PV Solar panels can be installed on the roof of a building or wall that faces within 90 degrees of south. It is important that the proposed area does not have any other buildings or trees that over shadow it, the less exposure to sunlight the less electricity will be produced.
Installation will require scaffolding to be erected at the property, it is important when getting quotes to make sure this cost is accounted for. Once the scaffolding is in place the installation is possible in one day, but will sometimes take longer depending on the size of system being installed.
PV Solar panels can also be installed at ground level if a property has enough land that an un-shaded area is available.
PV Solar systems are measured by their kilowatt peak rating (kWp), this is how much power is generated in a peak controlled environment, the more efficient the cell the less solar panels will be needed. How close to peak a panel will perform depends on the amount of light the panel is exposed to.
The industry is rapidly evolving, so it is important to speak to a number of companies about their technology before choosing the right solar panel for your home. A standard solar panel has an area of about 1.2m x 1.8m and will produce between 180 and 250 watts.
To produce 1kW of power, 4 to 5 solar panels will be required. Figures show that a 1kW solar panel system would supply about 25% of an average family’s energy demand in a year, this would be classed as a smaller installation, the more panel space available on the roof, the greater return will be seen
PV Solar panels are producing your own resource of solar energy, electricity, so in the first instance, this is saving you money.
It is important to consider how much time is spent at home in the day when looking to save money on electricity, as in most cases solar panel systems are not set up to store energy, therefore if it is not used in the day it is either wasted or the better option, exported to the national grid.
Any excess energy that is sent to the grid for use by energy companies is paid for using a Feed-in Tariffs (FITs). The FITs scheme will guarantee you a minimum payment for all electricity you generate and will also pay you a bonus for any electricity that you send to the national grid.
The most common PV solar panel system used by homeowners is made up of eight panels and can generate up to 2.5kW.
It is not normally necessary to get planning permission for PV solar panel systems; but if you are unsure it is important to check with your local authority.
You are more likely to need planning permission if your property is listed or in a conservation area.