Solar panels can reduce, if not eliminate, the cost of electricity. This month, we chat with Kenneth Byrne from Solaris Green Energy, a renewable energy specialist, who answers our questions on solar panels for your home.
OLT: What are the different types of solar technology available for homeowners?
Kenneth: There are two main types of Solar Panels:
Photovoltaic Panels (PV): PV-Panels produce electricity that can be used to power your home, including the heating of water. We only install high-capacity half-cut Photovoltaic-Modules to maximise any system's output.
Thermodynamic Panels: Thermodynamic Solar Panels utilise the sun's energy for the heating of water ONLY. These panels do NOT produce any electricity to power your home.
OLT: How much electricity can solar panels generate?
Kenneth: With the right system in place, solar panels can provide you with 100% of your energy needs – plus extra, which a homeowner can sell back to the grid.
On a clear Sunny day, our 6-Panel System will produce in and around 10.77kWh per day. This is based on a south-facing roof on an average sunny day in May.
Throughout the whole year, this system will produce about 2584kWh. During the evaluation process, we create individual annual yield reports (Yield in kWh), specific to the addresses of the proposed PV-Installations.
OLT: Is Solar an efficient system when the days are cloudy or during winter?
Kenneth: Solar PV will generate energy during daylight hours. If cloudy, your panels will continue to generate electricity, but not at their full capacity.
Therefore, when installing solar panels, they must be well located on a property and installed with a solar energy storage system, also known as battery storage.
OLT: What would you recommend for my home if I purchase a rooftop solar PV system?
Kenneth: We design systems to suit the house and the customer's habits. These factors include things such as System Size (Peak Output of PV-Panels in kW), is battery storage required, is a hot water diverter or an EV-Charger installed
Panels: We use high-capacity panels, manufactured by one of the leading global brands with an output of 460W or more. Houses with limited roof or garden space available highly benefit from high-capacity panels, as it makes the most out of the available area.
Battery Storage: Battery Storage is very beneficial to store excess energy, especially for larger systems. Smaller systems can still greatly benefit from batteries as they can be charged from the grid during cheaper NightSaver hours.
Hot Water Diverters: Whether on their own or in combination with a battery system, hot water diverters are another great way to store excess energy. PV-Power produced but not needed by the house's general demand is being diverted to a hot water tank via immersion.
EV-Charger: As homeowners either already own an electric car or bike or plan to upgrade to one in the near future, we also give our customers the option to install an EV-Charger. This charger is connected to the PV-System for daytime charging, as well as to the grid for night-time charging.
OLT: How long does PV Solar take to install in a customer’s home?
Kenneth: Based on the size and type of the system (Roof or ground mounted) an average install takes between 2 and 3 days.
When a customer engages with our service, the first step is a quick phone call to get a better understanding of their needs and to answer any questions.
This is followed by a first system design, price, and estimation of the annual generated electricity in kWh, specifically based on the size of the system, location, and peak performance.
These estimates are generated utilising data provided by the European Commission. The findings from these estimations will also give the first indicator, for the systems payback period.
As a final step before the installation, an onsite visit is arranged to answer any remaining open questions, finalise a start date, and go over the projected timeframe as well as all system components, such as which size of battery or type of diverter, or both will be installed.
OLT: What is the cost of solar panels for an average home?
Kenneth: Costs will vary based on system size, but a 6-Panel PV-System starts at €8,100 and includes a 3kW hybrid inverter, a 2.4kWh battery, or an Eddi inverter. The total cost after the SEAI Grant for the customer is around €6,300
OLT: How long until you make your money back on solar panels?
Kenneth: The return on investment depends on the system size. The bigger the system itself, the quicker a full payback can be achieved.
Based on the current electricity prices, our systems have a payback period of 7 to 10 years. Another factor that impacts payback, is changing electricity usage habits and fully utilising NightSaver rates.
OLT: What is the required maintenance for solar panels?
Kenneth: Once installed, our systems are completely maintenance-free. However, we provide a cleaning and inspection service to our customers IF needed.
OLT: What are the Solar PV Panel Grants available in Ireland?
Kenneth: The SEAI currently offers grants based on the installed systems' peak performance in kW. A customer can expect 900 euros per Kilowatt installed up to 2kW and an additional 300 euros for each kW installed up to 4kW. The maximum grant a customer can currently expect is 2400 euros.
The SEAI used to offer a 600 euro grant for the installation of a battery, which is a highly controversial decision that has recently been scrapped. This decision was specifically controversial, considering that energy providers have a surplus of electricity during the night-time, which could be used to charge a battery at a very cheap rate. This would make a big impact, especially during shorter winter days. This, as well as a looming energy crisis on the horizon, is the reason that it is currently being discussed whether this decision should be reversed.
About Solaris Green Energy
Solaris Green Energy is your devoted renewable energy company, specialising in the installation of PV-Solar Panel Systems, Heat Pumps as well as all other heating solutions.
We are a gas safe (RGII) and oil safe (OFTEC) as well as SEAI registered company which should go without saying as individuals working with gas and oil need to work under strict safety regulations.
For a no-obligation, free solar panel consultation, contact Kenneth Byrne direct at 086-897-4036 or post a job with Onlinetradesmen to find qualified solar panel experts near you.