Solar PV (photovoltaics) are also known as solar panel electricity systems. They capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells and convert that energy in electricity which can be used to run household appliances, lighting and also heat pump heating systems. Solar PV panels don't need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. Any unused electricty can be sold back to the grid, used to heat water in a tank (for use later) or stored in batteries for use in the evenings or overnight.
- Cut your electricity bills, once installed all electricity generated by your solar PV array is free
- Sell electricity back to the grid, any electricity you don't use can be sold back to the national grid
- Cut your carbon footprint, once installed all energy generated by your solar PV array is 100% green
- Power your air source or ground source heating system for free, improving the efficiency of your renewable heating system even more
Frequently asked questions
- How much electricity will I generate?
This can depend on a lot of factors and we would be able to give you estimates following a site survey. However, generally a 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.
- What size do Solar PV Panels come in?
In practice, the physical size of a system is often determined by the available roof space or the energy requirement of the property. A standard 1kWp PV array will occupy at least 8m² of roof.
- Where can I place my Solar PV Panels?
The roof of a building usually provides the best and simplest site. Flat roofs are not ideal as it is hard to make them water tight once the bolts to secure the panels are drilled in. South facing roofs tend to be the best site for Solar PV arrays but East-West split systems can also be designed.
- My roof is in poor condition – can I still install a Solar PV system on it?
Solar PV systems are not normally heavy enough to cause structural problems. If your roof is in poor condition we would recommend that you undertake a structural survey before going ahead with your installation. If your roof is in need of repair or replacement then it makes sense to combine this work with your PV installation as it will help to the reduce cost.
- I have no access to my loft – will that be a problem?
Not always, the inverter generates a lot of heat whilst in operation so the loft is the perfect place to put it as it offers sufficient ventilation to distribute the heat. Inverters should not be kept in a cupboard or enclosed space as this creates a fire risk. If you do not have access to your loft, you will need to think about where else within your property this inverter can be placed that is close to the roof and in a well ventilated area.
- What is the life expectancy of a Solar PV system?
20 years or more, depending on the location of the installation. All PV equipment we install comes with long guarantees, the exact details depend on your budget. Please contact us for details of guarantees.