Contractor Blog

Van der Valk Ground Mounted Solar Panels: A Cost Efficient Alternative

George Riley · 13 Oct 2021

We’ve written before about the possibilities of domestic ground mounted solar panels, and now there is an exciting development that could make these types of installation even more affordable. By essentially using the same mounting systems we use for flat roof PV, we can install Van der Valk ground mounted solar panels to cut time and costs for our clients.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

Read more...

Topics: Solar PV

Heterojunction Solar Cells Boost PV Efficiency

George Riley · 08 Sep 2021

The world of solar cell development is a mass of competing technologies: an alphabet soup of acronyms and jargon. If you need to know your n-type HJT from your PERC P-N junction, this is the blog for you.

Heterojunction solar cells are one of the technologies touted to maximise potential PV panel efficiency. They are a combination of classic crystalline silicon and amorphous/thin film cells, theoretically providing the best of both worlds.

Read more...

Topics: Solar PV

Solar Panel Recycling Solutions

George Riley · 02 Sep 2021

Not many PV panels have yet reached their end of life, but this is likely to accelerate in the 2030s as early systems (particularly those installed during the FiT boom) begin to reach old age.

Some panels, however, do get damaged, malfunction or are replaced for newer modules, becoming complex electronic waste.

What happens to the modules next is vital to ensuring solar remains one of the most sustainable forms of energy. The good news is that work is underway to tackle the complexities of solar panel recycling...

Read more...

Topics: Maintenance, Solar PV, Environment

Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme

George Riley · 19 Aug 2021

If you own a large generator, you may have received a letter recently about the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme. This is related to an upcoming regulation change that may affect you and require you to make a change to your system.

Read more...

Topics: Maintenance, Solar PV, Inverters

Checking in on Old Thorns Hotel's Solar Installation

George Riley · 12 Aug 2021

We’re delighted to share a look behind the scenes at one of our recent big commercial installs: a huge 217kWp solar PV system at Old Thorns Hotel in Liphook.

Old Thorns is a vast resort with a golf course, spa, bars and restaurants, over 150 rooms, and self catering apartments. With such a lot of activity on site, energy demand is substantial to say the least. Solar PV offered a chance to cut down the club’s electricity bills, while also becoming a more sustainable venue.

Read more...

Topics: Spirit Energy news, Financing, Solar PV

N-type Silicon Solar Cells: The Future of Monocrystalline PV?

George Riley · 21 Jul 2021

Photovoltaic technology is forever changing, as researchers and developers pursue new ways to maximise performance. In recent years there has been an increasing focus on n-type silicon solar cells, which are doped with phosphorus rather than boron. They have the potential to reduce cell degradation and improve solar generation over the system’s lifetime. As such, n-type cells are being adopted by more manufacturers and may come to dominate the market...

Read more...

Topics: Solar PV

The Current State of Solar Energy: Taking Stock of Recent PV Advances

Tok Charles · 23 Jun 2021

When you work at the coal face of the solar industry (get your head around that one...), it is sometimes interesting to take a step back to see where the market has come from and where it’s headed.

We’ve spent some time taking stock of the current state of solar technology.

Read more...

Topics: Solar PV

Solar Panel Shading: Analysis and Solutions

David Woon · 10 Jun 2021

Solar PV panels work by converting sunlight into DC electricity which then undergoes a DC-AC conversion via an inverter (or multiple micro-inverters) to be used in your household. As the energy generation is dependent on the irradiance or amount of sunlight, it is no surprise that shading is the biggest enemy when it comes to solar PV.

Technologies over the years have dramatically improved to mitigate against the effects of shading, but like with any technology the most appropriate system specification needs to be deployed for a given scenario to yield the greatest benefits.

In the following solar panel shading analysis, we’ll investigate the causes, impacts and solutions for solar PV systems.

Read more...

Topics: Solar PV, Inverters

Virtual Power Plants: Balancing the Grid with Solar and Batteries

George Riley · 03 Jun 2021

We’re in the midst of an energy revolution. Coal is due to be kicked off the grid by 2024, ending its 142 year reign. Solar and wind capacity has increased by 579% since 2010. The Big Six has been broken.

This rapid transformation of the UK’s electricity grid opens up many possibilities, and challenges. Chief among them is the precarious balance of supply and demand. Intermittent renewable generation, combined with electrified heating and transport, makes this a pressing task.

But can solar, alongside battery storage, be part of the solution? Find out how they can form part of ‘virtual power plants’ - the 21st century answer to the fossil giants of old.

Read more...

Topics: Battery storage, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

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.

Read more...

Topics: Battery storage, Off grid, Solar PV