate as part of their application for FIT’s that the building to which the solar PV is attached or wired to provide electricity is rated at EPC level D or above.

Pure Energy Ltd only use registered assessors for their Energy Performance Certificates and all costs are included in your quotation.