What is Solar PV
PV materials are semiconductor materials meaning when they are exposed to light, they convert it to electricity.
These PV materials generate electricity when light is shone on them, however the amount of electricity generated by one cell is small so they are assembled together to form a solar panel. A domestic house typically uses anywhere from 5 to 20 solar panels, while commercial buildings can take much more.
South facing solar panels typically generate the most electricity, however south-east facing solar panels perform well too.
Solar PV Benefits
An average sized solar PV system generates around 40% of the annual electricity typically required by an Irish home. This has the ability to boost your BER energy rating by at least one (e.g. from A2 to A1).
Solar PV panels are durable and do not require any maintenance, with a guaranteed 25 year lifespan.
They can further cut your energy bills by anywhere from €200 to €800 per year. This is a huge saving over time.
Solar PV panels do not need direct sunlight to function and can still work on cloudy days in Ireland, though not at full capacity.
Solar PV panels are beneficial to the environment and reduce your carbon footprint massively by cutting down the need for fossil fuels.
“Our mission at Thermohouse is to supply a building system that is not only sustainable but that has the ability to provide comfort, security and a cost-effective solution to the home owner for the duration of their occupancy.”
– Michael Cronin Managing Director of Thermohouse.
Climate Action plan explained
Ireland has launched the Climate Action Plan 2021, the second plan since the initial plan of 2019, outlining plans to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emission by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050. The Government is also striving to reduce emissions by an average of 7% per annum by 2030. This Plan makes Ireland one of the most ambitious countries in the world on tackling climate change.
There is huge room for improvement in the built environment.. 2018 statistics indicate that Irish homes emit 60% more CO2 than the average EU home and only 10% of Irish residential stock is BER B2 or better.
Previously, the Government of Ireland have published a Climate Action Plan 2019;
The built environment accounted for 12.7% of Ireland’s greenhouse gases in 2017. It is important that we improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, including our homes, workplaces and schools, by meeting higher energy performance standards and by increasing retrofit activity.
(Increasing energy efficiency in homes) will not only reduce Ireland’s dependence on fossil fuels, but will also improve our living standards by making our buildings more comfortable, healthier, safer, and less costly to heat.
Our homes use 7% more energy than the EU average and emit 58% more CO2eq. Buildings are 70% reliant on fossil fuels, including oil fired boilers; over 80% of homes and other buildings assessed for their BER had a BER rating of C or worse.
Thermohouse Renewable energy pilot scheme
Thermohouse are delighted to have initiated, using independent company resources, a renewable energy pilot scheme on 4No 3 Bedroom houses (1200 sq ft) in Sruthán na Sailí, Killarney Co.Kerry which Clúid Housing allowed us to install. This consists of 4kWh Solar panels, 4kWh Battery storage systems and an Air-to-Air heat pump which are fitted and installed in each house. Triple glazed windows are also featured in each property. This system provides ventilation, heat recovery and domestic hot water production and ensures the generation of significant energy cost savings over its lifetime and reduce the running costs for residents.
Consequently, each of these houses have achieved a BER rating of A1 (-10.01 kWh/m2/yr) with Co2 emissions of – 1.97 kgCO2/m2/yr, and Airtightness values as low as 0.4 m3/hr/m2.
We have a software link to the houses which allows us remotely to monitor the Energy production & Consumption The renewable energy system is currently providing approx. 50% of the energy requirements of the homes off grid over a one year period.
The 4Kw system has generated 3164 KwH over a one year period and this combined with the complete Thermohouse building system would generate enough energy to run a 3-bedroom house 86% off grid based on an average consumption of 3667 kWh.
This will significantly reduce the carbon emissions by approx. 2 Tonnes per year in each dwelling, which contributes to Irelands commitment for the reduction of greenhouse gases by 51% by 2030.