Here, at RemoteHVAC HQ we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. That’s
why the office is powered by solar panels! In July 2018, 40 solar photovoltaic (PV) were installed on the roof
of our office in, with an electrical capacity of 9.25 kWp (kilowatt-peak). In the first 3 months of use, the
total energy generated was 5,785 kWh (kilowatt hour) saving 4.1 tonnes of CO2.
It’s always sunny in… Cork!
There is a lot of energy coming out of the sun. Every hour, 1.367 kW of solar energy
reaches every square
meter (m2) of the upper atmosphere(1). PV panels are among the cleanest source for producing
Since 2010 the cost for utility-scale PV cells dropped by 73%(2) and it is now the second least
expensive form of
renewable energy(3) (after on shore wind) but we are still behind in the uptake as compared to other
countries. In Ireland, there are a number of grant options available to both domestic and commercial buildings
through seai.ie, and we used the Better Energy Communities fund.
How do they work?
Simply, PV cells convert photons (light energy) of sunlight into voltage, generating
current. They don’t require moving parts, or produce pollution (except for manufacturing them), no noise
pollution and require minimal maintenance. The PV cells use visible light (wavelengths of between 400-780
nanometer) and energy generation is directly related to the intensity of light energy, where higher solar
resources result in greater electric potential. PV systems use daylight, not direct sunlight to generate
How does sunlight get turned into energy?
A PV cell is made up of 2 thin layers of active semiconductor material (like silicon,
the second most abundant
element on earth!) attached to metal wires. The top, or N layer is very thin and seeded with phosphorus to
provide it with an excess of free electrons (negative charge). The bottom, or P layer, is thicker and is treated
with Boron so it has very few free electrons. When the layers are in contact, an electric field is created from
the free electrons moving from the N to P layer (top to bottom) giving a built-in electric field! When the cell
is exposed to sunlight, photons knock the free electrons from the P layer back to the N layer (bottom to top)
creating a circuit.
How do we compare to other European countries?
Northern European countries like Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia,
UK, Estonia, Sweden,
Finland, and here in Ireland produce a maximum solar irradiance of ~ 1,000 kWh/kWp per year per photovoltaic.
So, while we do not have the same photovoltaic potential as some of our European counterparts, Ireland can
still benefit from the growing deployment of PV units. In 2016, renewable energy contributed 9.5% to the gross
final consumption (GFC) of energy in Ireland, this would have primarily come from wind power. The installed
capacity of PV was 5.93 MW, producing 4.07 GWh over the year(4),
amounted to only 0.01% of GFC. This suggests Ireland can do more with PV to
reach the 2020 target of 16% renewable energy. In comparison in the UK, Solar PV contributed 3.08% of the
total electricity available for supply for 2016, dramatically more than Irelands 0.01% PV contribution! This
shows the enormous potential for further uptake of PV in Ireland.
Why is there a higher uptake in the UK?
One reason could be the Feed-in Tariff (FiT),
introduced in 2010 providing financial support for micro renewable generation, where PV accounted for 80% of the
installed technology. There is currently no scheme in Ireland for surplus energy
generated and is supplied back to the grid for free. A similar incentive in Ireland may help an increased uptake
of PV, but for now the majority of Ireland's renewable energy will continue to come from large scale wind power,
82% in 2016.
What is RemoteHVAC doing to be a more energy efficient company?
At RemoteHVAC, we’re great at analysis. So we have been mapping our PV’s output to
compare against weather
data! Check out our graph below on the output compared to the weather in August 2018. We’ll be watching the
output change with the seasons and will update in the next quarter! We have also installed charge points and
will be switching our fleet to electric vehicles! Interested in tracking our progress - we’ll update on the blog
and social media!
1) Schneider, J., Bahnemann, D., Ye, J., Puma, G.L. and Dionysiou, D.D. eds., 2016. Photocatalysis: fundamentals
and perspectives. Royal Society of Chemistry.
2) IRENA Renewable Power Generation Costs. 2017 Key findings and executive summary
3) Engineers Journal “Does commercial solar photovoltaic make sense in Ireland?” 28th June 2016
4) National renewable energy Action Plan (NREAP) Ireland, Fourth Progress Report, Submitted under Article 22 of
Directive 2009/28/EC December 2017
Start using RemoteHVAC to get insights on your Facilities.
At RemoteHVAC we are confident of the potential of our product and we want to share this level of confidence
with you. So please reach out to us today to allow us demonstrate the potential of a rollout across your