What are photovoltaic (PV) panels?

To put it as simply as possible, solar photovoltaic panels turn sunlight into electricity, which can then be used to power appliances and lights. PV cells are able to generate power even in cloudy or overcast conditions as they are able to absorb even scattered light.

How are PV panels fitted?

Photovoltaic panels can be fitted in two main ways – either mounted on a roof or on the ground. The ideal roof is south-facing, or angled at about 30 degrees from horizontal for optimal performance. Because the panels produce direct current (DC) electricity, a small inverter will also be fitted inside the property in order to convert the DC into the alternating current (AC) used by the National Grid and all normal homes. Installation is simple, non-intrusive and requires no extra space indoors.

How many are needed?

The number of panels that can be connected depends on the space available but will always be configured to generate as much electricity as possible.

What maintenance and installation is required?

PV panels have no moving parts so there is no noise and no need for any maintenance beyond an occasional clean. Our premium quality solar panels come with a 25-year warranty. Fitting the panels to a roof will require scaffolding and will normally take around a single day to install.

What is the installation process – what do I need to do?

For a typical installation, we supply, fit and test all the equipment, arrange the scaffolding, inform your district network operator and provide all the warranties and certificates you need to receive the feed in tariff. The only thing you need to do is request a microgeneration pack from your electricity provider – other than that, simply sit back and relax while we do the rest. Once your system is fitted, you will have all the information you need to complete the microgeneration pack and send it back to your supplier to receive your feed in tariff. You can then start reaping the financial benefits.

Can I really sell back to the National Grid?

Yes! The April 2010 Feed In Tariff pays a premium on each unit of electricity generated by solar PV panels, as well as a bonus for every unit sent back to the National Grid. The tariff is paid for every unit your system generates, even if you use it all yourself. The tariff is administered by Ofgem, while the electricity providers are responsible for reimbursing their customers.

Do PV panels work in the UK?

They certainly do. Temperatures above room temperature can actually reduce the efficiency of PV solar panels, making the UK’s climate ideal for photovoltaic technology. The panels also require ambient light rather than direct sunlight in order to generate electricity, so they will even function optimally on dull, cloudy days.