What is a Solar PV Panel?
The full name is "Photovoltaic panel" or just PV for short.
- Photo: From the word photon, meaning light, light waves are actually photon particles.
- Voltaic: From the word volt, a unit of electricity measurement.
Photovoltaic, therefore means obtaining an electrical current from a light input.
PV panels are made of a photovoltaic material, normally of a form of silicon. When a photon particle strikes the PV panel, an electron in the silicon is knocked loose; this is then converted into usable electricity!
The new government feed in tariffs (FIT) were initially very generous and included savings and payments that would give a return of approx. 9% a year tax free, index linked for 25 years! However recent government legislation has changed and the FIT is now a more modest 5%, however this return is still very good and a better investment than a bank.
Check out the energy saving trusts website: Energy Saving Trust
With current interest rates and unstable utility energy prices, installing solar panels, still represents one of the best long term investments, increasing your property's value and reducing your energy bills at the same time.
Additionally solar panels reduce your carbon footprint, your dependency on fossil fuels and your dependency on utility companies by using a free, natural, renewable resource - solar energy.