Solar Energy

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Solar Energy2021-05-24T14:33:26+00:00

Solar Energy

See our solar case studies

Explore our solar services

As a pioneer in solar, Dulas is well placed to support the successful development of your solar PV project in the UK and Ireland. Our experienced consultants can guide you through planning and consent, right through to long-term performance optimisation.
A significant step on from our beginnings developing small-scale remote power solutions, we now offer initial feasibility assessments, planning consultancy and solar design at utility scale, plus a range of services for installation and operational management.

Unrivalled Experience

Dulas has nearly forty years’ experience in the field of renewable energy. We installed our first off-grid solar PV systems back in 1993, and the first grid-connected solar PV systems in Powys, Wales in 2000.
We apply our extensive technical knowledge to each individual solar PV development. Our accredited and qualified engineers design each project to integrate seamlessly with existing or new buildings.
So whether you’re looking to invest in a retrofit system or are planning a system for a new-build, Dulas can help to make it a success.

Ground mount solar PV in the UK and Ireland

With customers in the commercial, charity and public sectors, we have helped to develop efficient high-quality solar PV systems of between 50 and 100kW for schools, colleges, offices, warehouses and industrial units.
We operate in all areas of the supply chain, from feasibility and resource assessment through to installation, project management and maintenance. Our close familiarity with a host of different technologies continues to set us apart.

Frequently asked questions about solar power

Everybody knows how warm the sun can be on a sunny day. The energy in sunlight can be converted into electricity in either of two ways: by using solar photovoltaic cells or by concentrating solar energy to produce heat for electricity generation. Solar energy can also be used to heat water for direct use.

In solar photovoltaics, sunlight can interact with certain materials to directly produce electricity in a process known as the photovoltaic (PV) effect. Silicon (more specifically, crystalline-silicon, or c-Si) is the most commonly used material today, but other materials (e.g., cadmium telluride) also can be used. Research is ongoing into alternative materials and designs that might be more efficient or less expensive than c-Si.2

To construct a PV cell to generate electricity, PV material is manufactured into ingots, which are then cut into wafers. Wafers are typically 15 centimeters (cm) wide along each side and around one-hundredth of a centimeter thick, although exact dimensions may vary by manufacturing process.3 Wafers are processed into cells, which are then assembled into modules, also called panels. A module typically consists of 60 to 72 cells mounted on a plastic backing within a frame. Modules are typically installed in groups, known as arrays, with the number of modules in the array depending upon the available space and the desired generation capacity of the project.

A PV system includes modules and a variety of structural and electronic components, known as balance of system (BOS) equipment, to tie the system together. Structural BOS equipment includes brackets, on which the modules are mounted. For ground-mounted systems, these brackets can be either fixed or able to rotate during the day to face the sun. Mounting systems that can rotate are known as tracking systems. Modules mounted on tracking systems tend to generate more electricity than modules on fixed-mount systems, all else being equal, because the tracking systems can optimize the amount of sunlight hitting the module over the course of a day.

One key piece of BOS equipment is an inverter, an electronic device that converts the electricity generated by PV modules into a form that is usable in the electricity system. Other electronic BOS equipment includes charge controllers, circuit breakers, meters, and switch gear. Some PV systems also include integrated energy storage systems such as batteries.

PV systems can be divided into three categories, based primarily on capacity.

  • Utility-scale systems (i.e., solar farms) may range in capacity from a few megawatts (MW) to a few hundred They are typically owned and operated like other central power plants. Utility-scale projects are typically connected to the electricity transmission system, the network of high-voltage lines that move electricity over long distances.
  • Commercial-scale systems typically range in capacity from a few kilowatts (kW; 1,000 kW = 1 MW) to a few hundred They may be installed on the ground or on rooftops, and are typically owned or hosted by commercial, industrial, or institutional entities. Some may be connected to the transmission system, and some may be connected to the electricity distribution system, the network of low- voltage lines that deliver electricity directly to most consumers.
  • Residential-scale systems typically have generation capacity of a few Most residential-scale projects are installed on rooftops and connected to the distribution system.
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