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Solar Panel Installers UK | Solar Panels, Battery Storage

FAQs

Some Solar Panel Installation Frequently Asked Questions:

Getting Solar Panels installed is a great way for your home to become greener. Solar Panels are made up of Photovoltaic (PV) cells, which absorb photons and packets of energy from the sun to generate electricity through the Photovoltaic effect. Powering your home through Solar energy is a great green energy solution, that will reduce both your carbon footprint and energy bills.

The popular Feed-in Tariff (FIT), was a government incentive launched in 2010. Closing in 2019, the FIT covered the same five renewable energies: Solar PV, Wind, Micro (CHP), Hydro, and AD. Unlike SEG, the FIT includes both a generation tariff and an export tariff. Whereas the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) provides payment for both the electricity you generate and the electricity you export to the grid, the SEG only pays you for the energy you don’t use. Making going green, is less of a reward.

FIT export payments were set up by the government and were paid based on an estimate. On the contrary, SEG tariff rates are determined by the energy supplier and are based on your smart meter or export meter readings. Unlike some SEG tariffs, FIT rates are fixed.

The feed-in tariff (FIT) pays around 80,000 homes across the UK, for generating renewable electricity through systems such as Solar PV. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average home can earn £150 per year, on top of their energy savings via the FIT scheme.

Although there are no current grants in the UK for Solar Panels in the traditional sense, there are incentives. Currently, the only scheme open for new applications is known as the Smart Export Guarantee. The Smart Export Guarantee came into effect on the 1st of January 2020 and allows all homeowners with Solar Panels installed (up to 5MW capacity), to receive payment for selling surplus energy back to the grid.

From April 2022 until 2027, The government is currently charging 0% VAT on Solar Installations for Homeowners. This does not apply to battery-only installations

South-facing rooftops, benefit the most from a solar panel installation, as they are exposed to sunlight for the longest period of time. They also see the sun when it’s at its highest intensity, meaning that a south-facing roof will generate the most solar energy. However, this doesn’t mean if your roof faces another direction you still wouldn’t benefit from having solar panels installed. East and west-facing roofs are also suitable for solar panels and will still see a good deal of green energy generation throughout the course of the East or West facing installations only tend to lose around 15% of generation. It is only North-facing roofs that are completely not recommended. This also doesn’t mean you can’t install a PV system if you have a flat roof. In fact, flat roofs are often ideal as they allow for a more flexible design. This is because installers can use mounts to angle the Solar Panels so that they are at the optimal angle. If in doubt, just get in touch and our design team can carry out a remote survey on your roof.

Believe it or not, not everyone’s home or business is suitable for Solar. Your suitability for Solar Panels depends on four factors:

  • Your current electricity consumption.
  • The Pitch, Orientation, and Space are available on your roof.
  • If there is any shading.
  • The radiance level of your location.

In most instances, Planning permission isn’t required when installing Solar Panels, as they are classified as “Permitted Developments” (PD). However, in order for Solar Panels to classify as PD they must meet the following requirements:

  • The Solar Panels must not be installed above the highest point of the property (not including chimneys).
  • They must be installed in a way that makes the least visual impact on the property and surrounding area.
  • The Solar Panels must not protrude more than 200mm from the surface of your roof.

If your property is a listed building or located within a conversation area, it is likely that planning permission will be required. Please ask your Solar Panel Installers UK  project manager if you are unsure.

Moncrystalline: Mono-crystalline Solar panels are seen as the more premium panel, due to their high efficiency and darker/black appearance. A Mono-crystalline solar panel is made up of single-crystal silicon, meaning that the electron can generate more electricity as they can flow more freely. As they have the highest purity of silicon they are more efficient, with a higher power output than polycrystalline panels.

Polycrystalline: Polycrystalline solar panels alternatively have lower efficiency, at a more affordable price point. The Solar Panels are made up of fragments of silicon crystal that have been melted together to make wafers and are most recognisable by their blue speckled finish.

No! Solar batteries can also be used independently of solar, to charge your home from the electricity you buy from the grid. By using a ‘time-of-use’ or agile tariff such as Agile Octopus, you can charge your batteries when the electricity rates are at their lowest, for example overnight, and then use that energy to power your home more affordably. This is particularly handy if you are looking to invest in an electric vehicle in the near future. However, to take advantage of this home energy solution, your home will require a smart meter.

The storage capacity your home will require is dependent on your current electricity usage. Power usage is measured in kilowatt-hours. Your monthly energy bill will indicate how many kilowatt-hours you spend on a monthly basis. To calculate the battery storage you require, Solar Panel Installers UK will take this value and from there will be able to calculate your energy needs.

Having a solar battery installed makes you more energy independent and reduces your reliance on the grid. However, the system is still grid-tied, as any surplus energy your battery storage cannot store will be sent back to the grid. All Solar systems installed by Solar Panel Installers UK , have the capability to work in EPS mode. This means when the grid fails, you will still have a supply of energy through your home battery storage.

Due to the modern slim profiles of solar batteries, they can easily be stored anywhere. Solar batteries are often stored in a garage, loft, utility room, cabinet, under the stairs, or even outside. Most homeowners choose to store their solar batteries somewhere neatly out of the way, however, there is also nothing stopping you from having them on display! To find out the exact dimensions of the solar battery of your choice, make sure you download the datasheet provided in this quote, there you will also be able to see if it is suitable for outdoor environments.

Having solar batteries installed alongside Solar Panels, allows you to make the most out of your generated green energy. With Solar Batteries, you can store any surplus solar energy that has been generated by your Solar Panels to use when your home later demands it. This ensures that the majority of your generated power is being used within your home, instead of being sent back to the grid. Therefore, capitalising on your green investment, as well as reducing your energy bills further. Having a home energy storage means you are less reliant on the grid and more energy independent.

A Smart EV Charger is simply a charging point that can be connected to the internet. When you plug in your EV into a Smart Charger you are essentially sharing data, that allows you to optimise your car charging. Smart Charging means that you can communicate with your electric vehicle and charging operator remotely. This allows you to update your firmware, choose when you want to charge, utilise the time of use and economy tariffs, and renewable energy sources. By having your Electric Vehicle charging connected to the internet you are in control of how much you are drawing from the National Grid and when. All at the touch of your phone.

EV charging can be categorised into three different levels. Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. These levels represent the charging speed of an EV charger, where Level 1 is the slowest and Level 3 is the fastest. Each level has designated connector types that are designed for managing AC or DC charging.

Most EVs and EV chargers in the UK are compatible. This is because most available EVs will either have a Type 1 inlet socket (120-volt AC) or a Type 2 inlet Socket (240-volt AC). These two types of plugs support AC (alternating current) charging and correspond to Level 1 and Level 2 Charging. However, it is the Direct Current (DC) or fast charging which is not as compatible. DC fast charging/Level 3 would require a plug specific to the Car brand.

Almost all modern EVs and home charging points have the same Type 2 inlet. Type 2 connectors (7-pin connectors) are currently industry standard and can be found on public chargers also.

Most UK homes have a single-phase AC supply, which means the maximum rate at which you can charge your Electric Vehicle is at 7kWh. This is why 7kWh EV Chargers are the most common option for domestic home charging.

If you are lucky enough to have an AC three-phase supply, you can install a 22kWH EV Charger and benefit from faster-charging speeds. Where a 7kWh faster charger would take around 8 hours on average to fully charge a car, a 22kWh EV Charger would take only 3-4 hours. 22kW chargers are most commonly used in commercial spaces or modern developments. It is worth noting that not all EVs can charge these high rates on AC.

If you have a Solar PV system installed, alongside a solar-compatible EV charger, you can 100% Charge your EV with your PV!

So how does a solar EV charger work? Well a Solar Compatible EV Chargers such as the Zappi, can be integrated into your Solar PV system so that when there is surplus green energy, your Electric Vehicle can charge from it. Effectively giving your free green miles and a great return on your green investment. The myenergi Zappi is considered the world’s first solar EV charger.