Frequently Asked Questions
We are happy to provide a quotation for your requirements. Our experienced technicians assess your needs at your premises at reasonable rates, so you are aware of the exact costs involved. Solar Panels are now mainstream, with significantly reduced prices.
Depending on whether the project is residential or commercial, some clients will require a system upgrade to include a water heating system via a solar diverter, a new Solar panel PV system, or both.
Savings can be significant. Depending on installation, Solar Panels may save up to 70%. Savings on water heating can range up to 100%. The return on investment (ROI) is usually 5-8 years, over a life cycle extending past its guarantee of 25 years.
Solar PV systems use cells to convert sunlight into electricity. The PV cell consists of one or two layers of a semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers, causing electricity to flow. The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity.
PV cells are referred to in terms of the amount of energy they generate in full sunlight, known as kilowatt peak, or kWp. An inverter converts DC electricity harnessed from the Sun to AC current so it can connect to the utility grid to be used as power in homes and businesses.
Power generation from Solar PV has been used for over fifty years. It is a clean, sustainable energy technology that draws upon the planet’s most plentiful and widely distributed renewable energy source: the Sun. The direct conversion of sunlight to electricity occurs without any moving parts or environmental emissions during operation. As a result, PV systems have remarkably low maintenance and operating costs when compared to other renewable energy sources.
A Solar Thermal Panel converts ambient sunlight into heat extremely efficiently. This heat is generated through the absorption of the Sun’s rays by a dark colour-coated absorber connected to a piping system. The heat transfer fluid in the piping system absorbs the heat, and is then pumped to the hot water tank, wherein the heat is transferred to water by a heat exchanger.
A Solar Thermal system converts not only direct sunlight, but also indirect sunlight, into heat and works even when the sky is overcast. During winter months, the Solar Thermal system pre-heats water in the hot water tank, which is then brought up to temperature by the conventional hot-water system – but at a fraction of the cost.
Grid-connected systems are used in properties that have a mains supply, but the occupier wishes to contribute in the battle against greenhouse gases, and reduce the demand for electrical energy produced by oil or coal.
During the hours of daylight the Solar Array converts radiant energy into electrical energy. The energy is passed to the DC/AC inverter to create 220-240V 50Hz power that is synchronised with the mains supply. This locally-generated power is connected to the building's consumer unit. At times when power demand is modest it will supply power to the household appliances. At times of greater demand or darkness, the remaining power is drawn from the electricity grid.
Note for your safety that the inverter automatically switches off if the mains fails. It is not a standby power system.
In a stand-alone system there is no connection to the mains electricity supply. The system provides all the electrical needs of the property. Stand-alone systems are primarily used in rural properties and out-buildings, and in remotely-sited installations used for communications, instrumentation, broadcasting, navigation or environmental monitoring, where it is impossible or uneconomical to connect the site to mains electricity.
A bank of batteries is charged by the solar array during the hours of daylight, with the stored energy utilised whenever required – even at night. The system is often enhanced by a diesel motor-generator to supply peak demands, or during periods of poor light conditions.
However, battery storage for grid-connected and stand-alone ‘off-grid’ systems are becoming more accessible and cheaper with the advances in lithium-ion battery storage.
The average install time for Solar PV and/or water heating systems in the home is 2 to 3 days. We aim to install your system with the minimum of fuss and disruption to your home.
Solar PV panels pick up radiation from the Sun, even in overcast conditions. This natural daylight produces enough energy to activate the panels and be converted to usable energy.
It depends. There are so many different roof styles and shapes, in a wide range of conditions. Everything depends on orientation to the sun, shading by trees and other buildings, and the condition of the roof itself. If there is no space on your roof, you may consider the placing the panels elsewhere on your property.
Most panels fitted in the 1970s still produce energy today. Technology has, of course, moved on significantly, resulting in modern panels that are even more efficient and cost-effective, with a minimum service life of 25 years! You can accumulate a lot of savings over that period.