Solar PV has been around for a lot longer than some of us may think, for example your desktop calculator uses solar power. Over the last 10 years or so the face (or technology) of solar has changed dramatically. Looking historically you would have perhaps seen a 150w solar panel, which would mean to get the maximum of a 4Kw system you would need over 25 panels – who has the roof space for that?! Now a days there are panels available up to a whopping 330w.
Again, looking historically the price of solar pv was 3 or 4 times more than what it is now, but to compensate the feed in tariff was much higher. Now with the feed in tariff diminishing there are calls to either extend the limits of a pv installation or to find a way of making the most from solar pv.
Over the last few years the solar industry has been working hard to develop the potential of using a battery back up system. But what is the reasoning behind this? There are a few reasons, one is that the feed in tariff isn’t guaranteed to be around forever for new connections and secondly as a consumer we want to make the most out of our system. So, for example, you’re a young (ish) family – the kids are at school all day, you’re at work but you’re generating electricity. Because there’s no-one home all day the generated electricity is essentially going straight back into the grid, BUT if you had a battery that would store up the generated electricity this would surely be a different story as you’d be able to extract the generated electricity as and when you need it.
Battery systems are just starting to come onto the UK market but are a little over priced. Don’t worry, these can be retro fit at a later date, so our advice to you is take advantage while you can of the feed in tariff rate and then add to your system at a later date.