Solar power: potent and inexhaustible
A photovoltaic system has the function of transforming solar energy into electricity
Why it is important to choose solar energy:
- Independence - the possibility to produce energy in a self-sufficient way
- Reliability - an installation can last more than 25 years
- Respect for the environment - the electricity is produced without polluting emissions
- Convenience - savings on the cost of energy and a reduce dependence on changes in the price of energy; enhancement of the property
- Energy storage - possibility to consume the energy produced even when there is no sun, thanks to the Energy Storage
All of the FAQs
The main components of a photovoltaic system are:
These are the main element of the installation, in that their exposure to solar rays determines the production of electrical energy, by way of continuous energy. The photovoltaic cells, consisting of suitably-treated and very thin silicon “slices”, give rise to the direct conversion of light energy into electrical energy.
Module support structures
The structures that support the modules are fixed to the roof and, in the case of flat roofing, also provide for their orientation, optimising their exposure by inclining them towards the sun’s rays. In Italy, the optimal inclination is around 30°.
This is the electronic device that transforms the direct current produced by the photovoltaic modules into alternating current that can be used within the household and by the electricity grid.
To increase the system’s safety, the inverters incorporate protection devices that cause it to shut down in the case of power failure or network disturbances.
Additional components that contribute to improving the efficiency of the installation, being more and more widespread, are:
This is the system that allows you to control your set-up remotely, monitor the progress of production and self-consumption, and check the status of the inverter.
An innovative system that allows you to improve the efficiency of your set-up by accumulating the energy produced during the day to use even when the installation is not productive. In this way, the self-consumption of the energy produced is maximised without having to change consumption habits.
Photovoltaic modules can be placed on the roof, on the façade of a building or on the ground.
During a site inspection, the installer checks the feasibility considering:
- the availability of the space required to install the modules (for every 1,000 Wp of power installed, it takes about 3-4 photovoltaic modules)
- the correct exposure and the inclination of the surface
- the absence of obstacles that can cause shadowing
AUTHORISATIONS FOR INSTALLING
If the building on which the system is to be installed does not fall within an area subject to restrictions (environmental, historical, artistic, panoramic, etc.), without prejudice to the different requirements of the municipal planning instruments, the photovoltaic system can be installed without any qualifying title. If, rather, the property is in an area subject to constraints, it will be necessary to acquire the landscape clearance from the competent authorities on the territory.
In each instance, our installers will evaluate the specific cases to recommend and design the most suitable installation for every need.
The optimal conditions for Italy are:
- SOUTH, or else SOUTH-EAST or SOUTH-WEST, with limited production losses
- An inclination of 30-35°, or 15°-45° with a limited loss of production
The photovoltaic systems last an average of 25 years in total, taking into consideration the main components:
- the modules have a service life of 25-30 years, with a decrease in energy production to the order of 20%;
- the inverters, being high-technology devices, have a lasting duration in time (about 7-10 years), albeit it generally less than that of the modules;
- the Energy Storage system has a service life of around 10 years, beyond which it is often necessary to replace the battery module.
Saving are made thanks to self-consumption.
Self-consumption of energy is when the production of your installation is used directly by the household or consequently, the accumulation in the Energy Storage, without being fed into the network, obtaining great savings. To be added to the savings is the contribution of the Net Energy Metering, provided by GSE, for the energy sold to the electricity grid.
Net Energy Metering is a mechanism that regulates the costs and economic benefits for the emission and withdrawal of electricity from the grid.
It is, in fact, an exchange: the energy (kWh) produced by the installation that is not absorbed by the electric utilities (lightbulbs, appliances, appliances, etc.) is fed into the grid and measured by a special electronic metre (of exchange).
This energy is then economically valued according to the provisions of the Electricity and Gas Authority Resolution. On a quarterly basis, the GSE (Gestore Servizi Energetici - the Energy Services Manager) reimburses the final economic value to the end customer.
All systems connected to the network can benefit from this system whereby they:
- produce electricity through the use of renewable sources
- have a power not exceeding 200 kW for the entire life of the system.
Net Energy Metering is regulated by Resolution 570/2012/R/efr and subsequent amendments of the Electric Energy, Gas and Water System Authority.
Solar systems produce energy even when there is no direct sun.
TRUE. Even on a cloudy day, the light is captured and used, albeit to a lesser extent.
For a household with a 3kW electricity supply contract, a 3 kWp solar system (peak kilowatt) must be installed.
FALSE. There is no direct relationship between the power of the installation and that of the energy supply contract. The sizing of the system must be completed rather on the basis of the annual energy consumption and on the space available to install the photovoltaic modules.
In constructing a photovoltaic system, connecting to the electricity grid is worthwhile.
TRUE. Although an isolated photovoltaic system is technically feasible, it is always worthwhile to maintain contact with the electricity grid when present. Isolated installations are very expensive systems which, moreover, cannot benefit from Net Energy Metering.
A photovoltaic system guarantees an energy reserve in the event of a blackout.
FALSE. Only systems that provide an Energy Storage system with the back-up function can guarantee an energy reserve to temporarily power certain privileged utilities (normally the lights) in the household.
To install the Energy Storage system, the electrical system of the household must be modified.
Photovoltaic modules must be cleaned periodically.
TRUE. Except in particular cases of areas with high rainfall and an absence of vegetation, solid substances deposit on the photovoltaic modules, which over time may reduce the ability to detect solar irradiation.
Being washed every 12-24 months restores the installation’s ability to capture solar radiation and, therefore, to produce energy efficiently.
The energy required for the production of photovoltaic cells and the modules exceeds that produced during their lifetime, thus undermining the environmental value of this technology.
FALSE. At present, the first 3-4 years of operation are sufficient for recuperating the energy consumed in the production of crystalline silicon modules. Effort throughout the next few years will be on further reducing the amount of energy needed, thanks to research focused on new technologies with lower energy intensity.