There are lots of good reasons to use solar panels. You will be:
• reducing your dependence on expensive grid energy
• helping to reduce the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
• saving and even earning money
Photovoltaics (often abbreviated as PV) is a simple and elegant method of harnessing the sun's energy.
Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
A 16 panel (usually 4kWp) system can generate around 3,800 kilowatt hours of electricity a year in the south of England – roughly equivalent to a typical household's electricity needs. It will save nearly two tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. A 4kWp system in Scotland can generate about 3,200 kilowatt hours of electricity a year – more than three quarters of a typical household's electricity needs. It will save more than a tonne and a half of carbon dioxide every year.
A kWp is the kilowatt ‘peak’ of a system. This is a standardised test for panels across all manufacturers to ensure that the values listed are capable of comparison.
When the solar PV panels are working they will over an hour convert the suns irradiance into energy, which is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). A 3kWp PV system which is working at its maximum capacity (kWp) for one hour will produce 3kWh.
Solar PV needs little maintenance – you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't begin to overshadow them. In the UK panels that are tilted at 15° or more have the additional benefit of being cleaned by rainfall to ensure optimal performance. Debris is more likely to accumulate if you have ground mounted panels.
Solar inverters, also called grid-tied inverters, convert the direct current (DC) electricity produced by your solar PV panels to alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used in your home and exported back to the grid. Solar invertors also:
• ensure compliance with regulations about feeding electricity into the grid, for example by immediately disconnecting if there
is a power cut
• maximise electricity production by constantly varying its resistance (load)
The average home uses circa 25-30% of the energy that it generates due to the times and amounts generated when compared with the UK lifestyle. The exported energy is not metered but is assumed that you will export 50% of the energy and you are paid a tariff for that. However if you store that energy in batteries, not only will you receive the tariff, you won’t need to buy the energy back from the grid later. In some situations we can even provide you with protection against power cuts too.
If your system is eligible for the Feed-in Tariff scheme, you could generate savings and receive payments from your energy provider. This often means that your system will take between 6 and 8 years to pay for itself, a return of around 10% per year. You will continue to receive this index linked tariff for 20 years after our installation. After this you will still receive free electricity for as long as your system continues to generate.
The incentives give three financial benefits:
• A payment for all the electricity you produce, even if you use it yourself
• Additional payments for electricity you export into the grid
• A reduction on your standard electricity bill, from your own consumption of energy you produce
Panels have a performance guarantee of 25 years but often only offer a 10 year workmanship warranty. For your piece of mind we have panels that have 20 year workmanship warranties as well. Inverters often are the first component to deteriorate, so we will always offer you an inverter with a 20 year manufacturer warranty in the first instance.