Solar panels: our day to day sustainable choice!
Our green lifestyle is expressed also through our choice to reduce the release of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. For three years now, the some 570 solar panels installed on the roof of our facility have been continuously producing energy from solar power.
But what is exactly a photovoltaic (PV) system and how does it work? Let’s see it more in detail.
Photovoltaics (PV) is the conversion of solar light (photons) into electricity (voltage) which uses the physical properties of semiconductor material such as silicon and comprises several elements:
• The cell, the basic element, consisting of a very thin layer of semiconductor material (usually specially treated multicrystalline silicon) of approximately 10×10 cm in size, which converts solar radiation into electricity. Based on the technology in use, either multicrystalline or monocrystalline panels can be used. The latter, a higher performance system, is the one we have chosen at our winery.
• The panel. The cells are assembled into grid-connected modules which transfer the electrons. All the cells are wired in series and trapped inside glass layers with metallic frames.
To maximize energy production, given the available space at the winery for the PV installations, we opted for first quality high performance panels, made of monocrystalline silicon, as well as power inverters (i.e. the devices that change direct current to alternating current), supplied by the most qualified international producer of PV systems. In 2019 we also had a control system installed which allows for real time verification of the PV system and quantity of energy produced as well as any technical issues which may need to be solved. By using premium materials, through constant monitoring of the photovoltaic system and with the support of a team of skilled technicians, in 2019 we managed to produce as high as 254.542 kW/h and reduce carbon emissions by 111 tons in total. Although in 2019 sunshine hours were less compared with 2018, by washing some of the panels we were able to maximize efficiency and increase production by no less than 7,2%: this is a great result we are very proud of!