Freqently Asked Questions About Solar PV

So how do you go about getting a Solar PV quote and what´s the installation process?

  1. 1) First thing to do is either send us a email detailing your address so we can check if you have a south facing roof, or contact us by telephone on 01752 562221
  2. 2) We will send you an estimation of cost and if this is within budget will arrange to come and do a site visit
  3. 3) We will then send you a formal quotation and at that point you under no obligation to proceed.
  4. 4) Should you want to go ahead, reply to the quote with your acceptance, we will raise an installation booking form and invoice then send it over to you to sign and return with the 25% deposit which will be held in a protected dedicated client account
  5. 5) Once we have your deposit we will order your Solar PV system, arrange for the scaffolding or access towers to arrive, then our installation team will come and install your chosen system.
  6. 6) After the installation has been completed our team will guide you through the various features of your solar PV system and talk you through the hand over manual and answer any after sales questions or queries you may have.

What is Solar PV?

The Photovoltaic process is when radiation from the sun is converted directly into electricity.

Semi-conductor materials such as Silicon are used to convert radiation into electricity.

PV panels work even when the sky is overcast, at this time the system will operate by way of indirect sunlight or diffuse light.

PV systems can provide electricity for any household utility and can also be used to sell surplus power produced, back to your power provider.



Why should we use PV?

PV panels provide clean renewable energy.

PV panels have no working parts and are extremely durable, they will be guaranteed to last over 20 years and should last more than 40. Because they have no working parts the panels require no maintenance.

In just two years the PV panels will have produced as much energy as it will have taken to manufacture them and after that they are completely beneficial, lowering carbon emissions and saving energy.

PV panels are unobtrusive and take up little space. They only require planning permission in the case of listed buildings and within conservation areas.

PV panels will protect you against rising fuel prices and future fuel shortages.

According to the EST, a solar power system will increase the value of your property.

Using renewable forms of energy will make the world a safer less polluted place for your children.

Does solar PV Work in the UK?

Yes and here in the South West of England we have the highest levels of solar irradiation, please see image below.

Different Types of Solar PV panels.

Mono crystalline

Converts 15% of solar energy in to electrical power. Each module is formed from a single silicon crystal which has been sawn into wafers. The process used to make mono crystalline panels is energy and materially intensive and therefore these panels are expensive. Typically they produce the most efficient commercial cells.







Poly/ Multi crystalline

As multi implies the wafers are not drawn from a single crystal but from a cast block of silicon, which results in aesthetically pleasing random formation of crystals. Because of the random direction of the crystals the efficiency of conversion of solar radiation is lower, between 8-12%. Sheets of silicon can be drawn rather than sawn making production cheaper than mono crystalline.





Amorphous silicon (thin film)

It has no long range crystal structure and therefore is quite inefficient.

It can be produced as thin as 1/1000mm.

It is easy to mass produce at low temperatures and with low material input and therefore is cheap to produce.

Because the layers are so thin it is possible to use this type of material on curved surfaces.





Building Integrated PV (BIPV)

BIPV integrates the above PV materials into building materials.

For instance: PV roof tiles, PV windows, PV shadings, PV ventilator covers.





System components

The smallest functioning PV component is called a cell.


Cells are connected together to form modules or panels.

The panels are attached to the roof by roof mounts or frames.

A collection of modules attached together is called a string of modules, strings of modules attached together form an array.

To convert the power from DC to AC power for the mains and to feed into household appliances, the array is wired through an inverter or several inverters.

Various other wiring and support structures are needed:-it is very important to be able to monitor the output of the system.

Costs

Costs of systems can vary considerably depending the property and type of solar pv installation, but typically for a non integrated 1Kw roof mounted system, using mono-crystalline silicon you will be looking at between £3500-5500

It should be noted that the larger the array the cheaper the installation will become per Kw.

Amorphous silicon is cheaper than crystalline silicon but less durable and it requires a large surface area.



Multi crystalline is cheaper that mono crystalline but less efficient.



BIPV systems tend to be more expensive per m2 than modules, but this cost can be offset against the cost of building materials being replaced and is more aesthetically appealing.



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