Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels contain semi-conductors such as silicon, which convert solar radiation into electricity. The electricity produced can be used to run appliances & lighting, and can also be fed into the national grid or used to charge batteries.
The majority of the systems we install consist of simply bolting the panels onto an existing roof. They are mounted on a frame (which makes everything look neat and tidy), and then wired into an inverter. This converts the electricity from DC into AC, at a voltage compatible with the domestic electricity supply.
This electricity supply feeds the home or business first of all, and then any surplus electricity is exported to the National Grid, not wasted. Since April 2010, you can be paid for all the electricity you generate, whether or not you use it! Find out more information about the Feed In Tariffs.
Why Do It?
Apart from the obvious environmental and financial incentives, there are many other benefits to installing a solar system. These include:
- Systems are noiseless and 100% emission-free
- Virtually no maintenance is required – there are no moving parts to go wrong, the panels are self-cleaning and generally last in excess of 40 years
- Planning is generally not an issue, as panels are classed as a ‘permitted development’ on domestic properties. Where planning permission is required (for example on some commercial buildings), we can help with planning applications
- Solar PV systems do not need direct sunlight to produce electricity, and in fact operate more efficiently at lower temperatures – so here in England we are ideally situated to take advantage
- Having your own power source means protection against rising energy prices and fuel shortages
- Higher property value – on average 9%, according to the Energy Savings Trust and the Guardian newspaper
- Energy is used at the place it is created, so there are no losses or emissions involved in transportation
- You are making a visual statement of your commitment to a low carbon future
- The feel good factor – you will have the knowledge that you have done something proactive to help preserve this planet for our children and theirs