Solar Cells - solar energy?

renewable energy

Solar cells for sale: When considering buying solar panelling, it is important to understand some of the jargon used in this new field.


Photovoltaic, PV
Photovoltaic cells or panels are thin layers of semi-conducting material. Electrical charges are generated. When exposed to sunlight, they produce electricity which is fed into the domestic supply as direct current.  A number of cells connected together behind glass form a solar panel.

Mono-crystalline silicon cells
Mono-crystalline silicon cells are the most efficient but also the most expensive type of solar panel. Made from single crystals of silicon, these cells capture 15% of the solar energy that shines on it.

Polycrystalline silicon cells
Poly- or multi-crystalline silicon cells are made from silicon cut into very thin strips. They are less efficient than mono-crystalline cells, but are also slightly cheaper to buy.

Amorphous PV solar cell, as opposed to  poly-crystalline and mono-crystalline cells, are not made from expensive crystalline silicon.  They use a very thin layer of silicon is sprayed on to a backing material to make solar roof tiles. As the silicon is much thinner than that used in a crystalline solar cell, the cost of each cell is greatly reduced.

Solar tiles
Solar tiles use the same scientific principles as solar panels, but are smaller and thinner than PV panels, similar in shape and colour to ordinary roof tiles.

Microgeneration refers to the installation of low-capacity electricity generation equipment, which generates up to 50 kW of electricity. Small-scale microgeneration includes the full gambit of  the new technologies such as solar panels, wind generators and combined heat and power (CHP) systems such as biomass boilers.

Feed-in tariff (FIT)
The Feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme makes payments in exchange for you owning a solar panel, wind generators or biomass  system. It pays for all excess electricity fed back into the national grid.
If you generate your own electricity your energy supplier might pay you money – see the governments Feed-in Tariffs: get money for generating your own electricity page.

MCS - The Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
This is the certifying scheme of products and approved installers of electricity generation technologies, including solar PV, wind generators and biomass boilers. For customers wishing to recieve the Feed-in tariff,  MCS-certified products and installers must be used.

REAL-  Renewable Energy Assurance Limited.
The Renewable Energy Assurance Limited Consumer Code gives the standards and regulations that low-capacity electricity generation technologies installers must adhere to to get Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified. The REAL Code clearly sets out the standards of service -before, during and after an agreement is entered into. It is designed to protect the customer, and to promote high quality products and designs.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The renewable heat incentive  is the financial support scheme that will be pay homeowners to generate their own heat and electricity, and is similar to the Feed-in tariff. It is due to be introduced in the summer of 2013. The current RHI schemes premium payments offer grants to people to help pay for the installation of some heat-generating technologies.


Is China the future?

China, which is expected to double its demand for energy in the next 15 to 20 years, currently consumes 45% of the world’s fossil fuels. This will mean that an additional 45% of oil, gas, coal, and mineral resources will have to be found. In the 1970’s oil was changing hands at around $10 per barrel. Today, new fracking techniques (getting oil, rather than blood out of a stone) will cost at least $80 per barrel, and this cost will increase as the oil rich reserves are quickly used up.


-------------- Research Topics:

Solar cells for sale | thin film solar cells | photovoltaic cells | solar panels | advantages of solar cells | polycrystalline solar cells | solar cells | experiment solar cells | Photovoltaic, PV | Mono-crystalline silicon cells | Polycrystalline silicon cells | Amorphous | Solar tiles | Microgeneration | Feed-in tariff (FIT) | MCS - The Microgeneration Certification Scheme. | REAL | Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

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