Solar Panel FAQ’s

Solar Panel Installers UK

What’s “FAQ’s”, I hear you ask.

Frequently Asked Questions and there are a heap of them in the solar PV panel space!

This page is also an ad hoc resource area as well. Renewable energy, solar energy, solar storage batteries etc, is a fast moving market with new and changing technology appearing in the market place on an almost daily basis!

Rather than edit the existing pages on our websites, we thought that we would create an area where we could publish new innovations to the market as they happen as well as some good old tips and tricks linked to reducing our existing and prospective customer’s energy bills and carbon footprint – as well as the FAQ’s!

There is an RSS feed at the bottom of this page which we gather a lot of useful information from.

We create a lot of solar energy related Infographics to deliver the information to you – we’re told, a lot of people like these!

1. user experience concept attributes information

Solar Panel Installers UK - Better Than Money In The Bank!

infographic detailing a solar energy customer buying experience. solar panel installers uk. e1656012832797
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What's an Infographic?

Well, let’s start with the word itself. “Infographic” is a portmanteau of the words “information” and “graphic.” In essence, an infographic is a form of visual communication meant to capture attention and enhance comprehension.

There’s a couple of examples below this.

Solar panels: are they worth the investment?

all hands on deck as we reduce and future proof your electricity bill. images of hands over a roof fitted with solar panels

Let’s face it, the cost of living in the UK is increasing. More so now (May 2022) than the RPI increases that we’ve been used to.

Energy bills are set to go through the roof imminently and many households will be looking at ways they can reduce their monthly outgoings. Savings can be made with some short-term changes around the home, but many people are trying to find long-term solutions to lowering their electricity bills.

Contact our friendly quotation team to discover the installation cost for your property. Wherever you are in the UK, we’ve got your back. Our state of the art software can usually do this without visiting.

The key benefits of installing solar panels are:

Electricity all year round, solar storage batteries give you the opportunity to use between 80%-100% of the power your system will generate, for self-consumption.

Reduce your carbon footprint.

Increase the market value of your property.

Earn money from excess energy you generate (We design systems to fill your solar storage battery first).

There’s no hard-sell tactics at all, just a comprehensive quote detailing your potential savings and pay-back period.

Pop your details in the form below or call our head office and satisfy your curiosity. If email suits you better, then: [email protected] will reach us.

Can I Install Solar PV Panels On My Flat Roof?

Yes you can install solar PV panels on your flat roof. We have installed hundreds of solar PV panels onto flat roofs. We install them on both commercial and residential properties.

Whilst the installation methods are different to sloping roofs, there are potential advantages, such as:

ease of access for installation and maintenance,
flexibility to choose optimal mounting angles and orientations,
panels may be less visible from street level.

The pitch of the solar panels will also be taken into account by our installers to ensure it can capture the optimum amount of energy from the sun.

For the majority of our flat roof installations, a free-standing flat roof solar mounting frame is used. Using a free-standing mounting system weighed down with ballast, will avoid the need to penetrate the roofs surface. This eliminates the risk of roof leakage and ensures that any warranties on the water-tightness of the roof aren’t compromised – which is particularly important if your roof is brand new.

With ballasted systems, the solar mounting frames rest on rubber feet which spreads the load. The ballast itself comes in many forms. For the majority of our solar PV panel installations on a flat roof, we use preformed concrete ballast as it provides a nice clean, professional finish and as importantly will stand the test of time.

solar panels installed on A frames on a flat roof

THE PROS & CONS OF INSTALLING SOLAR PV PANELS ONTO A FLAT ROOF

a solar panel array installed on a flat roof using A frames for the optimum angle

THE PROS:

Your home will benefits from green, clean, renewable energy.
There is more flexibility with the pitch of the panel. As a result your installer can ensure that your panel sits at an angle to capture the optimum amount of solar rays, whilst remaining self-cleaning in the rain.
You can choose from a number of different types of Solar Panels.
Installing Solar PV Panels onto a flat roof is usually more discreet, rarely visible from street view.
Flat roofs provide easy access and plenty of room for installation and maintenance.

THE CONS:

Χ Flat roof systems take up more space per kW than on-roof photovoltaic systems. This is because, there must be a separation between rows of the PV panels, in order to prevent one row shading another.

Χ Installing Solar Panels on a flat roof is dependant on your roof structure, as it must be able to handle the additional weight.

It's A Good Idea To Bird-Proof Your Solar PV Panels.

Solar panel pigeon guard. Tradesman fixing
man fitting bird protection around solar pv panels

Feral pigeons in particular, look at the underside of your roof-mounted solar PV panels as an ideal nesting place. Warm, dry and safe. They can however, cause damage to your solar PV panels.

The surface of your solar PV panels will also become “spotted” with pigeon droppings (guano), dirt and mess over time. The pigeon droppings covering the surface of your solar panels, will start to decrease the performance and effectiveness of your solar PV panels. This will reduce the systems ability to generate solar power, especially if you are on a string inverter, as it essentially acts as a form of shading.

Pigeons can also damage the interior components of your solar PV panels, ultimately damaging your solar investment. Pigeon guano contains high levels of acidity, which can slowly erode the wiring as well as the surface of your solar PV panels. It’s not unknown for these birds to bite through the wiring as well as scratch the surface of your solar panels causing your system to lose its ability to generate the solar power it is designed and set-up for.

These are some very good reasons to bird-proof your solar PV investment.

Pigeon or bird proofing is the process of installing a protective barrier around the perimeter of your solar PV panels which will block access to the underside of your solar PV panels. The pigeons unable to gain access will have to go and find another home. The bird proofing is a permanent fixture.

It is of course beneficial to install the bird proofing at the same time as your solar PV panels are installed. Retro fitting bird proofing will mean the removal of any existing nests and/or pigeons from underneath the solar panels and surrounding area, cleaning the solar PV panels and the general roof area before the bird proofing is fitted.Scaffolding may also be required!

When you contact us for your feasibility study and quotation for your solar PV panels, be sure to tell us whether or not your quotation is to include bird proofing as it’s not fitted as standard.

Is My Home Suitable For Solar PV Panels?

Are you considering installing solar panels on your roof? You may be wondering, “Is my home suitable for solar PV panels?” There are several factors to consider. One is the exposure to the sun. In the UK, house roofs with southern exposure get the most sun. West and east-facing homes receive some light. Other factors include the size of your roof and how much electricity you use. To find out if your home is suitable, read on!

Your home’s latitude plays a key role in determining the ideal orientation for your solar panels. Ideally, your panels should face the south, because that maximizes their effectiveness. During the winter however, the panels can be covered by snow, which lowers their power output. Ideally, your home’s roof should be oriented north or south, but you may be able to achieve a more optimal solution if your home is oriented east or west.

Another factor to consider is the shape of your home. Ideally, solar panels will face the sun for the majority of the day. But solar panels do not require equal amounts of sunlight every day.

In addition and ideally if you live in the UK, your solar panels should face the true south. This way, they receive the most sunlight all day. In addition, they produce more energy in the morning than in the afternoon. Moreover, facing south is not the only factor. You can also choose to install your solar panels onto a flat roof in order to maximize their orientation and subsequently their energy output.

The roof pitch of your home is an important factor to consider. A roof that is too steep or flat is unlikely to support a solar PV panel system. If you have a steep roof, it might be best to install the panels on a flat area or roof with a standard pitch. These rooftops will require less special equipment and installation. Besides, they will also be cheaper. You can also choose to install a ground-based system.

It’s important to choose a location where your solar panels will receive maximum sunlight. Depending on the time of day, you can place your panels facing east, south, or west for optimal results. Click here for information regarding optimising your solar array for multiple roof sections.

The best placement for solar panels is south-facing. South-facing solar panels are most effective for most homeowners. The directions in this article are based on geographic poles, not true south or equator. This direction provides the highest savings and fastest payback period. A south-facing home will receive the highest amount of sunlight.

solar pv panels fitted to a concrete tiled roof. solar panel installers UK
photovoltaic panel with compass
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How Are Solar Panels Installed Onto My Roof?

PV mounting brackets on roof
PV mounting rails on roof
PV solar panel mounted on roof rails

No matter which brand of solar PV panels are going to be installed on your roof, a supporting framework to hold them safely in place, will be fitted first.

Fixing brackets will be evenly spaced across your roof. At each juncture, a roof tile will be slid up and a bracket will be screwed to a roof timber.If necessary, the tile will be weathered in.

Once the brackets are fitted the rails can be securely fitted onto them. Then once all the rails are installed the panels can be attached to the rails.

The solar PV panels are attached to the rails using specially designed clips which bolt onto the edges. These enable the panels to be removed quickly and easily for roof maintenance when necessary. Electrical cables behind each panel are connected to the adjoining panel to form a “string”.

Are Solar Panels Worth It?

Maintenance isn’t always required because solar panels have no moving parts. So, nothing rusts or wears down over time apart from the inverter. A tier one inverter should last you for around 25 years which means you won’t have to replace it too often.

It doesn’t have to be sunny for your solar panels to create electricity. It’s the UV rays that are important and they are around during the day whether it’s sunny or cloudy. Yes, you’ll create more energy when there is more sunlight, but don’t worry about your panels sitting idly by in the autumn and winter months.

Solar panels may push the value of your home up or down. According to Which?, 8% of estate agents thought they did add value. They may look ugly to some, but others like the fact that they can power their home sustainably.

To ensure the house price goes up, it’s essential to show that your system has been a benefit. Keeping records of your “before and after solar pane-installation” is a very good idea.

Homeowners need to maximise their savings through self-consumption, which means using solar panels at the right times. In the winter, for example, you’re better off utilising appliances when it’s light outside.
Solar Battery

One reason solar panels are worth the investment is when they are coupled together with a solar storage battery, because it stores the excess energy created during the day, enabling you to use your system regardless of the conditions. This offers homeowners energy security as homes that charge their battery can be independent from the National Grid.

Last but not least, a solar battery means significant savings. Charging the battery in off-peak hours and using the energy during peak hours should help you avoid a large bill from your electricity company.

Becoming energy conscious about when you generate and use energy will also help you reduce your electricity bill (taking advantage of peak and off-peak hours), whilst becoming a self-generating power station will tick all the boxes for most – furthermore you’ll be able to sleep easier at night knowing you’re doing your bit for the environment.

Smiling couple holding piggy bank over green house
Green house and energy classification

Do Solar Panels Need Planning Permission?

Planning Application heading with a red APPROVED rubber stamp

The installation of solar panels and equipment on residential buildings and land may be ‘permitted development’ with no need to apply to the Local Planning Authority for planning permission.

There are, however, important limits and conditions, detailed on the following pages, (click the blue link below) which must be met to benefit from these permitted development rights.

You should discuss with the Local Planning Authority for your area whether all of the limits and conditions will be met.

There’s a heap of information regarding planning permission for solar PV panels here. (Opens in a new window).

Why Is Solar Energy Better For The Future?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) Panels produce pure, clean and renewable energy from the sun’s UV rays, even on a grey day. They are a perfect alternative to fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal. They also reduce your carbon footprint and more significantly, greenhouse gases worldwide.

Are you wondering if your home is suitable for solar PV panels? Maybe you’re just keen to dramatically reduce your electricity bill? Click the button on the left and we’ll arrange your free feasibility study and quotation.

I’m paraphrasing Greg Jackson, the boss of Octopus Energy here when he was interviewed recently by the Guardian newspaper.

He believes the energy crisis has underscored the need for Britain to move away from oil and gas. “The first nail in the coffin should have been climate change, then it should have been the fact that renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels. Now we see this as a national security issue as well – if that’s not the final nail in the coffin, then I don’t know what to do.”

He has a vast screen in his office displaying the progress of Plots for Kilowatts, a scheme that matches areas where residents have said they’ll put up with an onshore windfarm in return for lower bills within areas where landowners are keen to host one.

He makes a really good point regarding how long it takes for such an outstanding and necessary project to be put in place.

“We want a similar effort to the vaccine rollout,” says Jackson. “It takes seven years to get a windfarm through the planning process and connected to the grid. The engineering part only takes a year.”

Octopus’s other renewables ventures include a huge push to replace gas boilers with heat pumps, and investment in what will be the world’s longest sub-sea power cable, linking Devon to a vast solar farm in the Moroccan desert.

Shed in the yard with stacked firewood for the fireplace. Tiled courtyard

For years, this has been one of the most popular and alternative ways to heat a home as well as the water. It has a far lower impact on the environment as opposed to fossil fuels..

Top down aerial view of a new build private house with red tiled roof and frames ready to install solar panels. scaled

Welcome to the future of house-building. The frames are pre-installed for the installation of solar-panels.

Solar Panels - Are They Worth It "2"?

Electric costs increasing. Power bills going up. Energy

A typical UK household could be facing an annual energy bill of about £2,800 from this autumn – October 2022, the boss of the UK’s energy regulator has warned.

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley told MPs that the energy price cap – currently at £1,971 – could reach this new level in October due to continued volatility in the gas market.

His comments come a few days after the boss of one of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers warned that up to 40% of customers could be in fuel poverty by October.

What’s happened to fuel bills?

Bills rose for millions of families in April this year (2022) because of an increase in the energy price cap, which is the maximum price that suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge households.

This meant an average increase of £693 for about 18 million households on standard tariffs – and £708 for 4.5 million prepayment customers.

The energy cap will be reviewed again in October, and Ofgem’s Mr Brearley has now given the clearest indication yet that another huge hike is on the cards.

While Mr Brearley said that Ofgem was only part way through reviewing prices ahead of the next change, he said: “We are expecting a price cap in October in the region of £2,800.”

Fuel poverty means a household spends a high proportion of its income on energy bills.

Michael Lewis, the chief executive of E.On, said about one in eight of his company’s customers were already struggling to pay their bills, even before the weather turns colder.

There has been a similar warning from Keith Anderson, the chief executive of Scottish Power.

 

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It’s Time To Invest In Solar Energy!

While you currently pay roughly 28p per kilowatt hour for electricity on a price-capped standard tariff, you’ll get paid a lot less than this for the energy you don’t use yourself and export back to the grid. So try to shift as much of your electricity use to when you are generating it as possible (in other words, in daylight hours).

Combining a solar panel system with a solar storage battery makes a tremendous difference to lower your electricity bill.

We have customer’s who are using between 80% and 100% of the energy they generate for self-consumption!

While it means you’ll be exporting less so will get paid less, overall you will be a lot better off as you won’t be paying for as much pricey energy.

Has Renewable Energy Reached An Inflection Point Globally?

Wind and solar power hit a new record in 2021, generating 10 percent of the world’s entire electricity needs for the first time ever, but overall emissions still continued to grow as power demand rallied in the wake of successive coronavirus-driven lockdowns driving increases in coal power generation.

That is the conclusion of a new analysis from think tank Ember that highlights the rapid growth of clean electricity capacity and generation over the last couple years. The report, which analyzed generation in 75 countries representing 93 percent of power demand, estimates that solar generation grew by 23 percent and wind by 14 percent last year. It means that, in the six years since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed, the two renewable power sources’ share of global electricity generation has more than doubled.

Read the complete article here. (Opens in a new window.)

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