SOLAR ENERGY

Solar PV farms use the power of the sun to convert UV light into usable electricity.  The panels generate direct current.  This is transformed via inverters into alternating current which is suitable for use in every home and business in the country. This type of technology was originally designed by NASA and can now be seen throughout Europe as an effective way of delivering clean renewable electricity to communities.

Solar farms are a great way of producing clean renewable energy and can be easily screened using existing or new hedge rows. By using the existing grid infrastructure solar farms can help reduce the need for major grid reinforcements by ensuring each and every community has its own supply of electricity.

SOLAR IN UK & IRELAND

The UK and Ireland have the capacity to deliver viable solar energy as PV panels generate electricity during daylight hours.  The UK has so far deployed 9+GW of solar PV developments and it is envisaged that commerical scale projects in Ireland will be deployed from 2017.  In terms of comparison to mainland Europe, the solar resource in Ireland is close to 70% of the level in Spain.

MAIN ELEMENTS IN A PV FARM

Module

A solar panel (or module) is a series of interconnecting silicon cells joined together to form a circuit.  In large numbers the amount of power produced by these interconnected cells can be increased and used as an electricity production system.

Inverter

An inverter is an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).  The inverter does not produce any power; the power is provided by the DC source (PV modules).

Transformers

A transformer is an electrical device that transfers electrical energy between two or more circuits through electromagnetic induction.  Transformers are used to increase or decrease the alternating voltage in electric power applications.  In the case of PV farms the transformers increase the voltage of the power produced by the modules so that it can be exported to the grid.

BENEFITS

Benefits of Solar Photovoltaic/PV or Solar Energy Solar electricity benefits the world economically, environmentally and socially.

Economic Advantages

  • Solar PV can be developed and installed faster than any other traditional OR renewable power plants. Typical construction period is 3-4 months.
  • It has a predictable energy curve as it produces electricity during daylight hours.
  • Landowners who rent out land to a solar development can benefit from a stable, long-term income. This lease enables dual-usage of land as energy is produced from solar panels, while sheep also graze between panels for vegetation management.
  • If the EU’s 2020 targets are not met by member states, large fines will be imposed. Increasing the number of solar PV plants will enable the UK and Ireland to come closer to their 2020 renewable energy target.

Environmental Advantages

  • Solar is clean, quiet and visually unobtrusive. Solar farms do no have any polluting emissions, do not make any sound, and are generally not considered to be an eyesore.
  • Solar farms can be placed in virtually every geographical region because the sun can shine everywhere.
  • A solar farm can enhance an areas biodiversity. The passive environment created around solar farms is a very appealing habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

Social Advantages

  • The sun creates clean, renewable energy that will sustain and support the health of future generations.
  • Solar energy does not require the input of external fuel and therefore supports national energy independence.
  • Solar PV technology creates direct and indirect local jobs for the new energy economy.
  • Solar farms help to create a positive image for companies. Those who invest in solar energy demonstrate their environmental awareness and social responsibility.