This is a common question from the uninitiated. A photovoltaic (or PV System) is an installation of solar panels that can be used to provide electricity and if you generate more energy than it needs, can be fed back to the network.
Domestic photovoltaic systems have two main options installations. Existing properties tend to opt for a mounting system “roof”, where the panels are sitting slightly above the roof surface. This causes the least disruption of the structure and the tiling of existing coverage. The alternative is a system of “roof” where the panels replace the shingles. This is most suitable for a new house a home that is to have the roof replaced.
Photovoltaic panels produce energy even on cloudy days because they use not only direct sunlight but also diffuse solar radiation. The question is how energy is achieved at night? Well a residential installation usually connected to the national grid so you can buy energy to the national grid at night.
PV systems are also available for commercial and industrial purposes. Freeholders, in particular, can use the system effectively to generate revenue. They can use a large plant on earth to produce energy for sale to the network. They also work well in farm buildings for energy, where it is difficult to connect to the national grid.
Most roofs are strong and large enough for a residential installation. The panels are reasonably robust as they have to withstand the weather frequently. Interestingly, the approach of the Council to see whether the planned system will require a building permit. When choosing a company to install your PV system, ensure that you are looking for a (Microgeneration Certification System) certified company MCS.
There are, of course, other forms of alternative energy such as wind power, hydropower and geothermal, but these are much less suitable for a residential installation!