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Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Active Solar (Photovoltaics): Technology

F2. PV systems exploit the direct conversion of daylight into electricity in a semi-conductor device.
F3. The most common form of device comprises a number of semi conductor cells which are interconnected and encapsulated to form a solar panel or module. There is considerable variation in appearance, but many solar panels are dark in colour, and have low reflective properties. Solar panels are typically 0.5 to 1m2 having a peak output of 70 to 160 watts. A number of modules are usually connected together in an array to produce the required output, the area of which can vary from a few square metres to several hundred square metres. A typical array on a domestic dwelling would have an area of 9 to 18m2, and would produce 1 to 2 kW peak output.
F4. Other forms of solar PV technology are becoming more common in the UK, such as solar tiles, which can be integrated into new buildings or refurbishments alongside conventional roofing tiles or slates. They have the aesthetic advantage of giving a roof a homogeneous appearance, virtually indistinguishable from conventional roofing materials.5. PV modules can be fitted on top of an existing roof using a low support structure. In this case, the panels will typically lie flush with the existing roof and not protrude above the roofline. Alternatively, and particularly in new buildings, they may form all or part of the weatherproofing element of the roof, replacing conventional slates or tiles. Where the modules form only part of the area of the roof, they can be integrated in a similar way to proprietary skylights.
F5. Connections between individual panels are made either in the support structure, or inside the roof void, and are rarely visible from the exterior of the building.
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