Contractor Blog

George Riley

Recent Posts

Can You Go Off-Grid with Solar PV?

George Riley · 25 Mar 2021

With energy prices rising, we often get clients asking if they can go off-grid with solar PV. It’s an alluring idea, especially since affordable battery storage has brought greater grid independence within reach. But living entirely on solar power is not so simple.

In this blog, we’ll investigate how to go off the grid with solar panels and assess, crucially, if or when it’s worthwhile.

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Topics: Battery storage, Off grid, Solar PV

AC Solar Panels: Meet SunPower’s Maxeon 5

George Riley · 04 Mar 2021

A few years ago, SunPower struck a deal with Enphase. Part of this involved an agreement for SunPower, known for its high-efficiency solar modules, to integrate Enphase’s market-leading micro-inverters. We are now seeing the result of the collaboration coming to fruition with the release of the Maxeon 5, an AC solar panel touted by the company as the ‘most powerful’ domestic module available.

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Topics: Solar PV

Are Premium Solar Inverters Worth It?

George Riley · 27 Jan 2021

It’s something of a solar industry cliche, but the inverter really is the heart of a photovoltaic system. While solar panels harness the sun’s energy, it’s the inverter that converts this direct current (DC) into usable alternating current (AC) electricity. Yet, compared to the panels, inverters rarely get much discussion.

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Topics: Solar PV, Inverters

Spirit’s Year in Review 2020

George Riley · 17 Dec 2020

It’s fair to say this wasn’t quite the year any of us were hoping for.

But as 2020 draws to a close, we’d like to put the immeasurable challenges we’ve all faced to one side, and reflect on some of the positives this year has had to offer us. From sustaining the solar rollout to Tesla’s Energy Plan, there’s plenty to appreciate.

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Topics: Battery storage, Spirit Energy news, EV charging, Tariffs, Solar PV

Perovskite Solar Cells: PV Beyond Silicon

George Riley · 18 Nov 2020

Technological breakthroughs are a mainstay of the solar industry. One area of development that’s received a lot of chatter over the years is perovskite solar cells - an alternative to the silicon that all conventional solar cells are made from.

So why are people excited about perovskite, and will it be the future of photovoltaics?

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Topics: Solar PV

Export Limitation: The Saviour of Large PV Systems?

George Riley · 21 Oct 2020

When in the planning and design stages of a solar PV project, you may come across the term export limitation. Essentially the process involves fitting a device to cap exported power going from the solar system to the grid. But why would you want or need one? Read on to find out...

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Topics: Battery storage, Solar PV, Inverters

Vehicle to Grid: Taking Charging up a Gear

George Riley · 16 Sep 2020

At present, electric car charging is simple: you plug in and top up the battery. But many predict that in the future, EVs will have a more symbiotic relationship with our national electricity network. Enter vehicle to grid charging.

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Topics: Battery storage, EV charging

What is Peak Power in Solar Panels?

George Riley · 10 Sep 2020

A perennial source of confusion when researching solar PV is peak performance. We regularly classify solar systems by their peak, their kWp. But does a system ever reach its peak? In very hot weather over the summer, system owners often observe a drop in performance - so is the peak power in solar panels even significant?

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Topics: In roof solar panels, Solar PV

Spirit Installs Solar Panels at the Natural History Museum in Tring

George Riley · 24 Aug 2020

Spirit Energy is delighted to have been part of bringing renewable energy generation to the Natural History Museum in Tring.

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Topics: Spirit Energy news, Solar PV

Van der Valk: Mounting Solar PV on Flat Roofs

George Riley · 20 Aug 2020

For many commercial flat roofs, we install solar PV with Van der Valk mounting. It’s high quality kit, produced in the Netherlands, that offers flexible layouts, compact ballast, quick install time and affordable prices.

Read on for more on the challenges of flat roof solar and why we recommend Van der Valk.

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Topics: Solar PV