The installation of photovoltaic solar panels

The Principle

Solar energy: a source of energy that can be used anywhere in your home

Photovoltaic panels capture sunlight and naturally produce a direct current of variable voltage and intensity.

This direct current is then transformed by an inverter into alternating current more commonly called electricity. The amount of electricity produced depends on the amount of light captured and not on the heat emitted by the sun.

Save money: Sell your electricity for 20 years.

By installing photovoltaic panels on your roof, you can choose to consume the electricity produced or sell it to your electricity provider for a period of 20 years.

The purchase price of the electricity produced is set annually by the state. It is guaranteed for the 20 years of the purchase contract. In 2012, the purchase price is set at 37.06 Cts € for an installation of photovoltaic panels integrated into the building (replacing part of your roof) with a power of less than 3Kwc.

The current feed-in tariff for electricity produced by renewable energies being one of the highest in the world, the choice of total resale of electricity production is the one mostly chosen by new producers.Photovoltaic Panel Construction

How does it work?

Every hour, our planet receives the solar energy necessary to cover the following needs the needs of the world’s population for a whole year.
In 1839, the physicist BECQUEREL discovered that when the photon (particle of the sun) acts on certain materials, electrons start to move and constitute what is commonly called electric current.
Photovoltaic cells are made from silicon. Silicon is the second element in the earth’s crust where it often exists in oxidized form (sand, silica, quartz). This material, which is very economical, absorbs the photons emitted by the sun and transforms them into electrical energy.
Silicon reflects 50% of the light and its CO2 emissions are 85 to 100% lower than those of a coal or oil-fired power plant.
Solar panels are a set of crystalline photovoltaic cells fixed in an aluminium frame and protected by a glass envelope.
The electrical energy produced is transformed by an inverter into alternating current.
The electricity thus produced can then either be consumed or sold to EDF by injecting it into the network.

Photovoltaic Panel Construction


The installation of photovoltaic panels on your roof requires a prior declaration of work to the Urban Planning Department of your town hall.
The response time is generally one month. It can be extended to two months for areas under the authority of Architects of France or the Delegation of Maritime Works.

At the same time, a connection request is made to ERDF.
ERDF communicates a CRAE registration number which allows to obtain the obligation to purchase the electricity produced as well as their connection contract.

A technical pre-visit on site by your installer is advisable in order to validate with you the technical details of your installation: dimensioning of the photovoltaic field, on-roof control of the installation, location of the inverter and wiring.

The installation of the photovoltaic modules and the inverter is carried out upon receipt of the certificate of non-opposition from the Town Hall. At the end of the installation, a certificate of conformity of your installation is sent to ERDF in order to validate the appointment for the connection.

Since March 24, 2010, obtaining a certificate of conformity from the CONSUEL is mandatory for the commissioning of your installation.

Once ERDF has made the connection, you become an electricity producer.

Remember to check that your installer has the LABEL QUALIPV Elec module (electrical part of the building) and Module Bât module (roofing part of the building); the only currently independent label that is regularly inspected on the installers’ sites.

Photovoltaic Panel ConstructionTechnical characteristics

There are mainly four types of silicon that make up the photovoltaic cells of the modules:

Hybrid Silicon (monocrystalline and amorphous): Monocrystalline silicon cells coated with a thin layer of amorphous silicon. This technology significantly reduces losses due to high temperatures and low light. Efficiency rate <16%.
Monocrystalline silicon: Monocrystalline technology uses silicon rods of very high purity. A monocrystalline silicon wafer is composed of a single grain. Cylindrical ingots are obtained by crucible pulling. Cell efficiency rates of 14 and 16%.
Polycrystalline silicon : it is obtained by the remelting of monocrystalline silicon scraps from squaring operations. Yield rate between 12 and 14%.
Amorphous silicon: less fragile, not very sensitive to low light but very low yield. Yield rate less than 12%.
The technical characteristics of a photovoltaic panel:

The power of the photovoltaic panel: It is the production of photovoltaic electricity produced by the panel at a constant temperature of 25°C and with a luminosity of 1000kwh/m². This power is measured in Watts-peak (Wp).

The Rate of Return: It is the capacity of transformation of the solar energy captured in photovoltaic energy on a surface of 1m² of panels at a constant temperature of 25°C and with a luminosity of 1000kwh. The impact of the rate of return is visible directly on the surface of the photovoltaic field on your roof.

Indeed, a panel with a low rate of return will require more surface for the production of the same amount of electricity as a panel with a high rate of return (for example: 3Kwc in hybrid silicon will require only 18m² of implantation against 24m² for polycrystalline silicon).

Guaranteed tolerance: The panels benefit from a power (Wp) guarantee.
Thus a panel with a tolerance of +- 5% is guaranteed to produce between 95 and 105% of its initial power.

Guaranteed output : Most manufacturers of photovoltaic panels guarantee 90% of the production of Wp when new for 10 years and 80% for 20 years. Some manufacturers even go up to 25 years.
Finally, the photovoltaic panels installed in France must be certified
to the EN 61215 or NF EN 61646 standards to benefit from the tax credit.

Photovoltaic Panel Construction

What is the cost?

The installation of photovoltaic panels is a definite investment that is self-financing through the sale of the electricity produced.

For a turnkey installation of photovoltaic panels, it is necessary to count between 6 and 8€ the installed Watt-peak. This includes the panels, the inverter, the waterproofing system, the various supplies as well as the labor for the installation and commissioning.

How much does it cost to install a CMV A REDUCED INVESTMENT THROUGH TAX CREDIT.
The French state wishes to help the development of the use of renewable energies.
11% tax credit for photovoltaic energy (meeting the standards EN 61215 or NF EN 61646)

What amount of expenses does the tax credit apply to?
The tax credit covers the price of equipment and materials, excluding labour, meeting the characteristics.

What is the amount of expenses eligible for the tax credit?
For the same taxpayer and the same dwelling, the amount of expenses eligible for the tax credit may not exceed, for a period of five consecutive years between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2015, the sum of € 3200/kwc of photovoltaic panels installed (Article 18bis of the General Tax Code, Annex 4).

To know your rights to the tax credit, you are advised to refer to the provisions of Article 200 quater of the General Tax Code.
For the application of this measure, it is strongly recommended to refer to :

The website (page on the tax credit)
Article 200 quater of the General Tax Code, Article 90 of the 2005 Finance Act, Article 83 of the 2006 Finance Act, Article 109 of the 2009 Finance Act and Article 80 of the 2010 Finance Act.
The tax instructions 5B-26-05, 5B-17-06 and 5B-17-07
The decrees of February 9, 2005, December 12, 2005 and November 13, 2007 issued for the application of articles 200 quater and 200 quater A of the general tax code relating to capital expenditure on the main dwelling and amending annex IV to this code
Sections 81 to 83 of the 2012 Finance Act

Some regions, town halls or the ANAH also subsidize the installation of photovoltaic panels by granting financial aid. Find out more directly from these administrations or from your ESPACE INFO ENERGIE.

Environmental impact

For many years, scientists have been warning us about the effects of global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.

Our energy needs continue to grow with the development of new technologies and the appearance of new everyday consumer products that provide us with the comfort and quality of life we can no longer do without.

Today, the entire international community is faced with a real problem:


Oil, natural gas and coal are fossil fuels that took millions of years to build up.

If our current consumption of these fossil energies does not radically decrease, the world’s reserves will no longer be able to meet our needs. We are talking about a shortage for the year 2050 for oil, 2070 for gas. We may see less with the increase in world population expected in the coming years.

Solar energy is the solution.
Free and available everywhere on Earth, solar energy allows us to produce clean electricity thanks to photovoltaic panels.

Indeed, the production of electricity via solar panels emits virtually no CO2 emissions.
The environmental impact is therefore not negligible.

Photovoltaic panels are the ecological solution to preserve the planet while maintaining our current living comfort.