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The average energy amortization period is 4 to 5 years.

The percentage of solar electricity for self-consumption can be increased through accumulation with lithium-ion batteries. In a single-family home, levels of self-consumption of up to 80% can be reached in this way, ensuring the possibility of consuming the energy produced during the hours of sunlight, even at night. Investment in storage solutions is therefore highly recommended. This type of plant is newer and has all the characteristics to quickly spread in the coming years.

For photovoltaic systems, it is recommended to visually check the modules every two to three years (to check for cases of dirt or damage to the modules). In particular, horizontal modules should be regularly cleaned by a professional. Do not direct the water jet of a pump onto the modules as deposits of lime may form and the cold water from the pipes may cause stress cracks in the overheated modules. In the event of a reduction in the plant's electricity production, it is worth contacting a professional promptly, who, through measurements on the modules and inverter, can recognize and subsequently eliminate any anomaly

Any surface free of shading and oriented at no more than 45° from the south is perfect for photovoltaic plants. Even roofs with east-west exposure, facades, and balcony railings are increasingly used for photovoltaic production thanks to the greater power of new technologies and the decrease in the price of photovoltaic modules

Solar energy, or energy from the sun, uses heat or electricity from solar radiation. Photovoltaic modules (also called PV modules or solar panels) transform solar radiation into electric current, called photovoltaics. The physical phenomenon in question is called the photovoltaic effect. Solar thermal collectors absorb solar radiation and transfer the heat to a water circuit. The heat from the sun can be used for hot water and heating, but also for process heat and cooling.

Solar energy is also abundantly available in Switzerland. The annual radiation on the national territory is about 220 times greater than the consumption recorded in the same period. Solar energy is able to replace fossil fuels and consequently significantly reduce the pollutant load, e.g. CO2 emissions. Furthermore, there are no risks in terms of safety, nor international relationships of dependency. The exploitation of this energy source paves the way for a clean, secure and independent energy supply for Switzerland.

The prices of conventional energies do not include, in whole or in part, the following costs: air pollution, climate change, disposal of nuclear waste, risks of accidents and war conflicts. These are external costs, which are not borne by who causes them but from the community. For this reason, a direct price comparison with renewable energies is misleading. But even in these conditions of unfair competition, solar energy is increasingly gaining the upper hand: conventional current from the electricity grid is in many cases already more expensive than the electricity produced by your own solar system.As photovoltaic energy becomes increasingly cheaper, the costs for electricity produced in the new nuclear power plants are rising.The planned Hinkley Point atomic power station in England will produce electricity at 15 cents/kWh, about three times higher than in the old Swiss nuclear power plants.

Any roof area free from shade throughout the year and oriented no more than 45° from the south is perfect for photovoltaic systems. Even roofs with east-west exposure and facades are increasingly used for photovoltaic production thanks to the decrease in the prices of PV modules.

PV module manufacturers provide warranties of between 20 and 25 years. The average life span is 30-40 years. Even solar collectors for heat production have a lifespan of more than 25 years.

By comparing the gray energy required for the production and disposal of a photovoltaic system with the energy that can be saved in European power plants thanks to photovoltaics, the duration of the energy depreciation ranges from 4 to 5 years. During its at least 30 years of operation, a PV system therefore allows savings of 14 to 20 times the non-renewable primary energy necessary for its production. See the article on the energy balance of solar electricity.

Empirically, an energy yield of 180 kWh per year per square meter can be assumed for the Swiss Plateau. 20 m2 of modules cover approximately the electricity needs of a typical 3 or 4 person household.

The proportion of self-consumed solar electricity (self-consumption) can be increased by means of so-called load management, for example by automatically switching on the heat pump for water heating if there is sufficient solar radiation. A further possibility to increase the self-consumption rate is on-site storage using lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries. In a single-family house, self-consumption levels of up to 60% can be achieved in this way.

In Switzerland, the photovoltaic modules are taken back and disposed of by SENS eRecycling. The financing of the take-back and disposal of the photovoltaic modules is secured via a recycling fee (ARF), which is voluntarily advanced by the manufacturers or importers. The FOEN is working to introduce the disposal of photovoltaic modules in the ORDEE (Ordinance on the Return, Take Back and Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment), the introduction date has not yet been set.

The solar modules used in Switzerland are made of crystalline or amorphous silicon. Silicon is non-toxic and is produced from quartz sand. In percentage terms, the panels are composed of 80-96% glass, 10-19% aluminium, copper and plastic and 0.1-0.2% semiconductor metals. Glass, aluminum and other metals are recycled. In Switzerland, the controversial cadmium telluride photovoltaic modules are hardly used anywhere. Provided they are disposed of correctly, however, these modules also have an extraordinary energy balance.

Thanks to the new Spatial Planning Act, a building permit is no longer required since May 2014 in many cases. A communication to the competent municipal authority is sufficient. Basically, each canton has its own procedure. Inquire at the administration in charge of your municipality

The installation of a standard solar thermal or photovoltaic system for a single-family house is currently completed in a maximum of two days.

For photovoltaic systems, cables must be laid from the PV modules to the inverter and on to the connection point to the electricity grid: a simple and practically invisible electrical system from the outside.

All main collectors and modules are equipped with a high-strength solar safety glass, which is able to withstand even heavy hailstorms. For lightning protection, collectors and PV modules must be connected to any existing lightning protection arrester in the building. However, the installation of a solar system does not imply the obligation to also install a lightning rod.

The insurance coverage varies according to the canton. Some cantonal building insurance policies also automatically cover damage to solar systems. Clarify with your insurance company whether the solar system has to be insured separately.

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