Solar Panel Performance Database in the UK

Solar panel performance in the UK

by Jarrah Harburn on November 15, 2012

The University of Sheffield has for the last two years been collecting and comparing renewable energy generation data from thousands of solar panels across the UK. Their website now publishes reports each month detailing how much energy is being generated across all of their registered systems.

This resource allows people to compare their generation with those of established systems in their area and highlights a demographic of the effectiveness and reliability of solar panels installed in the UK so far. It mainly puts to bed any concerns people may have been having about the amount of solar radiation the UK receives and whether a photovoltaic system will really produce decent amounts of renewable energy.

The Microgen Database

A link to the official site can be found at the bottom of this article. The reports published detail factors such as the kWh per kWp for each registered system and boasts a population of over 1,700 installations at the time of writing. Several characteristics of the installations are listed including generation, efficiency, irradiation received per solar panel and performance ratio.

The data can not be treated as conclusive because some variables that affect solar panel renewable energy production (such as solar panel orientation and tilt) have not been factored in. Despite this, the general consensus from the data is very positive with the vast majority of installations working well within their outlined specifications. There are of course many ways to generate renewable energy, but it is always good to see that they are being effective and operating within guidelines.

98% of Solar Panels in the UK Effective

One of the most promising pieces of information that comes from the website is that 98% of the reported solar panel installations are working within their outlined technical specifications. What this means is that if a panel is rated at 250 watts, then in accordance with its respective 25 year performance warranty, it must be producing renewable energy in accordance with this rating. In other words, the solar radiation that is hitting the panels is effective to manufacturing requirements.

For panels to be underperforming, the environmental conditions must be adverse; something often considered likely for the UK climate. The truth of the matter is that the photovoltaic solar panels are reacting to light photons and solar radiation even when the sky is cloudy or foggy, through as simple a principle as the fact that daylight is still hitting the earth and allowing us to see our hand in front of us. More concentrated sunlight produces more photons, but overall the solar radiation of the UK is more than sufficient to justify healthy returns on investment for homeowners and business alike.

A solar panel comparison site such as this is a free and transparent way for people considering renewable energy to compare solar panels with other technologies. As can be seen clearly from the data, solar radiation is healthy in the UK and the available solar panels performance and manufacturing standards are up to the highest standards.

All of the data on the renewable energy generation from the Microgen Database site can be found here. The more positive awareness and information in renewable energy community the better.

Written by Jarrah Harburn

jarrah@solarselections.co.uk

020 7205 2267

© 2012 Solar Selections

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