How does a Photovoltaic (PV) panel work?

PV panels are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. Sunlight is made up of photons. When the photons hit the surface of the PV panel electrons are released; these electrons form electricity in the form of a direct current across the layers.

The inverter converts the electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), so that it may be combined with the electricity being imported from the mains, and used to power appliances in your home.


What are the lifetimes of PV Panels?

PV panels have a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 years and a working lifetime of 40 years and beyond. As the photovoltaic effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon, there is nothing to say that the panels will not continue to create electricity for as long as they are in sunlight. A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate very efficiently for at least 25 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is to purchase quality components from a reputable company who will guarantee that your system is correctly installed and commissioned.

 

What Maintenance will my PV system require?

As a Solar PV system has no moving parts it needs little maintenance – you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't begin to overshadow them. Correctly installed rooftop PV panels are usually cleaned quite adequately by the rain. The only projected cost would be the replacement cost of the inverter some time during the lifetime of the system.

 

How long does it take to install my PV system?

It depends on the size of the system, but an installation team will normally be able to install a small domestic use system in only 1 day!