Solar PV (PhotoVoltaic) Panels
Solar PV, or PhotoVoltaic, panel installations allow you to take advantage of the Sun's rays, harnessing their energy and generating free electricity for your home. The carbon free electricity you generate provides power for your home and also pays you for the electricity you don't use, which is exported back to the national grid. On top of that, you can also receive substantial payments through the Feed-in-Tariff for every unit of electricity, or Kilowatt hour, you generate. At the same time this can offer you massive savings from the ever-increasing energy costs that you avoid.
WHY CHOOSE SOLAR PV?
- Get paid for the electricity you use
- Get paid for the excess electricity you don't use
- Reduce your CO2 emissions & reduce your carbon footprint
- Save money by avoiding ever increasing electricity costs
- Increase the value of your home
- Receive tax-free Government payments, guaranteed for 25 years
HOW DOES SOLAR PV WORK?
Solar PV Panels consist of a group of solar PV cells. Each cell is made up from one or two thin layers of semi-conducting material, normally silicon. When sunlight falls on these cells photons are absorbed which creates an electric field across the layers. The absorption of these photons transfers energy from light into the semiconductor, and in doing so releases a flow of electrons. This flow of electrons produces a current in the form of a direct current or DC. The DC current is then converted to alternating current or AC using the inverter. This electricity is now ready to be used in the home or exported back to the National Grid.
Solar PV panels don't just work using energy from Sun, they also produce electricity from light. That's good news because it means the panels will still generate electricity, even on a cloudy day
WILL SOLAR ENERGY WORK FOR MY HOUSE
Over the last few years the technology used to produce Solar PV panels has improved dramatically. This means that even the most shaded house in the least sunny part of the UK will benefit from having a Solar PV system installed.
Solar PV systems will, of course, work best under optimal conditions. We will advise you of the best location for your installation during the design stage to maximise the efficiency of your system. It is, however, worth bearing in mind the following points when considering how to get the best out of your Solar PV system:
- Solar PV panels perform best when mounted on a south-facing roof at an angle of between 30 – 50 degrees in order to convert energy from the sunlight most efficiently.
- Solar PV panels will still generate electricity when installed almost anywhere, whether it be on a south-east, south-west, east or west facing roof.
- Solar PV panels although normally mounted on a sloping roof can also be mounted on a flat roof. In this case the panels are normally mounted onto a south-facing frame tilted to the optimal angle. You may need to seek planning permission for this type of installation.
- Solar PV panels can also be wall mounted for properties where the roof is not viable. Any south-facing wall which is exposed to sun throughout the day is ideal.
- Try to cut back any trees that may be shading your panels as a cost effective way of ensuring your installation performs as efficiently as possible.
- Remember that Solar PV panels work in all conditions and even on cloudy days. Direct sunlight will obviously generate the highest output of electricity but the panels will go on producing electricity even with the UK’s unpredictable weather. We provide you with an annual estimation of the average sunlight hours you can expect in your area.
WHAT SORT OF INVESTMENT POTENTIAL & FINANCIAL RETURNS CAN I MAKE ON SOLAR PV
Choosing Solar PV Panels represents one of the safest and high yielding tax-free investments possible in the UK today. Due to the introduction of the governments Feed-in-Tariff, you receive payments for every kWh you generate whether you use it or it's fed back into the national grid. You also save money on your electricity bill. The payments you receive are tax free and RPI linked and guaranteed for 25 years. All this comes with the peace of mind that you are using your own clean, green renewable energy. Our current low prices for Solar PV mean that you can expect typical returns of up to 10% per annum tax free, which represents much better value for money than returns on savings account or ISAs.With the current cost of electricity prices, your system should pay itself back within an average of around 10 years. But with prices continuing to rise it is likely your systems pay back time may be even less.
HOW MUCH MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED
Solar PV systems require relatively little maintenance. They can be said to be self-cleaning due to the action of rainfall on them. If however you have ground mounted panels which are more likely to accumulate dirt and debris, this can easily be removed with warm water and washing up liquid. A high pressure hose and brush may be required for harder-to-reach roof mounted panels. However if you don't fancy doing it yourself many window cleaners now offer a service to clean Solar PV panels at an average cost of around £30.
HOW LONG WILL THE SYSTEM LAST
The panels should last on average up to 40 years, and although they are guaranteed for the first 25 years, research indicates that their efficiency won't reduce much even after this time. The inverters are normally guaranteed for 10 years but often last longer than this.