What is photovoltaics and how does it work?
Photovoltaics is the process of converting free solar energy into electricity. Direct current (DC) is produced in photovoltaic panels, it then flows through the inverter (inverter), where it is transformed into alternating current (AC), which is the same as it is in the sockets. The electricity obtained in this way can be used and stored on an ongoing basis.
Who developed photovoltaic effect?
Photovoltaics is a solution for everyone. The photovoltaic installation can be adapted to the individual needs of each private house or farm.
Which components are required for an PV installation?
The photovoltaic installation consists of:
- photovoltaic modules, thanks to which it is possible to obtain energy from solar radiation;
- an inverter, the main task of which is to convert direct current into the alternating current;
- AC / DC protections relay – their task is to protect the installation against overvoltage and electric discharges;
- an assembly system that allows the solar panels to be installed on the roof or to be placed on the ground;
- cabling ensuring resistance against high voltage, high and low temperatures, UV radiation, and ensuring resistance to loads and adequate flexibility;
- a mobile application that allows you to monitor the operation of the installation;
- optional – surge arresters and batteries.
Do solar panels work at night or on cloudy days?
A photovoltaic system operates with varying intensity throughout the year. In Poland, the spring and summer period accounts for approx. 70% of the generated energy and for the autumn and winter period – approx. 30%.
The energy surplus, produced in the spring and summer periods, is stored in the power grid and can be used in the months that are much less sunny. So there is no reason to fear that we will run out of energy on cloudy days.
Contrary to appearances, heat and long-lasting sunny weather is not the best conditions for solar panels. Too high temperatures lead to overheating of the cells and a decrease in their efficiency.
The climate in Poland considered being one of the most optimal for the production of energy from photovoltaic systems.
What power of the photovoltaic system will be right for me?
When choosing the right size of a photovoltaic system, first of all, the annual electricity demand should be taken into account. The installation power is also influenced by factors such as the location of the building, the shape, and slope of the roof, the degree of shade, etc.
Therefore, it is best to rely on professionals who, after an audit, will choose the best solar panels for you.
What are surge arrester and when should you use them?
Surge arresters are small devices that are attached to individual modules of the installation. They control the parameters of the generated current in such a way as to obtain the best efficiency of the installation.
The use of a surge arrester helps to eliminate the losses related to the shading of the panels (if one of the modules connected in series, without the use of surge arrester, stops producing energy due to shading, then all modules stop working, aligning their work with the worst of the series) and ensures monitoring of the operation of each module (if one of the modules will stop working, you can quickly diagnose the source of the problem).
Will solar panels work during a power outage?
The operation of the photovoltaic system during a power outage depends on whether the installation was installed in an on-grid, off-grid, or hybrid system.
In the case of the on-grid system (when the installation is connected to the power grid), your house will be deprived of access to electricity during a grid failure. You will get independence from power outages by choosing an off-grid installation (closed system, not requiring connection to the grid) or a hybrid installation, which is a combination of on-grid and off-grid systems (it is connected to the grid, but also has local energy storage).
Do you have any more questions? Call us!
Do you feel lost or don’t have time to read? We understand you perfectly 🙂 Just call us or write us and we will answer all your questions.
+48 578 200 517
Free valuation of the photovoltaic system
Curious about installing a photovoltaic system on your roof? Request a free and no-obligation quote.
Solar panel installation process
What is a solar energy audit?
A photovoltaic audit consists of interviewing the client and visual inspection of the installation site.
During the audit, we analyze your electricity bills from recent months and check what your energy needs are. This information will allow us to select the optimal power of the solar panels. Our representative also assesses the installation options, checking the surface of the roof (or ground), its slope, type of sheathing, and the degree of shading. The final stage of the audit is the individual valuation of the total installation and assembly along with a simulation of savings.
The meeting with our advisor can take place even on the same day, at your preferred hours. It is worth reserving an hour of free time and prepare electricity bills for the meeting – annual or semi-annual statement – with visible use for the entire period.
How long does it take to install a photovoltaic system?
The installation of a photovoltaic system usually takes from 1 to 3 days. The length of this process depends on the size of the installation and the layout of the roof structure.
Where can I install a solar panels?
You can install photovoltaic panels wherever they will be exposed to sunlight. Typically, modules are installed on the roof of the building (both flat and sloping), there is also the option of installing the photovoltaic system on the ground.
What are the requirements to install solar panels?
One of the necessary conditions is the appropriate type of roof sheathing and roof load capacity (more about this in the question: What kind of roof do I need to have to install solar panels?).
When deciding on a photovoltaic installation, you should also pay attention to the degree of roof shading, its angle of inclination, and location with the directions of the world.
Our experts during the audit will assess the existing on-site technical conditions and the individual will choose the best solution for you.
Do I need a special roof for solar panels?
The panels can be installed on virtually any roof covering, except for asbestos, onduline, polycarbonate, and plexiglass. It is also very important that the roof on which the photovoltaic system is to be installed is in good technical condition.
Can I extend my solar PV system?
Absolutely – there is a possibility of extending the already installed solar system. In such a situation, it is best to turn to professionals who will help you carry out the expansion process efficiently and skillfully.
What happens with unused solar power?
Daily surplus energy is stored in the power plant, for which a fee is charged in the amount of 20% (in the case of installations below 10 kW) or 30% (greater than 10 kW systems). The stored energy surplus can be collected within a year (e.g. the surplus energy produced in the summer season can be used in the autumn and winter months).
Who is responsible for covering the costs of connecting the installation to the energy network?
It is the responsibility of the grid operator to connect your PV system to the grid. Micro-installation owners are exempt from connection fees. The operator covers both the cost of installing the bidirectional meter and security.
Photovoltaic system – use, service and warranty
How long do photovoltaic panels last?
The lifetime of photovoltaic panels is very high, with the passage of years the modules may only lose their efficiency. It is estimated that a module loses 0.7% of its efficiency on average in a year. Thus, after 25-30 years, the efficiency of the module drops by only about 20%.
What is the warranty on solar panels?
The manufacturer is responsible for the guarantee of individual components of the photovoltaic installation. The duration of the warranty depends on a given element and the nature of the defect. The inverter is covered by a 10-year warranty, and the solar cells with a period of 12 to even 30 years of protection, depending on whether the problem is a hidden module defect or loss of efficiency. Our offer also includes a 5-year assembly warranty.
Do solar panels require any maintenance?
The photovoltaic installation is maintenance-free. Most of the installed solar systems have a built-in communication module (usually wi-fi), thanks to which you can control the operation of the panels and the amount of energy produced from any place with Internet access. In addition, the photovoltaic installation has practically no moving parts, which makes it extremely resistant to failures and does not require servicing.
How can I monitor the performance of my PV system?
You can monitor the performance of the photovoltaic system in two ways:
- by taking regular readings from the inverter (newer models usually do not have displays anymore)
- using a special application installed on your mobile phone that allows you to connect to the inverter and remotely monitor the performance of solar panels, as well as save and store the measurements.
How to take care of your solar panels system?
Regular and proper maintenance of photovoltaic panels guarantees their trouble-free operation and full efficiency. Residual dust, sediment, dust, bird droppings, or leaves can result in even a 15% decrease in power.
We can outsource the cleaning process of photovoltaic panels to professionals or choose to work independently. With the second option, you should remember the basic principles of maintenance of photovoltaic panels, such as:
- using delicate accessories for cleaning to avoid scratching the surface;
- washing the panels with a solution of demineralized water and isopropanol in the proportion of 1/1;
- not cleaning heated panels;
- avoiding washing the panels in direct sunlight during the day.
Solar panels – cost, bills, taxes, government subsidies
How much does a photovoltaic system cost?
The price of a photovoltaic installation depends on many factors, such as size, components used, type of roof structure, assembly, etc. The valuation of the installation is therefore prepared individually, after prior consultation with the client.
When you decide to use solar farms, you can take advantage of the subsidies available on the market. Our specialists will help you choose the most advantageous form of subsidy and will prepare a free quote, taking into account all your needs. It is worth remembering that significant savings in energy fees will allow for a fairly quick compensation of the costs of the photovoltaic installation.
How much can I save by choosing a photovoltaic system?
How much you can save on a photovoltaic system depends on several individual factors, such as the monthly electricity demand or the current electricity prices.
Assuming that your monthly electricity bill is around PLN 300, you can save almost PLN 4,000 per year. It is also worth noting that electricity bills are constantly increasing, and having your solar power plant, you become independent of rising prices. By adding all the deductions, allowances, and subsidies for photovoltaics, you can save even more.
Use our calculator and calculate how much you can save on electricity!
How long does it take or solar panels to pay for themselves?
Investing in a photovoltaic system is a long-term operation. With properly selected installation capacity by specialists and the use of concessions and government subsidies, the return on investment can be achieved after even 5-8 years.
What does prosumer mean?
A prosumer is a combination of two words: “producer” and “consumer”. In the case of photovoltaics, it is a person who has a photovoltaic system and produces his own energy, which he uses, and at the same time transfers the generated surplus electricity to the power grid.
Can I sell excess solar energy?
As a prosumer, you cannot derive material benefits from the energy you produce. However, it is possible to store energy surpluses at your operator’s and then collect them at the time of increased demand for electricity. According to the current regulations, prosumers can collect from 70% to 80% of the stored energy within 365 days from the moment the energy is fed into the grid. (These rules apply to owners of installations up to 50 kW).
Is installing solar panels tax-deductible?
The tax relief may be granted to a natural person, an entrepreneur, as well as an agricultural owner. Persons taxed with PIT may receive Tax Reliefs with deductions as part of the Project and term modernization.
Photovoltaics for the company are subject to a 23% tax amount that can be fully deducted. Farmers, on the other hand, can count on the relief and on the agricultural tax of up to 25% of expenses incurred on photovoltaics.
What is the VAT rate on solar panels?
The VAT rate varies depending on who the investor is. Micro-installations for households, small communities, and cooperatives are subject to 8% VAT. On the other hand, farmers and various types of businesses are covered by the VAT rate of 23% (the values given apply to the purchase of the installation with assembly, if you decide to purchase without assembly, then the VAT rate is always 23%).
Can I be a prosumer while running a business of being a farmer?
A prosumer can be both a person running a business and a farm owner, as long as the installation does not exceed 50kW.