Solar PV Panels
Frequently asked questions
Generally speaking the optimum roof is south facing with a pitch angle of around 40 degrees, however a solar system will work perfectly well on a roof that is east or west facing or any orientation between east, west and south. The area of the country also affects the performance, as does any shading issues that exist, but we will carry out a full survey of your property and accurately calculate your returns, so that you can make an informed decision of whether your roof is suitable.
We always carry out a full technical assessment of your property, part of this will be to assess the strength of your roof, it is very likely that it will be fine, however a modern trussed roof may require extra timber to provide adequate fixing for the brackets. We always prepare wind and load calculations to confirm suitability, and so you can rest assured we will only undertake installations that are both appropriate and safe for you.
Generally the maximum size for a domestic installation is 4Kwp, which is 14 – 16 panels depending on the panel chosen, on a south facing unshaded roof this will produce around 3,500 Kwh (units) per annum, enough to run the average UK house for a year.
The system is designed as follows- the panels are connected together to form an array, they generate direct current (DC) when ultra-violet light hits the panels, (all daylight hours). This DC flows into an inverter which converts the DC into alternating current (AC), which is then useable within your domestic system. The inverter sends the AC down to your meter so that your production is recorded, and then into your consumer unit. If you have demand in your home at that moment, then you will use your own electricity which is free, if you are producing extra electricity that you can’t instantly use, then it flows down your energy company’s supply cable and into the Grid, which is then classed as exported. We can however redirect this surplus power into either your immersion heater or batteries to store for later.
No, all equipment used in the design of your system must have approval and certification from the Micro Generation Certification Scheme body, to be able to qualify for the Feed In Tariff scheme. Therefore, you can be assured that all the equipment used in your installation will be fit for purpose and will have already passed rigorous test and inspection criteria before being certified for use.
Yes, every system is very comprehensively covered. The panel manufacturer will guarantee the performance of their panels for a period of 25 years, although panels do deteriorate over time, this has been tested and each manufacturer guarantees the rate of degradation, normally less than 1% per annum. Your inverter, the brains of the system, will also be guaranteed by its manufacturer for a period generally of 10 years, however, this is extendable to 20 years for piece of mind. Our workmanship is also guaranteed for 10 years, but also fully comprehensively insurance backed, so you are completely covered.
Normally solar pv systems are exempt from any planning permission requirements or restrictions. However, should you live in a Conservation Area or are lucky enough to own a listed building, then some approval may be required, however, we will deal with all applications for you.
There are two main areas to an installation, all electrical elements will be carried out by our own fully qualified electricians who have undergone solar specific advanced electrical training, and who are ultimately responsible for your entire installation as project manager. Our fully qualified roofing technicians will take care of the panel installation. As approved Micro-Generation Certification Scheme installers all our workmanship and staff have been fully assessed and approved.
Most domestic Installations can be completed in one day, so create only minimal disruption.
You receive income in three main ways from a solar pv system, firstly you will be paid a Feed In Tariff at a rate set by the Government for every unit of electricity your system produces, secondly you will be paid an export tariff for half of the electricity you produce. Both these payments are guaranteed for a period of 20 years and are indexed to the Retail Price Index, so they are even inflation proofed. All the electricity you produce and use yourself is completely free, making significant savings on your electricity bills. We can also enhance your returns by installing a switch that will run your immersion heater on surplus free power you produce, giving you totally free hot water, and we can even install a battery backup system so that you can save your unused power and use it at night or when you need it, maybe even in a power cut.
Yes, but we will prepare the application form for you, and deal with all the other requirements needed to fully register your system.
Once your system is installed we will do all the paperwork for you to be able to apply for your Feed in Tariff and export payments. Once set up, you will be paid every quarter directly from your energy provider into your chosen bank account.
KWh is the abbreviation for kilowatt hour which is the standard unit of measurement for electricity, also know commonly as a unit, it represents the amount of electricity in Kilowatts used in one hour, so every electrical appliance has a rating in Kwh which is the amount of power it would consume if it was switched on for one hour. We also use Kwh as the unit of measurement for the amount of power your pv system generates. KWp is the abbreviation for Kilowatt Peak which identifies the size of a pv system. Each panel may have a maximum output of 250 watt peak, if you had 10 panels this would be 2,500wp, or more commonly it is said to be a 2.5 kilowatt peak system.
Mono-crystalline panels are manufactured from a single piece of silicon, and look black in appearance, whereas poly-crystalline are manufactured from many smaller pieces of silicon, and look blue in colour. Generally mono-crystalline cells tend to be slightly more efficient and perform with greater longevity but also tend to be slightly more expensive.