Frequently Asked Questions
Solar PhotoVoltaics (PV) is the technology which converts light into electricity. Using semiconducting materials, a photovoltaic system employs solar modules, each comprising a number of solar cells, which generate electrical power.
Solar Power has specific advantages as an energy source:
- low cost
- low maintenance (no moving parts)
SolarShare’s comprehensive SolarSurvey is designed to take you through the process of sizing the optimum solar PV system to maximize solar electricity generation for the size of your roof, its orientation to the sun, and your average annual electricity consumption.
A SolarShare system, depending on your configuration, will typically consist of the following components:
- Solar PV panels, 6-18 (up to a max of 7kWp)
- An inverter, to convert DC electricity to AC (up to 6kVA)
- A battery, typically starting at 5kWh and expanding up to 15kWh and beyond
Solar PV panels typically have a design life of over 25 years. Product warranties are typically 12 years, with a linear performance warranty of 20 to 25 years, depending on the manufacturer.
Inverters have a design life of 10 to 20 years depending on the manufacturer. Product warranties are 10 years and up.
Batteries have a design life based on charge/discharge cycles which range from 5000 to 10000, with a time-based limit of
10 years usually applying. Depending on the manufacturer, the battery will be warrantied to have from 60% to 70% of its capacity after 10 years, but can be expected to continue operating after that.
When solar power is created, it must be used immediately, otherwise your unused electricity will spill over to the grid. To avoid spilling your excess electricity to the grid, a battery is needed. A battery stores excess solar electricity generated for use later in the day.
The actual installation process should take no more than two business days. Simultanesouly, the solar panels are installed on your roof and the inverter and battery system is installed in your home. This is followed by connecting your SolarShare system to the grid, commissioning it, and providing training in its use.
Your SolarShare system comes with a 2-year installation warranty. The solar panels come with a 12-year manufacturer’s warranty and a 20-year linear performance warranty. The Inverter and Battery each come with a 10-year warranty.
Once connected to the VPP, SolarShare will continuously monitor your system for optimal performance and maximise your income from the sale of excess electricity and balancing services.
You may qualify for a grant from SEAI of up to €3,000 depending on the size of the SolarShare system you purchase, and as long as you meet the following criteria:
– The energy rating of your home, after the SolarShare installation, is at least C, and
– Your home was built and occupied before 2011.
A SolarShare system installation requires an exemption from Planning Permission which can take up to 8 weeks to obtain. Your SolarShare Energy Consultant will take care of the process of applying for the Planning Permission exemption.
There is no long term contractual commitment required in order to be part of the SolarShare VPP. We intend to earn your long-term commitment by way of delivering a superior product and customer experience over the life of your SolarShare system.
A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) connects domestic SolarPV and battery systems together into a community of clean energy generators. The battery technology used by SolarShare aggregates these domestic systems into the equivalent of a larger centralised power plant, not unlike Moneypoint. Moneypoint is the largest electricity generating power plant in Ireland burning coal to generate electricity. The plant’s generating capacity is equivalent to 200,000 domestic solar systems (4kWp).
By being part of the SolarShare VPP, you will be able to sell the excess clean electricity you generate back to the Irish grid and also participate in Load Balancing services with the main Irish grid. Both of these activities will produce additional savings for you.
Being part of the SolarShare VPP does not limit you in any way for future appliances or electric vehicles that you may purchase. In fact, being part of the SolarShare VPP may offer you opportunities to avail of greater discounts on future appliance purchases based on the purchasing power of the SolarShare VPP community.
If you already have solar panels installed on your roof and you have a battery that stores the excess you produce, then SolarShare should be able to connect your system to the SolarShare VPP, although additional equipment may be required.
If you do not have a battery, then you should consider purchasing a battery from SolarShare for storing the excess clean energy you generate. Once we have installed the battery, we will be able to connect your system to the SolarShare VPP.