Photovoltaic (Solar PV)
Jowett and Jowett are MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accredited installers of Photovoltaics (Solar PV) across the South West…….
What is Solar PV?
Solar PV (Solar Photovoltaics) is the generation of electricity using energy from the sun. Modern solar panels produce electricity from daylight and do not require direct sunlight, although more electricity is produced on bright, sunny days.
What are the benefits?
- Saves you money on your electric bills: By generating your own electricity, you’ll be less reliant on corporate energy companies, and as such, you won’t be hit as hard when electricity prices spike.
- Cuts carbon emissions: This environmentally friendly way of making energy produces no harmful emissions as a by-product.
- Renewable energy: Unlike other forms of fuel (like oil, coal and fossil fuels), the sun isn’t going to run out anytime soon!
- Generates energy silently: Leaving your grouchy neighbours with no noise complaints.
- Solar panels are made to last: Most commercial solar panels last at least 20-25 years, and some companies claim that their newer modules can last well over 40.
- Virtually no maintenance: Beside the occasional clean, this no-fuss piece of equipment requires very little attending to. There’s no switching off and on, virtually no adjusting, and there’s little or no cost after the initial payment.
- 24-hour power: Coupled with a battery storage unit, you’ll have access to free electricity even when the sun isn’t shining. You’ll also be less vulnerable to blackouts and power cuts.
Is my house suitable for Solar Panels?
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels are more than suitable for the UK’s climate. They can generate significant amounts of electricity even on overcast days, and exceedingly high temperatures in other countries interfere with the chemical process inside the solar cells, reducing the electric output.
Solar panels don’t need much to operate beyond plenty of natural light. That being said, you’ll want to check your home meets the following requirements to make sure that they’re suitable.
Size: The size of your solar array (several solar panels set up in one installation) will depend on your electricity consumption, so it’s a good idea to find this out first by having a look at your electricity bills.
A current 250-Watt (W) solar panel is roughly 1.75m x 0.9m x 50mm in size and can weigh between 15-30 kilograms. As a typical 25-inch TV needs roughly 150W, you’ll need several solar panels working together to cut your electricity bills.
Space in the loft: There should be a small amount of room made available in your attic for the inverter, which is roughly the size of a microwave.
Structure: Depending on how old your house is, you may also want to check that your roof is structurally sound before fitting 500 kilograms of solar panels onto it! Most installers will have access to a structural engineer for calculating the wind load should your roof show any signs of distress.
Aspect: Ideally, your roof would be facing true south to generate the most electricity, but it’s still worth installing solar panels on east or west-facing roofs, as the loss in output is only minor (around 15%). Solar panels may not be the best choice for those with a north-facing roof, or if your house is largely shaded from the sun.
Pitch: The ideal angle of your roof would be between 35o and 40o, however anywhere from 10 – 60o is suitable. For those with a flat roof, it’s possible to fit the solar panels onto an angled mount to improve efficiency.
There are options for those who can’t afford solar panels to rent their roof space to energy companies, such as the Rent-a-Roof scheme.
This arrangement was designed to benefit both parties – the energy company would receive payments from the Feed-in Tariff, and homeowners would get electricity generated from their free solar panels.
The Rent-a-Roof initiative also throws ownership of the roof into question, can make life difficult for homeowners trying to sell their house, and may cause issues regarding roof maintenance.
Planning permission isn’t required in most cases, providing your home isn’t a listed building, isn’t located within a conservation area, and the solar panels don’t hang off the side of your roof. Your installer can help you with this if you are unsure.
Thinking about installing solar panels?
If you want to install solar panels for your home, we can help. Just fill out our contact form. One of our Technical Account Managers will soon be in touch to discuss your project, before providing you with a proposal complete with performance estimates and an initial quote.