When driving around the countryside here, it is a common site to see fields of solar panels which are capturing the sun’s energy and converting it to electricity which is fed into the grid so the power providers can sell it back to us. As you drive past, you may be asking yourself how you can also use the sun to generate your own electricity at home and help reduce your electricity bills. Well, you can do this with a solar panel electricity system, also known as photovoltaic (PV).
How do I make my own electricity?
If your house is already connected to the electricity grid, then you will probably need to have a grid connected solar electricity system. Basically, this consists of solar panels, or a solar array, which provide your home’s power needs during the day time while still being connected via an inverter to the local electric grid network. The grid provides power during the night time, or times when the solar system is not meeting all your electricity needs such as during a prolonged cloudy spell, which is luckily not that common in this area of Spain!
How do I connect to the grid?
As well as installing the necessary equipment, you will need to ensure that the installation has the correct permissions and certifications from the power supplier and the Ministry of Interior to ensure it meets current safety and electrical legislation. Your installer should provide that as part of the installation process, as otherwise if the system is not correctly registered, you may be subject to fines or prosecution.
What if I am not connected to the grid?
Don’t worry, you can have an off-grid system and store surplus photovoltaic electricity in batteries for when you need it. In addition, you could also consider having a generator as an additional back-up. This kind of installation is not subject to the same registration requirements as the grid connected one.
What maintenance do Solar PV Systems require?
Good news! If the system is correctly installed, it should require very little maintenance. It is important to keep the panels clean so they can capture as much of the sun’s energy as possible. Also keep an eye on any trees that may grow up and create shade for the panels as this will make the system less efficient.