FAQ Categories

Why Choose Solar PV? FAQs

By ensuring your system has maximum exposure to the ultimate energy source, i.e. the Sun. So you must ensure the system is orientated due south, there is no shading; the PV panels operate at their optimum temperature. To make the electricity you produce go further change when you use electricity in the house, e.g. put your washing machine on a delayed cycle so it comes on during the middle of the day when you system is generating lots of free electricity.

To tell if solar electricity is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider:

  • Do you have a sunny place to put it? You’ll need a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees of south, and isn’t overshadowed by trees or buildings.
  • Is your roof strong enough? Solar panels are not light and the roof must be strong enough to take their weight. If in doubt consult a building or structural engineer or builder.
  • Do you need planning permission? In the UK you don’t need planning permission for most domestic solar PV systems. You should check with your local planning officer, especially if your home is a listed building or is in a conservation area or World Heritage Site.

Yes of course. However unless you are an electrical engineer roofer or builder we suggest using certified professionals to design specify and procure quality components and install these using sound engineering and installation practices, for the following reasons:

  • Electricity is dangerous, especially high Voltage DC current which Solar PV systems produce.
  • To qualify for payment of Government FiTs all PV equipment used must be MCS certified.
  • To qualify for FiTs installers must also be MCS certified.
  • You will pay 20% VAT when you buy components e.g. PV cells, mounting systems and inverters rather than the 5% MCS accredited companies will charge.

If it’s not possible to achieve the optimum angle PV systems will still produce over 90% of the maximum energy at 10 degree and 50 degree tilts. South-facing vertical facades generate around 70% of the maximum, e.g. if panels are mounted on south facing walls.

The best angle from the horizontal to tilt panels is at the same angle as the latitude, minus 10-15 degrees. So, 30 degrees is an optimal tilt in Southern England, increasing to almost 40 degrees in Northern Scotland. The maximum solar radiation will be obtained by orientating panels due south.

Shading is important. Solar panels are connected in series, one shaded panel in the string can reduce overall productivity. If a panel is shaded bypass diodes will reduce the impact of that panel’s lower output on the total system voltage. We always check if the roof on which you propose to install Solar PV is affected by shade & take this into account when estimating potential PV productivity.

A photovoltaic (PV) system needs access to the sun’s rays to work effectively. PV systems work in both direct and diffuse sunshine. There is enough sunlight to make solar energy systems useful and effective nearly everywhere in the UK. However as we get less sunshine during the winter than the summer, PV productivity will reflect this. At the latitude in the UK the optimum angle for direct sunshine on the panels is 30 – 35 degrees, and south facing. Luckily most of the UK’s roofs are at 30 – 35 degrees which makes them ideal to install Solar PV. However, if your roof is unsuitable due to Velux or dormer windows or thatch etc consider using your porch, patio, pergola garage or a stand alone system in your garden.

The size of solar system you need depends on factors such as how much electricity you use, how much sunshine you receive, the size of your roof, and how much you’re willing to invest.

Yes both. PV can be used to power your home or business’s electrical systems, i.e. lights, cooling systems, appliances etc. Typically PV panels are mounted on south-facing roofs or walls.

Once a design is agreed and the planning position clarified systems can be installed within weeks.

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