What is Solar PV?
Solar Photovoltaics are the most commonly installed domestic and commercial energy generation technology.
In the first half of 2022 we have seen pretty much a doubling of electricity prices with an expectation of further increases later in 2022 before a drop back in Spring of 2023 (but only to mid-2022 prices – so says Martin Lewis!). This huge inflation in energy prices means that the payback period for technologies such as Solar PV and Battery Storage has effectively halved (subject to system size and the ability to use a large chunk of what you generate).
Trusted Energy Solutions have been MCS certified PV installers for over 10 years – we know and understand the technologies, are honest about paybacks, and always operate with your objectives and best interests in mind. Contact us for a no obligation quote.
Why use Solar PV Panels?
There are many reasons for using Solar PV Panels in your home, as a new build or retrofit project.
In the East Midlands a typical domestic 4 kW unshaded solar PV system in a favourable orientation will generate 3,000 – 3,800 kWh of electricity per year.
On a reasonable assumption that you can use around 50% of what you generate then you can expect to save £450 – £600 per year on your electricity bills at mid-2022 prices.
You can also benefit from the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) which in mid-2022 was up to 7.5 p/kWh for every unit of electricity that you generate but don’t use – another £100 – £150 per year.
If you have a heat pump, an electric vehicle or use a Storage Battery, then your savings could be even greater.
How do Solar Panels work?
A typical domestic installation comprises 10-24 solar PV panels, an inverter (handling the connection between the panels and the home electrical system and grid) and generation meter.
They are a very proven and reliable technology with volume consumer uptake in the UK starting around 2010 – there are plenty of older fully functioning systems out there. We rarely have any service and maintenance issues.
The PV panel life expectancy is 25+ years normally supplied with a manufacturer’s warranty, which assures an 80% performance after 20 years. Inverters typically have a 5- or 10-year warranty.
We are often asked if Solar Panels work on cloudy days or in winter, the short answer is yes. Read the long answer in our blog post here. Storing your energy is made easy with a Storage Battery.
What is involved in Solar Panel installation?
PV installations in the UK must be MCS certified – certified product, certified installer. Make sure your installer is MCS certified.
PV installations must be notified the electricity distribution network operators – before installation for permission for larger domestic and commercial systems and after installation for typical domestic installations.
Most solar panel roof installations do not need planning permission; listed buildings and ground mounted systems do.
Most panels are installed on a suitably oriented roof – generally over the existing roof on retrofit installations and sat in the roof on new roofs. Roof installations normally involve the erection of scaffolding – installations cannot be carried out safely using ladders nor in most situations with scaffold towers.
The inverter is typically mounted in a garage, attic, or suitable cupboard. Cables are run from the panels to the inverter and from the inverter to the fuse board, where the generation meter is also mounted.
Solar panels transform the sun’s energy into power for our homes, but solar batteries enable us to store it for those times when the sun isn’t around. This technology means we can store more of the free energy produced by our panels and buy less from energy suppliers, saving money and increasing our independence from the National Grid.
As solar technology continues to progress many modern systems also incorporate smart technology such as apps and Wifi so you can easily monitor the battery’s charge level and general efficiency.
Our efficient solutions enable you to store the energy generated by your solar system for usage at any time night or day.
We offer a range of batteries and inverters from Solax and GivEnergy. All our engineers and fitters are comprehensively trained in every aspect of their products to ensure you receive the best product for your installation!
As an accredited installers we can offer top notch workmanship and knowledge at competitive prices to ensure the most efficient and cost-effective system is specified for the job.
You may still have questions about the suitability of Solar PV Panels for your home.
We are often asked:
- Can I heat my house using Solar PV?
Realistically – no.
The chart here demonstrates the typical monthly heating demand vs the typical PV energy generation profile. Heating demand is highest when PV generation is lowest.
Solar PV can make a significant contribution to hot water generation and will contribute to heating in the Spring and Autumn if you are running a heat pump.
- I think they are ugly – are there other options?
Other formats of photovoltaic generators do exist – solar slates, glass, films etc. What they all have in common is that they are very expensive.
The lowest price point for a PV panel is an industry standard(ish) 1 m x 1.7 m, so this is the format with the best return on investment.
Overall, you need to consider whether a benefit approaching £10,000 over 10 years allows you to overcome your reservations…?