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...
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.
Topics: Solar PV
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.
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.
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.
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.
Topics: Solar PV
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.
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.
Image source: Wikimedia.
With more and more properties looking at reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, becoming more sustainable, and increasing their grid independence, opting for a heat pump ticks a lot of these boxes. Heat pumps may also see a significant rise in the coming years due to the announcement that it is highly likely gas boilers will be banned in new build properties in the next few years.
Though Spirit does not install heat pumps, we are interested in how they form part of a renewable energy powered home.
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?
Topics: Solar PV