We have added photovoltaic solar panels to our roof!
Malvern Panalytical strives to be a good corporate citizen – and one of our goals is sustainable business practices. In order to help reduce our carbon footprint, we now have a photovoltaic system. Excitingly, more than 700 solar panels are on our roof at the Malvern, UK site. Here, the system just started producing electricity at the beginning of July 2019. Thus it will offset a good portion of the electricity that we use.
See below for an image of the system generation. Only a few days into monitoring:
- We produced 97kW power @10:30 am local time.
- We had already reduced the equivalent of 113kg of CO2.
While actual production will depend on solar radiation (season, clouds, temperature), we expect to put a good dent into the net electricity consumption of our facility.
How do solar panels work?
Photovoltaic (or PV) cells convert sunlight directly into electric energy. Interestingly, some of our customers manufacture solar panels. For example, the silicon is cut using a slurry of particles that we can measure.
- The size distribution influences the efficiency of solar cell production, both by potentially reducing slurry kerf loss and recycling of the slurry.
- Another application is the study of new polymers for novel high performance cells.
- X-ray scattering can give insights into crystallographic forms of thin solar films. Such example forms are amorphous, epitaxial, poly-crystalline, micro- or nano-crystalline.
Yes, it’s quite possible that one of our instruments supported the development of the panels on our own roof.
Considering solar in your area?
If you are in the US, Project Sunroof provides a simple estimate of PV system size and cost. You just have to enter address and electricity consumption. There is a similar site for Europe to estimate photovoltaic performance. You can also check real systems near you at PVOutput.org . This is a website for global sharing, comparing and monitoring of live solar photovoltaic (PV) data.
PS: If you are in an area with very hot summers, an additional bonus is the shading of the roof resulting in lower room temperature.
You might also like
- Project Sunroof to check if solar makes sense for your roof.
- Find a global list of live photovoltaic system data at PVOutput.org.
- Application note on the thickness of solar cell coating layers.
If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! While opinions are those of the author, some parts are edited.