Solar PV Free Image Gallery

All of the images on this page have the Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license. This means you’re free to use them for any purpose, even commercial, as long as you give credit to energyd.ie.

Computer-generated image of a solar PV panel.  This panel has 60 dark blue cells, (6 wide by 10 high and is shown in portrait format)
60-Cell Solar PV Panel Illustration. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Computer-generated image of a solar PV panel.  This panel has 72 dark blue cells, (6 wide by 12 high and is shown in portrait format)

72-cell Solar PV Panel Illustration. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie

This image includes three schematics.

The first schematic is of a standard residential solar PV system.  In this case, the panels are connected in one string leading to the inverter.  The image also shows three bypass diodes for each panel.

The second schematic shows a system that is the same as the first, except that a power optimiser is added to each panel.

The third schematic shows each panel with three bypass diodes. In this schematic, each panel is connected to its own microinverter.
Standard, power optimiser and microinverter solar PV system schematics. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Graph comparing the cost of heating water for a shower in Ireland by fuel source.  Running the immersion during the day is the most expensive, followed by an instantaneous electric shower using day-time electricity, immersion using night-rate electricity, kerosene, natural gas, a instantaneous shower using night-rate electricity, a heat pump using night-rate electricity, and finally a heat pump using night-rate electricity (cheapest).
Water heating costs by fuel source. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Dominic Ó Gallachóir poses in the foreground.  In the middle ground is a large array of solar PV panels.  In the background is a wind turbine.  Taken in the evening time shortly before sunset.
Posing with a utility-scale solar PV array and a wind turbine. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Seven solar PV panels on the hipped 
roof of a semi-detached house.  Four are on the South-facing front roof and three are on the East-facing side roof.
There are two groups of panels facing different directions on this roof. It’s important that either power optimisers, microinverters, or two separate strings are used in a case like this. Simply putting all seven panels on one standard string would lead to poor performance. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar thermal flat-plate panels mounted on a semi-detached house.
The solar thermal panels seen here are recessed into the roof. This works well for solar thermal panels which are designed to capture and retain as much heat as possible. On the other hand, it’s better for solar PV panels to be fitted a few centimetres above the roof to allow air to circulate and cool the panels. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Flat plate solar thermal panels on a terraced house with heat transfer fluid inlet and outlet pipes visable.
Flat plate solar thermal panels can sometimes look a lot like solar PV panels. However, the pipes carrying the heat transfer fluid are the clue to let you know that these are in fact solar thermal panels. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Two solar thermal flat-plate panels on the roof of a house
Solar thermal panels for hot water on a sunny day. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Two large solar thermal vacuum tube panels on the rear-facing roof of a house
This is a vacuum-tube solar thermal panel system. Vacuum-tubes are more efficient than flat-plate systems because a vacuums help to trap heat (like a Thermos flask). These panels are facing East and here you can see them catching the morning sun. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar thermal vacuum tube panels on the roof of a two-story house.
Large solar thermal vacuum-tube system. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Six solar PV panels form a rectangle on the roof of a house.
These solar PV panels are East facing. This means they will perform best in the early part of the day. An East-facing array like this works well in conjunction with day/night metering and battery storage. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Two houses, one with solar PV panels on the roof and the other with solar thermal panels on the roof.
Neighbours using two kinds of solar energy. Solar PV (left) and solar thermal (right). This image shows the contrast in size between a typical solar PV system and a typical solar thermal system. Solar PV systems tend to have a larger surface area. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar PV panels and flat-plate solar thermal panels on the same roof.
Solar PV panels and flat-plate solar thermal panels on the same roof. It generally makes more sense to use solar PV for both electricity and hot water. However, if a homeowner already has solar thermal and then installs a solar PV system at a later date then it makes sense to leave the solar thermal in place, as seen here. Read about the differences between solar PV and solar thermal. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar thermal vacuum tube panels on a slate roof to the side of a house.
Solar thermal vacuum tube system on a relatively steep South-facing roof. This steep angle of this roof will help to boost performance in the Winter months when the sun is lower in the sky. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar thermal panels on the roof of a semi-detached house with a hipped roof.
Solar PV is generally a better investment than solar thermal where both options are available. However, solar thermal can sometimes be the only viable option when roof space is severely limited. The combination of hipped roof, relatively small footprint, and an unavailable gable roof meant that very little roof space was available on this house. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar thermal panel on the roof of a detached house.
Vacuum tube solar thermal panel. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Two vacuum-tube solar thermal panels on the roof of a house.
More vacuum-tube solar thermal panels. Note that the heat transfer fluid does not flow through the tubes. Instead, the tubes contain clever devices called “heat pipes” which carry heat up to the heat exchanger at the top of the panel. Heat transfer fluid also flows through heat exchanger and carries heat from the panel to the hot water cylinder. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar thermal vacuum-tube system on the roof of a house.
Solar thermal vacuum-tube system on the roof of a house. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar hot water panel on the roof of a house.
This panel is easy to identify as a solar thermal panel based on the vacuum tubes and the pipe running from the top of the panel down through the roof. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar PV panels on the gable roof of a house.
Just enough space for three solar PV panels here. Irish regulations state that solar panels, whether PV or thermal, need to be at least 50 cm away from the edge of the roof. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Three solar PV panels on a hipped roof.
It can be challenging to find space for solar PV panels on houses with hipped roofs. Never the less, the designers here found space for three South-facing panels and three West-facing panels. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Measuring tape, calculator, and sketch of a solar panel system on the roof of a house.  The tools for a solar PV site survey.
Sketching a solar panel system design for the roof of a house, as part of a site survey. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar photovoltaic system on the roof of a house. This system qualifies for a solar energy planning permission exemption because it’s less than 12 square metres in size. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
Solar thermal (hot water) panels on a flat roof mounting system.
It’s possible to install both solar thermal and solar PV panels on flat roofs. Usually, a ballast system is used to keep the panels in place. Image License: CC-BY. Credit: energyd.ie
New housing estate with solar panels in Ireland
Most new houses in Ireland come with solar PV panels installed. Installing solar panels helps developers meet the part L planning requirement for renewable contribution. Image License: CC-BY, Credit: energyd.ie