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kW - kilowatt is the unit usually used to express the generation or consumption of power (including electricity). A small one bar electric heater consumes 1kW.

kWh - kilowatt hour is a unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt of power generated or consumed for one hour. It is the billing unit used by energy suppliers.

kWp - kilowatt peak measures of the peak performance, noon on a sunny day in summer, of a PV solar energy system.

Why did we install PV Solar?

Back in July 2010 I was at our local shopping centre when I came across a kiosk where they were trying to sell photovoltaic solar electricity systems (PV Solar). I became interested and decided to investigate further. After discussing it with family and friends, a great deal of research, and getting several quotations we decided to get a system installed.

The most useful source of information was the Energy Savings Trust.

What system did we install?

We installed a 21 panel PV system with a capacity of 3.78 kwp. The panels were by Romag, the inverter by Fronius and it cost £16,075. It was installed on an unshaded south facing roof with a 38º pitch.

We were quoted that this 3.78 kWp PV solar system would generate 3405 kWh per year. This would generate income/savings as follows:

  • From April 1st 2010 the Feed In Tariff pays 41.3 pence per kWh for each kWh generated, earning £1406 per year.
  • We can use the electricity our PV system generates for free, reducing the electricity bills. If we use 50% of the electricity generated we could save £170 per year(at 10p per kWh).
  • Any of the electricity we don't use is exported to the National Grid for which we are paid 3 pence per kWh. This is known as the Export Tariff. Most energy companies will not install export meters to measure the amount of electricity exported, they deem that that we export 50% of the electricity generated, earning £51 per year.
  • The Feed in Tariff and Export Tariff goes up with inflation.
© J. Ansell 2015