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FAQs

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Why should I use photovoltaic systems as an energy efficient building solution?

PV modules are multifunctional building components which, besides generating electricity, can fulfil many other functions such as shading systems, light filtering etc.

What are Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems (BIPV)?

When speaking about BIPV, the PV modules are fully integrated into the building, since they form an integral part of the building mostly to serve as an auxiliary source of power to reduce the cost involved in using traditional building materials. The advantage of BIPV is that, eventually the energy generated will offset the cost involved.

How can photovoltaic systems be used as a multi-functional building element?

Generally, a Building Integrated PV (BIPV) System is designed to serve more than one function. The advantage of integrated photovoltaics over more common non-integrated systems is that the initial cost can be offset by reducing the amount spent on building materials and labour that would normally be used to construct the part of the building that the BIPV modules replace.

Can I install a photovoltaic system elsewhere than on a roof?

There are no limits for installing PV systems when good exposure is achievable. Beyond roofs, some of the most common suitable locations are ground mounting, sheds, facades etc.

Can I combine a building element with energy production?

PV systems constitute a reasonable alternative for construction materials to be considered by architects.

What knowledge do I need to install and maintain photovoltaic modules?

In order to install Photovoltaic systems, knowledge about electricity is required, especially about dimensioning and protection. You also need to understand the fundamental working principles of each component of the PV system and how they work together.

What do I need to take into account to properly size a photovoltaic system?

The first step is to find out the customer’s wishes. This has to match the existing space – shadow-free roof. You should also take notice of all appliance to be used on the system and factor in the efficiency of the inverters and solar panels.

How do I calculate the kWh from the watt peak?

The yearly value of kWh that a system will produce depends on the system size (in kWp), design, the irradiation.

What kind of loads does a photovoltaic installation involve on a building?

Standard mono-crystalline modules are relatively light, around 10 to 15 kg per square metre. A PV system’s load will be distributed evenly to reduce stress on the building.

What happens if the sun doesn’t shine?

A PV system needs daylight to work but not direct sunlight. Although direct sunlight improves efficiency.

In the choice to produce green electricity, why should I use a photovoltaic system?

PV is a renewable energy source that produces electricity. Electricity can be used for all home appliances and lighting. Moreover, solar is more cost efficient and robust with less moving parts.

How do I know what size photovoltaic system I need?

The best indicator for sizing a PV system is your historical electrical usage or the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh). We can also do a survey and design the system to meet your power needs.

Does the manufacturing process of a photovoltaic system not need more energy than it itself produces during its lifetime?

PV systems, like every other product, do require energy during the manufacturing process. However, PV systems pay back this energy

Does my grid-connected photovoltaic system have to include batteries?

Batteries are only essential if power needs to be ‘stored’ in case of a utility outage.

Can I expect a positive return on investment from my photovoltaic system?

The cost of PV technology has dropped dramatically in the past ten years and, thanks to government incentives or subsidies…

Do I have to change my boiler if I install a photovoltaic system?

PV is a technology that generates electricity, not heat. Therefore, the existing heating system remains unchanged. However, in order to reduce the cost, we advise purchasing a standalone solar water heater.

Can I sell excess solar electricity back to my utility?

PDS has committed to bringing back this system, so that excess power can be sold back to the grid.

Do photovoltaic systems need to be cleaned?

In most cases, the PV modules don’t need to be clean. We advise cleaning the PV modules once in a while to prevent thick layer of dust forming on it.

Can I produce my own electricity?

If your home has a roof with some shadow-free space, a PV system can generate electricity for your consumption. With…

Can I walk on photovoltaic modules on my roof?

PV modules are most often encapsulated in two layers of tempered low iron glass or between glass and Tedlar. This makes it very fragile to walk on, you are therefore advised to avoid walking on them.

Do I need to contact my electricity supplier when installing a photovoltaic system?

This is not necessary for an off-grid and a hybrid system since they are mostly independent of the grid. You may need to contact your supplier to secure a Net meter for a grid-tie system.