Solar PV

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels contain semi-conductors such as silicon, which convert solar radiation into electricity. The DC (direct current) electricity produced is then (usually) fed through an inverter to produce AC electricity at a voltage and frequency suitable for general use.Diagram of solar photovtaic panels

Electricity produced by solar PV panels is noiseless, 100% emission free and almost always FAR cheaper than buying it from an electricity supplier. Solar PV systems operate year-round, and need virtually no maintenance. They are suitable for mounting almost anywhere they can be secured – but there are a few reasonable caveats as follows.

 

Solar PV panels work best when they are facing between east and west (through south). Panels facing further north than due east or west will still work, but at far lower efficiencies. They can be mounted vertically (or even horizontally*) – but they work best when inclined at between 25 and 45 degrees. This inclination happens naturally when the panels are mounted on a pitched (sloping) roof – on flat roofs or on the ground we would use a frame to incline the panels to the desired angle.

 


Existing Houses

We can mount solar PV panels on most homes that have a suitable roof (see our installation guide). We have a range of panels – small ones that suit small urban roofs, all black ones that look great on slate roofs and high efficiency panels that make the most out of every square metre.

We have optimised systems that mean shaded roofs no longer need to be ruled out, and long warranties for peace of mind. Our own warranties are also fully underwritten.

You can see some of our domestic solar PV projects here

 Solar PV installation, Bristol

New Build Solar

Installing solar panels on properties when they are being built makes perfect sense. Not only does it help properties meet sustainability standards (such as the Code for Sustainable Homes), installation of solar PV panels reduces both energy requirements and bills for decades to come. Whether or not it is required for planning purposes, it is now the decision of forward thinking and environmentally conscious house builders across the country. With solar PV enjoying its highest popularity levels ever, houses with solar PV installed are more attractive to prospective home buyers than those without.

We often install roof integrated solar PV systems on new build properties. The panels then sit flush with the surrounding tiles, and the cost of the roof covering is saved on that area. We can also design bespoke systems for odd shaped roofs where the entire roof area is covered in made-to measure- solar panels (even triangular ones if necessary).

We can advise on how best to integrate solar PV panels into a project from the design stage (which tends to help stop so many homes being designed with only north facing roof space).

We have experience with self-builders and developers both small and large, and are always happy to discuss new projects. Have a look at some recent new build solar installs here

New Build Solar PV Installation

Commercial Solar

Solar PV is the perfect partner for businesses and commercial properties, which usually have their highest energy demand during daylight hours. It is not uncommon for businesses to be able to use all the energy their solar PV systems produce, which makes savings and returns optimal (and keeps finance directors happy).

There are an estimated 250,000 hectares of south-facing commercial roof space suitable for solar PV installation in the UK (and not, to date, taken advantage of). Check now and see if you too could be cashing in when the sun shines….

Have a look at some of the commercial installations we have completed recently here

Commercial solar PV installation

  • Some manufacturers will not guarantee panels that are mounted horizontally – they also need regular cleaning, and are generally NOT a good idea.

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Random Fact

The Severn Tidal Lagoon could comfortably meet the annual electricity demand for every single home in Wales – 5.5TWh a year (Source – Tidal Lagoon plc)

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