Things to know before intalling a solar pv system

Installing a Solar PV system in your home

There are a wide variety of questions our clients have asked us about over the years, so in this article, we aim to help and advise you with some key points you should be aware of BEFORE you buy.

Our free local site survey will determine which system is best suited to your specific needs of those of your property. It is very rare for properties in the Cambridgeshire area to be affected by more than one of these factors which is why we are confident that any solar PV system we specify will be perfect for you.

What you need to know about Solar pv energy

In the UK, our climate is seasonal so the strength of sunlight will vary throughout the year, as does the temperature. Both these factors affect the ability of a solar PV panel to produce electricity.

Here are some important factors that will affect solar PV power generation.

Sunlight: How much do you get?

Your location will determine how much sunlight you receive. The Southwest gets more than the Scottish Highlands for instance. The Government publishes estimates of the output of solar systems across the country using your post code along with the orientation of your pv system relative to South, plus the angle of the roof.

This gives you a reliable indication of the output of your system, the Feed in Tariff (FiT) payments you will receive and the return you can expect from your Solar PV investment.

Sunlight and Solar radiation in different UK regions and times of year.

Solar radiation map of the UK

Daily sunlight intensity over a year

Solar radiation map UK

Solar Intensity Map

Average annual rainfall:

When it’s raining heavily the sunlight has very little chance of penetrating both cloud cover and a virtual water barrier to reach the Solar panels and generated electricity.

Cloud cover:

Cloudy and rainy regions will receive less sunlight than those without rain & clouds. This doesn’t automatically mean that Solar PV panels are a non-starter though as Solar PV panels will typically produce electricity from “diffuse” sunlight even if this is only 20% of optimum levels.

Air density:

Higher altitudes have better exposure to sunlight than those at sea-level. This is simply because the air is thinner at higher altitudes so sunlight is less scattered.

Average annual temperatures: Hotter is not always better

The silicon cells in solar PV panels are semi-conductors. These are more efficient at lower temperatures, so if you live in a very hot area (in summer) this may be a factor to consider. A 5 degree increase above 25 degrees will lead to a 1% reduction in output.  So in the Gulf states where temperatures can exceed 40 degrees they always install additional panels to compensate for this.

Wind: Ensure panels are properly mounted

If you are in an exposed, windy spot, mounting the solar PV array properly is paramount. Wind can damage both the equipment and reduce energy output and therefore your financial returns.  So again, ensure you use an experienced installation company who offer solid guarantees on their work.  We calculate the wind-loading forces on solar arrays to ensure they will be stable in any circumstances and install them in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions to minimise the effect of wind, flexing the panels and creating damaging micro-fissures in the solar cells that result in reduced output

Shade: Sunlight impairment reduces output

Are you in a heavily built-up area or one that is overlooked by tall trees or buildings?  When the sun goes behind a tall building, direct sunlight reaching the panels is reduced; this means the output of the system is reduced.  In the winter the numbers of daylight hours are less, further reducing output.

How obstructions impair sunlight reaching your solar pv panels

Sunlight impairment diagram

So is Solar pv right for you?

None of this means that solar pv won’t work for you, but as part of our service, we offer you a free site survey to assess the most suitable system for your specific location.

Possible mounting points for solar PV panels

House roof pv mounting positions

 

Do the numbers stack up for you? Find out here

To determine how suitable your home might be for solar PV & estimate the likely returns, enter your information
into our free and instant online solar PV output calculator.

 

Calculate solar output from any size of solar pv installation
Click to calculate

If you would like to talk to us about a site survey, you can request a call back or simply contact us by email.

 

High Quality Solar Panels for your Home or Business

logosThere are many solar panels manufacturers in Europe and the Far East. We go to enormous lengths to source the best engineered quality solar panels available for our customers, to suit your home, needs and budget. Our product philosophy is that quality is key – “you only get what you pay for”.

We won’t fit low quality products just because you want a cheap solar energy panels system for your home. Experience has shown that poorly engineered solar panels produce a lower yield and therefore lower FiT payments and fail sooner and more often than good quality equipment. This reinforces our philosophy that quality takes priority over price and is one of our key selling points.

Our carefully designed solutions ensure your system enjoys peak productivity, generating the most electricity for your home and so earns you the most it can in Solar PV Feed In Tariffs(FiTs). What this also means is that when we fit your quality Solar Panels system to your home they will work for 25 years with minimum maintenance. This ensures the earliest payback of your capital with the highest return on investment (ROI).

Our team of MCS certified engineers are professional, efficient, thorough and work hard to keep the installation areas clean and tidy during the install and to minimise disruption to your home or business. A member of our management team will project manage the installation and will be available to answer and resolve any questions you may have promptly.

Are you thinking about renewable energy for your home or business? Highest quality solar panels for your home ensure reliability, the highest yield and maximise your FiTearnings . With no noise or greenhouse gas emissions, solar panels are one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy for your home. This allows you to maximise your assets, reduce your energy bills, enjoy an additional income stream and reduce your carbon footprint.

If you would like any more information on quality solar panels for the home, we’re more than happy to discuss specific suppliers or components and compare them on their merits. Please just contact us for peace of mind.

The Economic Argument for Solar PV

  • Electricity prices have risen by about 7% a year for the past decade.
  • Solar PV systems can provide a proportion of the electricity your family uses in your home. They can reduce, or with a big enough system eliminate dependency on grid supplied electric.
  • Installing Solar PV now will protect some of your electricity bill from future prices rises from your electricity supplier.
  • Once your Solar PV system is installed and paid for – the electricity it generates is produced at a constant cost. An average PV system produces electricity for about 18p/kWh fixed for the life of your system. In 25 years time electricity will still be costing you 18p/kWh.
  • If the current average electricity price (13p/kWh) continues to increase at 7% a year, your Solar PV electricity will be cheaper in less than 5 years time! There after it will increase in value every year the price of grid supplied electricity goes up.
  • Feed in Tariffs for Solar PV Have been set at a level to provide 8% ROI, tax free, guaranteed for 25 years to encourage investment in renewable energy generation. This ROI will increase every year that electricity prices increase. Currently 1 year savings accounts earn approx 3.0%.

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