Solar heating or PV solar panels?
Domestic solar panels come in two types - PV solar panels and solar heating panels. These types of installations are commonly confused, but today PV (photovoltaics) can do the job of both.
Frequently asked questions.
Questions about solar heating panels
Questions about PV solar panels
Do we get enough sunshine?
The UK receives 60% of the solar energy compared with the equator. Each square metre of the UK receives between 900-1400 kWh annually of solar radiation each year. Modern solar panels work well in diffused light conditions which allow them to work even on cloudy days.
Naturally, clouds come in many different densities, but solar panels will be able to capture most levels of diffused sunlight. The UK receives 60% of the sun's energy that the equator gets.Solar radiation map of the UK
Is my home suitable for these technologies?
Yes, if you have a South/South East/South West facing roof space.Check your roof suitability.
Do I need planning permission?
No. From 6th April 2008 planning permission will not be required for solar panels unless you live in a listed building. Even then, most councils will allow installations in most cases.
What is the science behind these technologies?
In a nutshell, when the sun's radiation/energy enters the earth's atmosphere, it does so as a short-wave. When these short-waves hit something, then it converts to long-wave.
How long do these technologies last?
Solar heating panels, including evacuated tubes and thermodynamic panels, have a longevity of around 30 years. PV installed in the 1960s is still working today, which makes it the longest lasting technology around.
Can an installation add value to my property?
A survey by MORI found people are willing to pay thousands more for a solar-equipped home, compared to one without this technology.