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23 March 2018

Photovoltaic Systems in Sustainable Design

Solar panel technology, or to give it its technical name, photovoltaic technology is becoming used ever more frequently by M & E Engineers in near-zero energy buildings across Ireland. At J.V.Tierney Engineering Consultants Ireland, we understand that the concept of sustainable design is becoming more important in the construction industry with each passing year.

Solar Energy

One measure employed by engineering consulting firms is the use of photovoltaic (PV) systems in new and existing buildings. Where once there was a large outlay at the beginning which could only retrieved once the energy savings kicked in, the initial cost has now dropped considerably, due to improvements in manufacturing techniques.

Photovoltaic Technology

From an electrical engineering perspective, PV systems are able to convert natural daylight into electricity. This is where it derives its name as the term ‘photovoltaic’ literally means ‘light voltage’. Whenever photons enter the cells (when the sun’s up), electricity is generated. Typically, roof mounted PV panels are installed on south facing roofs.

Advances in Efficiency

Modern PV systems use the same basic design as those that have been around since the 19th century, but the difference lies in their efficiency. Advances in the technology over the last few decades have made the panels so much more effective in conversion of light energy into electrical power. Commercially speaking, modern PV cells convert over 20% of the light they receive into usable electricity.

PV systems tend to have a long life cycle, due to the fact that they contain no moving parts and their modular design makes them easily expandable. Minimal maintenance also makes them an attractive proposition for designers and clients

If you would like to know more about how technology like photovoltaics and what it could do for your next building project, take a look at our website www.jvtierney.ie , where you’ll everything you need to know and a number of examples of our past work. Alternatively, if you’d like a chat with one our expert team, call us now on 01 421 4900.