Solar PV

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Solar PV

Solar power is the environmentally friendly way of generating electricity that is accessible to almost everyone, domestic or commercial.Energy costs are rising all the time and our planet desperately needs carbon emissions to reduce to zero as quickly as possible. Solar PV is one of the most accessible and reliable ways of helping achieve those goals.

 

How does Solar Power work?
The energy from the sun is collected by the panels we mount on the roof or ground and is converted into DC electricity (the type that comes out of a battery). The DC electricity is not useable as mains electricity and needs to be converted. That is the job of the inverter. The Inverter is the heart of the system and converts the DC electricity to mains electricity that can be fed into your property for you to use and/or be exported back to the grid. The inverter works totally automatically and does not require any attention in normal operation.

The power from the inverter feeds into the property on your side of the incoming meter, meaning that the energy it produces is used by your property first with only surplus being exported to the grid.

A PV system is largely a fit-and-forget system. The best modern inverter systems provide very detailed production analysis via internet portals or apps so any issues can be quickly spotted and dealt with. They can also optionally be set up to provide full site energy consumption analysis to give previously unheard of levels of information on site production and consumption. This data can then be used to help with future energy saving measures or help justify battery storage options.

Financial benefits

From 2020, domestic Solar PV has no direct government subsidies. The previous “feed-in-tariff” has ended.

In practice, most of the benefit from a new PV system comes from the savings on the electricity bill, in which every unit of electricity that is used in the property from the PV system saves the cost of buying that unit from the electricity supplier. In addition to this, when more energy is being generated than the property is using, it will be exported to the grid.

The government legislated for a new scheme called the “Smart Export Guarantee”. This scheme obliges larger energy suppliers to pay something for the exported energy they receive. The government did not specify an amount per kWh, leaving it to the market to settle a value. The amounts vary but seem to have settled around 5.5p per kWh of export. This is then typically applied as a credit against the normal incoming bill.

For a current list of energy supply companies that are offering SEG payments, please click this link to the Solar Trade Association https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/seg/

In order to claim the SEG payments, your installation will need to be MCS certified and you will need to have a suitable smart meter fitted by your energy supplier.

We have a general preference for Octopus Energy as we have excellent feedback from our customers on their service and offerings. We have a link that you can follow to Octopus. If you switch to them directly using the link, you will get £50 off your first bill if domestic and £100 if commercial. https://share.octopus.energy/denim-fish-566

We suggest customers carefully research Social Energy as a supplier and ask detailed questions about exactly how they calculate the benefits from their trading system and what guarantees there are to back up the figures provided before committing to them for supply.

To find out what rates are available today and more about how you could benefit from Solar PV, plus to get a no-obligation quote, please get in touch.

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Mounting systems

PV panels can be mounted on pitched roofs, flat roofs and the ground. The most common is a Pitched roof.

There are 2 main installation types for pitched roofs, commonly known as “on-roof” and “in-roof”.

On-roof installations

On-roof installations use brackets that are carefully installed in conjunction with an existing or new roof covering of slates or tiles. MCS approved Brackets are available for almost all tile/slate types and when installed properly leave the roof just as weathertight and structurally sound as it was before the PV system was installed. Because the panels are installed above the roof covering with an air gap between, they are able to run with the benefit of air cooling.

PV panels are more efficient when cooler so this provides the most efficient method for mounting panels if output is the key consideration. On roof mounting typically allows more flexibility in panel layout where roof space is tight or a more complicated shape.

In-roof installations

In-roof installations using equipment from, for example, GSE replace the roof covering with the PV panels. This gives a neater, more integrated look which some people prefer. In-roof mounting components are more expensive than on-roof components so on a retrofit installation, an in-roof installation will cost more. On a new-build however, the fact that the area covered with panels will not need to be covered with tiles/slates will offset the additional cost.

The downside of in-roof systems is a small drop in production due to the panels running at slightly higher temperatures because they have less air movement than an on-roof system. Estimates vary between 3% and 5% less than on-roof. Due to the way the in-roof systems are fitted, they can sometimes limit the number of panels that can be fitted – especially on more complicated roofs with multiple pitches, areas, skylights and dormers etc.

Both system work well so it’s a client decision as to whether to prioritise performance (on-roof) or aesthetics (in-roof).

You will see many photos on our website of both in-roof and on-roof installations – both can look very neat

See it in action

Solar Edge

Watch how SolarEdge’s power optimizers enable greater energy yield for the entire PV system.

Download Solar Edge Storedge Catalog >

Solar Servicing
Solar PV Servicing

Servicing, maintenance & repair

It is recommended that Solar PV systems are serviced annually, just like your boiler. Whether you are an existing customer or have a Solar PV system that was installed by another company, we are happy to help.

Routine Service

Includes electrical testing of the system and a certificate of works on completion
Price:  £150plus 45p per mile travel expenses

Solar PV Troubleshooting

Price: £150 plus 45p per mile travel expenses for the first hour then a further £42 per hour thereafter

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