Garo is delighted to be at the forefront of solar power (photovoltaic) systems manufacturing and distribution in Ireland. Our brand new range of photovoltaic products provide an end-to-end solution, suitable for commercial and residential installations. All products are developed to the highest standards and are fully guaranteed. Here we are outlining the benefits of adopting this technology for your customers. Photovoltaics or PV is a potential new high-value business area for Irish electrical contractors. PV systems have been extremely successful in Europe and continues to be an important industry there. The cost of PV systems has been decreasing year on year, due to advances in technology and economies of scale, and are now at a very competitive level relative to the cost of traditional generated electricity. Photovoltaic installations have traditionally been supported by government initiatives such as grants, feed-in tariff s (FIT) or regulation. In Ireland, there are no financial incentives available, although there is a commitment to provide a feed in tariff before the end of 2016. Since 2008, Part L of the buildings regulations have required a renewable component for new domestic dwellings. In the past, this has been achieved by installing different heat pump solutions or solar thermal heating systems (water heating) which would have been traditionally supplied by heating and ventilation companies. PV installations are now an extremely viable alternative to meet part L requirements. Photovoltaics are an electrical solution to Part L that takes solar radiation and converts it into electricity that exactly matches the characteristic of grid generated electricity. Efficiency of systems depend on the amount of solar radiation rather than ‘hot, sunny weather’ and are perfectly suited to Ireland.

Main components in PV installations

There are three main components in any PV installation: panels, inverter(s) and monitoring systems. The PV panel captures solar radiation and converts it to DC current. The inverter takes DC current and converts it to AC current, matching the local grid connected AC. The monitoring system measures the electricity that is generated. The size of the photovoltaic installation is directly related to the size of the dwelling and its geographical aspect. The following table gives guidance on the wattage required to meet Part L of the building regulations using a photovoltaic installation.
Square Feet Square Meter Annual KWH Requirement South Facing Peak Power SE/SW Facing Peak Power East – West Peak Power
800 74 297 345 362 418
900 84 334 391 411 474
1000 93 372 433 455 525
1200 111 446 517 544 626
1350 125 502 582 612 705
1600 149 595 694 730 841
1800 167 669 777 818 942
2000 186 743 866 911 1050
2400 223 892 1038 1092 1258
This table is for estimation only and does not allow for shading From our table, a 1200sqf or 111m2 new dwelling, with a south-facing roof, no shading on the panels, would have a peak power requirement of 517watts. This dwelling would meet Part L of the building regulations by fitting 2 x 260watt panels. The photovoltaic panels can be surface mounted or integrated (the panels replace the tiles). The inverter can be a string type or a micro inverter. The string type means there is one inverter for the complete system, while if the micro inverter is utilised, there is a micro inverter fitted behind each individual panel. Micro inverters offer the following unique advantages:
  • No string sizing;
  • No minimum voltage considerations;
  • No direct-current electrical work;
  • No location issues for Inverters within building (fitted to each panel on roof);
  • No single point of failure;
  • Increased safety;
  • 25-year warranty.
When choosing a photovoltaic supplier, it is imperative to consider the following:
  • The reputation of the supplier;
  • The warranty and expected life of the individual components;
  • The supplier’s record for technical support and service.
Garo, with 35 years’ experience in Ireland, recommend microinverters as the complete solution for photovoltaic installations. Micro-inverters remove all the disadvantages of string inverters and utilise the latest technologies. The complete solution for any-size domestic or commercial photovoltaic installation is available from Garo through your local electrical wholesaler. Full technical support, training and certification is also available. For more details, visit