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Frequently asked question on the subject of Photovoltaics.
All the key technical terms to do with solar energy are explained here.
General terms and conditions
A modern solar power unit will supply clean energy for several decades - entirely without emissions or environmental risks. On the contrary, through the utilization of solar energy, you actively help to reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas CO2, and thus make an important contribution to climate protection. Even the technology used to make the solar units complies with the very highest environmental standards and the materials are readily recyclable.
Not only is solar energy available in unlimited quantities, it is also - in contrast to coal, oil and gas - completely free, like the air we breathe. In addition, we do not have to reckon with any supply shortage from the sun. A comparable guarantee exists nowhere else. Investments in solar energy generally pay for themselves within a few years. Apart from that, there are numerous subsidies and grants available that make solar power well worthwhile for you. Nor should it be forgotten that solar units have attained a high level of technical maturity, have a long service life and help to increase the value of a house.
Fossil raw materials are precious and in short supply. Solar power converses fossil energy sources and saves valuable crude oil and coal for subsequent generations. Every solar power units lets us feel, first hand, how valuable energy is and how carefully we should use it. Anyone who obtains electricity or heat from the roof of his or her house acquires a new personal awareness for power consumption, treats energy much more carefully and also sets a signal in the immediate neighbourhood.
Use the sun, save money
With a solar power unit, you do not only invest in a future that conserves the environment, you also secure the "services" of a free, inexhaustible source of energy. But that's not all: Depending on the the type of solar power system and the individual circumstances, you can also benefit from a wide range of financial subsidies and write-off options.
The legislator has twigged
Germany's Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) came into force on April 1, 2000. The aim of the act was to raise the share of renewable energy sources to at least 12.5 % by 2010 and at least 20 % by 2020. It sets out to ensure a sustainable supply of energy while protecting the climate, nature and the environment. It also wants to help you avoid any conflicts concerning fossil feedstocks. Another of the act's goals is to promote further technological development in this sector.
Photovoltaics (PV) stands for the generation of electricity from sunlight. This is done with the aid of solar cells or solar modules, making use of a sophisticated technology. The following sections will tell you more about the individual components and about how a photovoltaic installation works.
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How it works - overview of a photovoltaics plant
A closer look at the interaction between the individual components in a photovoltaic installation.
Solar modules - the turbines of the solar power unit
Made up several solar cells, solar modules or arrays are basically the generators in any photovoltaic system. There are different kinds of solar modules.
Inverters - how to make use of the solar energy
These devices are needed to convert the direct current obtained from the sunlight into usable 230V alternating current that can then be fed into the public grid.
Types of system - in combination or stand-alone
Depending on the location and individual needs, a distinction is made between grid-connected and self-supporting units. The majority are grid-connected because they are also generally more economical than their insular counterparts.
Type of installation - it's all a question of the angle
In the beginning, only roofs were fitted with solar panels. Take a look for yourself at the possibilities you nowadays have for installing a photovoltaic system.
Accessories - everything under control
With the aid of modern metering, display and monitoring systems, you always have a perfect picture of the performance of your PV unit.