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Solar Panel Services

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Solar Panels

Solar panels, or photovoltaics (PV), capture energy from the sun using photovoltaic cells. These cells generate electricity even on cloudy days, making them a reliable energy source. The term “photovoltaic” combines ‘photo’ (light) and ‘voltaic’ (voltage), meaning electricity from sunlight.

Benefits of Solar PV

Switching to solar PV offers several benefits:

  • Renewable Energy: Solar power is available everywhere, every day.
  • Lower Bills: The more solar energy you generate, the less you pay for electricity.

Low Maintenance: Solar systems require minimal upkeep, typically just cleaning twice a year.

Costs and Savings

A typical domestic solar PV system is 4kWp and costs between £5,000 and £8,000. These systems can generate around 3,400 to 4,200 kilowatt hours of power annually, depending on your location and installation setup.

Number of Panels: For a 4kWp system, you’ll need 12 to 16 panels, depending on their wattage capabilities.

Finance Options: Consider options like finance from a lender via the installer, a personal loan, or re-mortgaging your property.

Incentives: The UK’s SEG allows you to earn money for surplus energy sent back to the grid, by applying via a DNO application.

 

Efficiency of Solar Panels

Solar panel efficiency is tested at 25°C and 1,000 W/m² irradiance. A panel with 15% efficiency and 1m² surface area produces 150 Watts under these conditions.

 

Performance Factors:

  • Direction: South-facing panels are most effective in the UK.
  • Roof Slope: Panels tilted at 15° or more benefit from natural cleaning by rain.
  • Shading: Shade can reduce efficiency, so assess your installation area carefully.

 

Types of Solar Systems

There are three main types of solar systems:

  1. Grid-Tied: Connected to the National Grid, exporting unused electricity.
  2. Off-Grid: Independent from the grid, storing excess energy in batteries or water tanks.
  3. Hybrid: Combines grid-tied and off-grid systems, allowing flexibility with energy storage and export.

 

For homes without suitable roofs, wall-mounted solar panels are an alternative, using vertical wall space to capture sunlight.

Installation Process

 

The solar panel installation process involves:

  1. Scaffolding: Erected for safe roof access.
  2. Roof Anchors: Screwed to the rafters.
  3. Frame Setup: Ensures panels are aligned properly.
  4. Panel Installation: Panels are clamped to the frame.
  5. Wiring Panels: Connecting wires are attached to lift panels from roof tiles.
  6. Inverter Connection: A qualified electrician connects the system to your home’s electricity supply.

 

Post-Installation

Post-installation involves connecting the system to the electrical grid and registering for any relevant feed-in tariffs or net metering schemes. Monitoring systems are set up at this stage to track performance and identify any areas needing attention.

Maintaining Solar Panels

Installers should provide maintenance guidance, including inverter fault signals and troubleshooting. For cleaning, shut down your system as per the manual and clean from ground level if possible.

 

Find an Installer

When selecting equipment and installers, it is advisable to review multiple quotes and check installer certifications and reviews to ensure quality and reliability. All our MCS registered partners are HIES Accredited Installers, who are vetted to ensure trust, confidence, and peace of mind. 

 

Conclusion

Solar power is a worthwhile investment for homeowners looking for long-term savings and environmental benefits. It not only offers independence from rising energy prices but also supports a cleaner, more resilient energy grid.

Source: Solar Panels (Solar PV) – Benefits, Costs and Savings (hiesscheme.org.uk)

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