Photovoltaic cells

Photovoltaic cells
© Martin Henke, image #150272126, 2017, source:
All sectors
Investment cost:
High cost
Payback time:
8.9 Year(s)
Cost savings:
1830€ / Annual: € 1 830 (£ 1 679)
Resource type:
Resource saving:
Annual: generation of energy to offset consumption and feed into the grid; 9 759 kWh or 4 883 kg CO2 equivalent
Investment cost:
16350€ / € 16 350 (£ 15 000) per 10 kW installation, € 1 635 per kW (£ 1 500); the scale of the project is based on kW output; poorly placed panels can notably impact the performance of cells; cannot be used for base load, supply is reliant on sun; maintenance is generally low with periodic cleaning and checks required
Assumptions taken in the presentation of the above performance indicators:

Installation of PV cells in appropriate location; works where exposure to the sun is available; panels located at an appropriate angle for optimum exposure to the sun with no obstruction; 10 kW bank installed with 60 % of the yield exported to the grid

Photovoltaic (PV) cells are a good example of small-scale renewables. PV modules are panels that convert sunlight into DC electricity, and then into AC electricity. PV modules are reliable and require low maintenance. This technology works well, ideally free from shade, covering electricity needs during the daytime.

PV modules can be mounted on the building, or designed into the building envelope, replacing walling, cladding or roofing. Output can be predicted by checking the available solar energy where the building is located. Specialists can make robust predictions and help an organisation maximise its savings.

If there is enough space for the installation, access to sunlight, and good exposure (i.e. no overshadowing), PVs are a viable and advantageous power option. They are silent and easy to run, they can easily be hidden (or visible, to make a sustainability statement), and they are tried and tested with low associated maintenance costs.

Excess electricity (more than the building/company/house needs) can be exported to the national grid. When this is possible, payback times are shortened, and the best returns are achieved.

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