A Solar PV installation journey

Starting my Solar PV journey

Published by geoffbrickell on 29 August 2011

Image Having been thinking about it for too many months, I have finally committed to look seriously at a Solar PV installation at my property. Solar PV, where PV means photovoltaic, is the technology that allows sunlight to be converted into low voltage DC electricity, which is then converted into the normal higher voltage AC electricity with an electronic device called an inverter.

This technology has been around for a very long time but in recent years, as the volume of installations has increased, the engineering and installation methods have become much more standardised and there are now a lot of suppliers offering 'packages' of one sort or another.

Getting going with this project has been prompted by a much publicised 'review' of the Government backed Feed in Tariffs that is now underway. The Feed in Tariffs, or FiTs, are the way that householders can gain an income from the renewable energy that they generate when they install Solar PV, and it is expected that the review will conclude that the tariffs should be reduced early next year - so I had to get a move on!

To get up-to-date on Solar PV, the first thing I did was to check out both the Energy Savings Trust and the DECC web sites, and then I needed to:

  • Work out what size system would make sense,
  • What budget I would need,
  • Understand what the planning permission issues were, and then
  • Contact some potential suppliers

In this series of blog posts I am aiming to document each of the steps I am undertaking and the issues that arise so that others can learn to some extent from my experience.