What Do Solar Panels Do?
The power of the sun can be harnessed with a solar panel, composed of multiple cells made up of semiconducting materials like silicon. When light reflects onto these components, electricity is generated – even on cloudier days. As the sun strengthens in intensity, more energy will flow through your system.
Solar systems are constructed from an array of panels. Setups are typically comprised of about 10 modules that produce Direct Current (DC) electricity. To be able to power your devices and appliances with Alternating Current (AC), you need to install an inverter which will convert the DC into AC for use across your property or exported back into the grid.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels consist of multiple interconnected solar cells. When several solar panels come together to form a larger system, they create an array that can then be combined with other components such as cabling, brackets and inverters in order to develop your own fully functioning photovoltaic panel system.
By connecting electrical conductors to positive and negative terminals, we form an electric circuit that captures electrons in the form of electricity. This current, along with the voltage created by built-in electric fields within a cell, determines how much energy can be produced – thus allowing solar panels to turn sunlight into electricity.
What are the Benefits of Solar Panels?
Solar panels are a major part of our journey towards sustainability, and the advantages they possess are substantial:
Cut Electricity Bills Instantly
Installing solar panels can be a great way to reduce your power bills immediately, providing significant financial benefits in the long-term. You no longer need to buy electricity from your service provider, thereby cutting out any associated costs. They’re also generally low maintenance with no moving parts and can last around 25 years, making them a reliable option that provides numerous financial rewards. Solar panels could be the key to drastically reducing your energy bills in the near future.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Deciding to go solar isn’t only about making a financial investment and increasing the value of your property. It’s also significantly concerned with contributing towards a more sustainable future for our planet – doing what’s right.
By installing solar panels, you’ll help the UK meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. You can also make a positive environmental impact as an individual – with solar energy, you could reduce up to 2 tonnes of CO2 every year – that’s 20 percent of YOUR total carbon footprint.
By installing solar PV in our homes and businesses, we can not only reduce CO2 emissions but also lessen our reliance on fossil fuels, minimising the need for power plants that run on fossil fuel – creating a healthier environment for everyone.
Improve the Value of Your Property
Solar panels are a great way to increase the value of your property. It offers an easy, cost-effective and eco-friendly way to make your property stand out in today’s competitive real estate market. Households and businesses can increase their property’s worth by thousands of pounds just by having solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed.
You may also be able to access incentives such as Smart export Guarantee (SEG) which could significantly improve the financial returns offered by investing in solar energy solutions.
Safeguard Yourself Against Rising Electricity
Especially with the current uncertainty, you have to be prepared for volatile energy prices. Solar PV increases your energy independence – so you no longer need to worry about rising electricity costs as much. By investing in solar now and taking advantage of an array of incentives, you can guarantee yourself cheaper electricity well into the future.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
If you’re looking to reduce your energy bills and make a positive environmental impact, then solar panels may be the right choice for you. Let’s take a look into some of the concerns that you may have about investing in solar:
How Much Energy Do Solar Panels Produce?
Solar panels can generate anywhere from 250 to 400 watts per hour. The majority of systems range between 1 kW and 4 kW, with a 4kW panel system being capable of generating up to 2,850 kWh every year under ideal conditions. Nevertheless, the amount generated by these systems is contingent on several elements such as size, capacity, location and prevailing weather conditions.
Solar energy is renewable, meaning it will never run out. This makes it an incredibly reliable source of power, and one that can help reduce global warming by reducing the burning of fossil fuels. Solar PV also helps to reduce smog and other environmental pollutants associated with electricity production from non-renewable sources such as coal or gas.
Would Solar Panels Work for Me?
Solar technology is more accessible than ever before, with a range of affordable and efficient panels available for both domestic and commercial use. But before you make the switch to solar, it’s important to understand if they’re right for you.
Solar Panel Requirements
Solar energy systems can be installed on almost any roof in the UK. However, your property must meet certain requirements in order to get the most out of them:
Do You Have Enough Space?
To install a meaningful solar PV array, you’ll need about 10 square metres of unobstructed roof-top space – the size of your average parking spot. For most residences, this shouldn’t be an issue – however, remember to double check for vents and skylights that could get in the way and impede available space.
Installing a PV system requires limited internal space since the only sizable piece of equipment is an inverter, which can fit into most lofts without any issue. If you have a loft conversion or dormer bedrooms though, be sure to plan ahead and determine where it will be placed.
Do You Need Permission?
Because Solar Panels are considered a ‘Permitted Development’, most of the time you don’t need to get planning permission from your Local Planning Authority (LPA) before going ahead with the installation.
Do You Have a Pitched Roof?
For optimal solar panel output, angle the panels according to the latitude of your roof. This is typically between 30 and 45 degrees for most properties in order to receive maximum average energy production throughout the year.
Which Way Does Your Property Face?
Your system will work best if it’s installed on a roof which faces south, east or west. South-facing installations tend to be the most efficient, while east and west facing panels aren’t far behind. However, it is still possible to have north facing panels, but they will have a decreased efficiency in producing electricity compared to other directions.
Solar Panel Installation Overview
The solar panel installation process involves several steps, which can vary depending on the specific requirements of the system being installed. However, some general steps are typically followed:
- Site assessment: A professional solar installer, like ourselves at Will Guy Electrical, assesses the site to determine the best location for the panels. Factors such as the amount of sunlight the area receives, the slope and orientation of the roof or ground, and any shading or obstacles are evaluated.
- Design and engineering: Based on the site assessment, a solar system design is created that takes into account the energy needs of the property and the available space for the panels. The design may also include calculations of the expected energy production and financial savings.
- Installation of mounting system: The mounting system that supports the solar panels is installed on the roof or the ground, depending on the design.
- Installation of panels: The solar panels are carefully mounted on the mounting system, and electrical connections are made between the panels.
- Inverter installation: The inverter is installed, which converts the DC electricity produced by the panels into AC electricity that can be used in the property.
- Electrical work: The inverter and solar panel system are connected to the electrical grid or to the property’s electrical system, according to local regulations.
- Inspection and activation: The solar system is inspected and tested to ensure it is operating correctly and safely. The system is then activated, and the property owner can begin enjoying the benefits of solar energy.
- Monitoring and maintenance: A solar panel system typically comes with a monitoring system that allows the property owner to track energy production and usage. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the panels may also be required to ensure maximum efficiency and longevity of the system.
Solar Panel Maintenance
It’s important to note that solar panels are built to last. They’re designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and can last for 25-30 years or even more with proper care. That being said, regular maintenance is still important to ensure that your solar panels continue to perform at their best.
The good news is that solar panel maintenance is minimal and straightforward. Here are some tips for maintaining your domestic solar panels:
- Keep them clean: Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on your solar panels over time, which can reduce their efficiency. It’s recommended to clean your panels at least once a year with water and a soft brush or cloth. Avoid using abrasive materials or chemicals that could damage the panels.
- Check for shade: Solar panels need direct sunlight to generate electricity, so it’s important to make sure they are not shaded by trees, buildings, or other objects. If you notice any shade on your panels, consider trimming trees or moving objects that are causing the shade.
- Monitor performance: Most solar panels come with monitoring systems that allow you to track their performance. Check your monitoring system regularly to ensure that your panels are generating the expected amount of electricity.
- Schedule a professional inspection: While domestic solar panels are low-maintenance, it’s still a good idea to have them inspected by a professional every few years. A professional inspection can identify any potential issues and ensure that your panels are operating at their optimal level.
Choosing Your Installation Company
When it comes to installing solar panels, you want to make sure that you choose a reliable and experienced installation company. At Will Guy Electrical, we have nearly 30 years of experience in the electrical installation industry, so you can trust us to get the job done right.
Our team of experienced electricians will ensure that your solar panel system is installed safely, efficiently, and in compliance with regulations. We’ll also provide maintenance and inspection services to ensure your panels remain in good condition for years to come. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and get started with your solar installation project.
Now, you should know everything you need to know about solar panels, the installation process, and how they can benefit you. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today to take advantage of the benefits of solar energy!