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Our Blogs

We have three blogs at Spirit, covering renewable energy from a homeowner, commercial and contractor perspective. Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in solar PV, battery storage and EV charging.

Recent posts

SolarEdge vs Micro-inverters

Posted by George Riley on 17 Oct 2019

In a perfect world, UK roofs would all face south, with a 35° pitch and no shading in sight. But we don’t live in a perfect world. As solar installers, we have to find clever ways to maximise the potential power from roofs of all make ups, orientations and shaded spots.

This is best achieved by using micro-inverters or power optimisers - nifty bits of kit, collectively known as Module-Level Power Electronics (MLPEs). As that name implies, these bring a degree of power optimisation at the module level (i.e. at the level of each individual solar panel). This means you can get the most from panels under different levels of sunlight (facing varying directions or affected by shading, dirt etc).

But which is the best solution? Let’s focus on our favourite brand of power optimiser, and compare SolarEdge vs micro-inverters.

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How to Get 5% VAT on Solar Panels

Posted by George Riley on 04 Oct 2019

Another week and another upheaval in the world of solar… While the world wakes up to the imminent threat of climate breakdown, our trusty government has decided it’s the perfect time to hike the VAT on solar PV installations.

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The Carbon Footprint of a Solar Panel

Posted by Erica Charles on 27 Sep 2019

In the wake of the largest climate protests the world has ever seen, we have dug a little deeper in our own back yard to assess the ‘life time’ carbon footprint of a solar system...

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Viridian Solar Panels and the Benefits of In Roof PV

Posted by George Riley on 20 Sep 2019

While solar panels are traditionally retrofitted to an existing rooftop, it’s becoming more common (especially in newbuilds) to integrate the panels into the roof itself. With in roof PV, you end up with a sleeker, more attractive result.

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Solar Tiles vs Solar Panels

Posted by George Riley on 12 Sep 2019

With the increasing threat of climate change urging many of us to cut back on fossil fuels, solar is ever more appealing. It’s a technology that empowers individuals to supply themselves with clean, renewable energy at an increasingly affordable price. Innovation in this industry is constant, so let’s see how one of the developing trends in PV stacks up by comparing solar tiles vs solar panels.

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Are Solar Trackers Worth It?

Posted by George Riley on 30 Aug 2019

We’ve recently done some modelling of the performance of solar tracking systems, but this can only tell you so much. What about how one would perform in the real world? Luckily we can answer that by looking at a solar tracker that we installed a few years ago...

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PERC Solar Cells: When Are They Worth It?

Posted by George Riley on 15 Aug 2019

What is a PERC cell?

PERC solar cells are a variation on the traditional cells used in solar panels that offer enhanced efficiency. The acronym PERC stands for Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact or Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell. Over the last few years they have become more and more popular, to the point where they now make up over 40% of the solar technology market and are expected to dominate by 2021, according to the ITRPV.

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Free Solar Panels for Business: Meet Solar PPAs

Posted by George Riley on 19 Jun 2019

Is it possible to get free solar panels for businesses? A lot has changed since solar first started gaining popularity, with prices falling around 50% in the last decade and many of the initial subsidies like the Feed-in Tariff closed to new applicants. But there are still opportunities for companies to benefit from financed solar systems, the most promising of which are Solar PPAs.

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Spirit Energy Now Accepts SolarCoins: Air Miles for Solar Electricity

Posted by Erica Charles on 28 Sep 2018

We hear more and more about Blockchain technology.  The technology creates a transparent public ledger that records series of transactions, facilitating a fast, low-cost, trusted transfer of value without the involvement of traditional intermediaries.  

Already used in the financial sector, it’s only a matter of time before Blockchain hits the energy sector in a major way, particularly with the explosion of micro-generation of electricity, the ending of solar subsidies, and the advent of smart meters.

With Octopus Energy claiming to have paid customers to use excess electricity at night on four occasions in the last 12 months, real time peer-to-peer trading of electricity is surely just around the corner. Other potential applications include authentication of renewable generation and trading of emissions permits.

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