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Time for change.
Alternative Energy originated as Electrical Contractors in 2004. J&R Electrical (NI) Ltd specialised in Domestic, Commercial and Agriculture installations. In 2011 the Directors decided to steer the company in a new direction. Northern Ireland, energy consumers were showing interest in renewable technologies, namely Solar PV. With the help of the NIROCS and Export Tariff this sector started to strive. Alternative Energy has vast experience in this sector and are installing Solar PV, Energy Solutions and EV Chargers Nationwide.
Save a future for your next.
With the ever spiraling cost of electricity we’re all looking for cost effective solutions to side step the monopoly like grip the major utility companies have on us. If only a company could supply a solution that will save me money and maybe do something good for the environment as well. The truth is at Alternative Energy we go one better we design systems
Solar PV Developed
We have been working in
the solar PV sector
Installations across Ireland
Services we provided
Solar PV Systems
Energy Storage Solutions
EV Charger Installations
As a registered SEAI PV Solar installation firm, with over 12 years of experience in the field, our team have the expertise and experience to provide you with the best advice and service available.
We provide the best price, and service available.
Will answer any questions or queries you may have at any time.
We are trained to the highest of standards in this sector.
alternative energy only use high end reputable products that are available on the solar market for our customers.
Latest news and insights
When considering the installation of solar panels on your roof, there are various options, with the most common being solar panels installed with string inverters. Solar panels with micro inverters serve the same purpose as string inverters but are connected to a smaller number of solar modules. In this blog, let’s explore the significant advantages of microinverters but before that, let’s find out what these microinverters actually are.
What are microinverters?
Quality microinverters like Sunsynk inverters convert the direct current generated by solar modules to alternating current in an instant. Unlike string inverters, which are usually linked to the wall at a distance from the array, microinverters can be affixed directly to individual solar panels.
The Advantages of Micro-inverters:
Individual Optimisation: Microinverters optimise each solar panel individually, unlike central inverters that optimise for the entire solar system. This allows each solar panel to operate at its maximum potential. In simpler terms, the performance of a single solar panel cannot negatively impact the overall output of the entire solar array, in contrast to central inverters that optimise based on the weakest link.
If one solar panel in a string has an excessively high resistance due to a manufacturing flaw, the performance of all solar panels connected to that same central inverter suffers.
Similarly, shade, dirt, snow, or even minor orientation mismatches on a single solar panel would not jeopardise the entire solar system.
Extended Warranty: As micro-inverters are not subjected to the same high power and heat loads as central inverters, they live substantially longer. Micro-inverters often have a 20-25 year guarantee, which is 10-15 years longer than that of central inverters.
Performance Monitoring: Panel-by-panel web-based monitoring is generally accessible for both homeowners and installers. Regularly assessing the health of the solar system can create the way for subsequent upgrades and performance enhancements. Furthermore, there are mobile applications that allow you to monitor your PV system even while on the go.
Enhanced Safety: In traditional setups, solar panels are linked in series before being directed into a central inverter, usually carrying an effective nominal rating of 300-600 VDC (volts of direct current). This level of current poses potential life-threatening risks.
Microinverters eliminate the necessity for high-voltage DC wiring, significantly enhancing safety for both solar installers and system owners.
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT): A challenge with solar cells is the necessity to adjust voltage according to light levels for optimal power output. In simple terms, the performance of a solar panel is determined by the voltage load applied by the inverter.
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is a technique employed to identify the ideal voltage, commonly known as the maximum power point. Applying MPPT individually to each panel, rather than to the entire solar system, naturally enhances overall performance.
Integrate low-voltage batteries
When it comes to solar batteries, microinverters seamlessly integrate with low-voltage batteries, enhancing the efficiency of energy storage systems. Notably, incorporating microinverters, such as those compatible with SAJ batteries, addresses constraints and enhances the overall effectiveness of residential solar solutions.
In addition to these wonderful advantages, there are also some drawbacks of microinverters that you need to know about:
Higher Initial Cost: The biggest disadvantage of a micro-inverter is its high initial cost. However, this cost can be justified in situations where there are technical challenges in installing a solar array or shading issues that could otherwise compromise the entire system’s performance.
Additional Monitoring Device: With each inverter positioned independently beneath a solar panel, the need for a communication bus and a common monitoring system arises, as there is no onboard display system as seen in string inverters.
Increased Replacement Costs: Placing the inverter beneath the solar panel may make it challenging to replace the micro-inverter due to existing site conditions. Because of the complexities involved, the replacement process may necessitate the presence of more than one specialist on-site.
Microinverters are common in situations where array sizes are small and optimising performance from each panel is important. Their popularity is especially apparent in the residential sector, where panel space constraints limit array size and challenges such as shade from surrounding trees or other objects are common.
Demystifying Solar Magic: A Homeowner’s Handbook to Solar Panel Wizardry
Ever wondered how those sleek solar panels on roofs are turning sunlight into energy for homes like yours? It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and I’m here to spill the solar secrets in a way that makes sense for you.
1. Sunlight Supercharge: The Photovoltaic Effect
Okay, let’s start with the basics. Solar panels have this cool thing called the “photovoltaic effect.” When the sun hits special materials in the panels, they get all charged up and release electrons, creating an electric current. It’s like the sun’s superpower turned into usable energy.
2. Mini Energy Factories: Solar Cells
Think of solar panels as a bunch of mini energy factories, and the workers are tiny components called solar cells. Made from stuff like silicon, these cells get energized by sunlight and produce direct current (DC) electricity. This is the juice that powers your home.
3. Home-Friendly Magic: The Inverter’s Role
Now, your home gadgets run on a different type of electricity called alternating current (AC). Here’s where the inverter steps in—it’s like the unsung hero that transforms the DC electricity from solar cells into the AC electricity your appliances love.
4. Sunshine Ballet: Making Electricity Happen
Picture the sun and solar cells doing a little dance. Sunlight kicks electrons into action, creating an electric field. This field guides the electrons, making them flow in a certain direction, and that’s how we get a current. It’s like a choreographed routine of turning sunshine into usable, clean energy.
5. Chasing Savings: The Role of Tracking Systems
Some solar setups go the extra mile with tracking systems. These systems make sure the solar panels follow the sun’s path, adjusting their angle throughout the day. By doing this, they capture more sunlight, and you get more bang for your solar buck.
6. Brighter Tomorrow: What’s Coming Next in Solar Tech
Exciting stuff is happening in the solar world. Think flexible solar panels and all sorts of high-tech materials. Researchers are working hard to make solar energy even better, so you can look forward to a future where your home runs on sun power.
So, there you have it—your guide to solar panels without the jargon. It’s not just about capturing sunlight; it’s about turning that sunlight into energy savings for your home. The sun is your new energy buddy, ready to help you lighten the load on your bills and make your home a little greener. Let’s soak up that sunshine and power up for a brighter future! 🌞
A solar battery is a device that can be added to your solar power system to store extra power generated by your solar panels. Then, you can use that stored energy to power your home when your solar panels aren’t producing enough electricity, such as at night, on cloudy days, or during power outages
A solar battery’s purpose is to help you use more of the solar energy you generate. Any excess solar power goes to the grid if you don’t have battery storage. It means you’re creating power and distributing it to others without fully using the electricity your panels generate.
Solar Batteries: The Science Behind It
Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type of solar PV battery on the market today. This technology is also employed in cell phones and other high-tech batteries. The batteries work by storing chemical energy before converting it to electrical energy via a chemical process.
The process takes place when lithium ions emit free electrons, which flow from the negatively charged anode to the positively charged cathode. The lithium-salt electrolyte, a liquid inside the battery that balances the reaction by moving the necessary positive ions, encourages and enhances this movement.
This flow of free electrons generates the current required for humans to use electricity. The lithium ions travel back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode when you take electricity from the battery. The connected device is powered at the same time that electrons move through the outside circuit from the negative electrode to the positive electrode.
Multiple lithium-ion battery cells are combined with sophisticated electronics in home solar power storage batteries to control the system’s performance and safety. As a result, solar panel battery storage performs the same functions as rechargeable batteries by using solar energy as the first input to initiate the entire process of producing an electrical current.
Technology Comparisons for Battery Storage
There are two popular choices for solar PV battery types: lead-acid and lithium-ion. Since lithium-ion batteries have a higher Depth of Discharge and can store more energy than other batteries, they are preferred by solar panel manufacturers. Depth of Discharge, also referred to as DoD, is the proportion of a battery’s total capacity that can be utilised. For instance, a battery with a DoD of 95% can be safely used up to 95% of its capacity before requiring recharge.
As was already noted, lithium-ion battery technology is preferred by battery makers due to its greater DoD and dependability. They have the capacity to store more energy for a longer period of time and come in smaller sizes. However, lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than lead-acid batteries due to their many advantages.
Since they have been available for so long, lead-acid batteries—which use the same technology as the majority of automobile batteries—have been extensively used as in-home energy storage systems for off-grid power choices. Although they are still available on the market at reasonable costs, their popularity is dwindling because of their low DoD and short lifespan.
Solar Battery Storage Advantages
Adding battery backup for solar panels makes it simple to get the most out of your solar power system. Some of the key advantages of a home solar battery storage system are as follows:
Stores Electricity Production Excess: Especially on sunny days when nobody is home, your solar panel system can frequently provide more energy than you use. It will be sent to the grid if you don’t have battery storage for solar energy.
Minimises carbon footprint: You may go green by utilising the clean energy generated by your solar panel system by using a solar panel battery. When your solar panels don’t produce enough energy to meet your needs, you will have to rely on the grid if that energy isn’t stored.
Offers Protection Against Power Outages: Your home will have access to electricity during blackouts and other times when the grid is down because your batteries can store the extra energy generated by your solar panels.
A Subtle Approach to Backup Power Requirements: A solar power battery is the sole option for entirely silent backup power storage. You get to enjoy the benefits of clean energy that requires no maintenance while avoiding the noise that comes from a gas-powered backup generator.
If you’re considering integrating solar panel energy storage into your solar power system, it’s critical to comprehend how solar batteries operate. You can use any extra solar energy your solar panels produce since they function like a sizable rechargeable battery for your house.
It provides you with more choice over when and how you use solar energy. The lithium-ion battery is the most popular type of solar battery. It works by first storing energy through a chemical process before discharging it as electrical energy for use in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Solar Panels
1. Does a solar panel system work in both Ireland and Northern Ireland?
Every year, Northern Ireland is exposed to 1000 – 1100 hours of UV radiation. Ireland, usually, gets between 1100 and 1600 hours of sunlight each year. With this large amount of UV light, solar panels can produce adequate renewable energy to power your home. Northern Ireland is quite similar to the English Midlands, where solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have grown significantly in recent years. Being the most plentiful and cleanest green power source, solar electricity is gaining popularity among Irish homes and companies.
2. Is my house suitable for installing a solar panel?
Yes, solar panels are likely to work well with your home.
First, ensure that your roof receives adequate sunshine. Therefore, it cannot face north or be entirely in the shade. No matter whether your roof faces east, west, or south, it is appropriate. Secondly, your roof needs to be able to support loads of 120 to 280 kg. This criterion will be met by a vast majority of roofs.
Ensure you search for the “best solar installers near me” to power your house with green electricity.
3. Is it worth adding a battery with a solar PV system?
You would have to feed any extra energy produced by your solar PV system back into the National Grid if there wasn’t a solar battery connected to it. Optimising the amount of energy you create for your house by including a solar battery in your system is a great and effective method to save and use renewable energy.
Alternative Energy, one of the leading solar panel suppliers in Ireland and Northern Ireland, is the go-to source for every household and business looking to install solar photovoltaic panels.