The UK's solar panel industry has come a long way during my time
Contrary to general belief, solar panels generate on most cloudy days in the UK and work more efficiently in moderate temperatures and climates. Domestic PV solar panels typically generate and store up to 4,200 kWh annually, depending on system size, location and orientation.
Do I need planning permission?
No. From 2008, planning permission was no longer required, unless you live in a listed building. Even then, most councils will allow in most cases.
How useful are solar panels?
The UK receives 60% of the sun's radiation compared to the equatorial regions. Therefore, PV solar panels can reduce energy bills by around 70%, depending on the size of the system, and 85% with battery storage backup.
PV solar panels installed in the 1960s are still generating today.
Expect 80% generating capacity remaining after twenty years, including manufacturers warranty and installer warranty of ten years. A three-decade lifespan is standard.
Can they replace energy bills?
No. You won't be able to replace it totally, but you can expect free electricity, hot water, and vehicle mileage for the majority of the year.
How can PV extend the life of my boiler?
50% of all systems installed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway were to supply space heating systems, while in Sweden and Canada it was more. These countries have a similar climate to the UK.
PV-heating converters extend the lifespan of your boiler because your boiler won't fire up as often. On sunny days, temperatures of 75 Celcius can be achieved (45 Celcius is hot enough for bathing). This figure is dependent on microclimate, geographical position and a PV-heat converter being installed.
Can they add value to my property?
A 2009 survey by MORI found people are willing to pay more for a solar-equipped home compared to one without.
Do I need to clean my solar panels?
Solar panels have a self-cleaning glass surface. However, depending on your location, you and maybe more prone to environmental dirt, i.e. Tree resin, urban dust, or bird poo. If these are an issue, then most window cleaners can clean.
Will solar panels produce all my electricity?
In most cases, no, but this depends on your consumption rate and the size of the system installed. Large-sized systems might be able to while running alongside a battery storage device.
Roof or ground-mounted?
Yes. On an A-frame to angled at 20 and 50°.
How does PV charge battery storage?
Today, we can generate and store power for evening use.
Self-consumption using battery storage is a modern way to power your lifestyle. These PV systems generate approx 4,500 kWh per year easily and so storage is a useful addition. Battery storage devices retain 80% charging capacity after twenty years.
This innovation changed the game for PV's viability.
It's the ability to heat a hot water tank or thermal storage unit that gives PV solar panels an extra benefit. Today, this plugin gives the benefits of two solar technologies in one. Before the advent of PV-converters, an evacuated tube system was required.
Once the myths are busted, a PV-powered life becomes newfound freedom. Admittedly, they won't benefit you much on a snowy day in February, but that doesn't subtract from its usefulness for the rest of the year. The geopolitical landscape shifted towards self-generation.