Photovoltaic systems

As stated earlier PV cells have no moving parts, create no noise in operation, and seem attractive from both aesthetic and scientific perspectives.

Figure 7.1

Remote PV array, Autonomous House, Southwell, also with an indication of the sunspace

Figure 7.1

Remote PV array, Autonomous House, Southwell, also with an indication of the sunspace

Power output is constrained by the availability of light falling on the cell, though significant output is still possible with overcast skies.

The development of PV cells is gathering pace as indicated by the fact that the manufacturing capacity for PVs increased by 56 per cent in Europe and 46 per cent in Japan alone between 2001 and 2002. The greatest potential growth area is with building integrated PVs within facade and roof components. Examples of PV integrated cladding include the adaptation of rain screens, roof tiles and windows.

The advantages of building integrated systems are:

• clean generation of electricity;

• generation at its point of use within the urban environment thus avoiding infrastructure costs and line losses;

• no additional land requirements.

As a result a number of national and international development programmes now exist to help exploit the opportunities offered.

Germany has been one of the frontrunners in promoting the application of PVs to buildings. Its Renewable Energy Law offered significant added value to the production of electricity from domestic PV roofs. Its initial target of 100 000 PV roofs has been surpassed. This law has recently been re-enacted and a further 100 000 PV roofs target has been instigated.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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