What is photovoltaics?
Photovoltaics (photo = light, volt = unit of electrical voltage) is the specialist term for electricity produced using solar energy. Photovoltaics concerns the direct conversion of sunlight into electric current using solar cells.
What components is a photovoltaic system composed of?
Photovoltaic solar systems generally consist of photovoltaic modules and a device called an inverter. The direct current generated by the solar cells is transformed into alternating current by the inverter in compliance with electricity provided by the public electricity grid. If the system is connected to the grid, the electricity is fed into the public grid via a feed-in meter. In the case of a stand-alone system, solar electricity is mainly stored in batteries for use at a later time.
Which houses are well-suited for a photovoltaic system?
Almost any building is suited for the installation of a solar energy system. It must have a roof or façade which faces south, east or west. Shading caused by trees or houses should be avoided.
What is an adequate size for a photovoltaic solar energy system?
Due to the tariff for solar-generated electricity paid by the utility companies, the system should be dimensioned according to the size of the roof and the amount of money available, in order to obtain as high a return as possible.
How can a photovoltaic system help save the environment?
A solar energy system generates energy and therefore reduces the use of conventional energy from oil, gas, coal or uranium. CO2 emissions are reduced accordingly (not,
however, in comparison with nuclear power). Furthermore, environmental damage through transport, extraction and processing of raw materials or through the final storage of spent fuels is avoided.
How is a solar energy system installed?
The following installation types are available:
- On-roof installation
- Flat-roof installation
- Ground-mounted installation