PV solar panel installations in the Uniterd Kingdom.
PV solar panels for the UK's climate.

PV (photovoltaic) solar panels and performance in the UK's climate

Contrary to general belief, solar panels generate on most cloudy days and work more efficiently in moderate temperatures and climates. The UK receives 60% of the sun's radiation compared to the equatorial regions. Therefore, solar panels can reduce energy bills by around 70%, depending on the size of the system, and 85% with battery storage backup.

In the early 2000s, solar heating was king, and PV was excessively expensive. By 2010, standards and regulations brought the industry much-needed quality, but installation companies disappeared as quickly as mobile phone providers from that time-period. Today, hundreds of new solar providers have sprung up nationwide, offering technologies that vary in cost, efficiency, and value for money.

Welcome to the solar century.

In a nutshell:

Once the myths are busted, a PV solar system is a great opportunity. Each square metre of the UK receives between 900-1400 kWh annually per year, so solar panel technology does work well in our variable climate.

PV solar panel efficiency in the United Kingdom.

The science bit.

Photovoltaic modules do generate in diffused light conditions. Generation levels depend on cloud density, and therefore generation can occur passively through scattered light. In darker and denser cloud, not so much.

Common questions about solar panels

Can solar panels replace my energy bills?

No. You won't be able to replace it totally, but you can expect free electricity, hot water, and vehicle mileage for most of the year. Remuneration for surplus power arrives via an export tariff. Market competitiveness is now pushing suppliers to attract new self-generators. The decision to install solar panels will be a stroke of genius.

The export tariff scheme was a breakthrough for solar adopters in 2016. This scheme allowed self-generators to sell and offset power before battery storage became a thing. PV solar panels generate electricity with a 25-year-plus working lifespan.

What percentage do solar panels generate?

This answer depends on your consumption rate and the size of the system installed. Large-sized systems may offer a high percentage while working with a battery storage device. Battery storage devices retain 80% charging capacity after around twenty years.

Are all roof types suitable?

Yes, except Thatched.

Can solar panels heat hot water?

This innovation changed the game for PV's viability for many homeowners. Converters heat a hot water storage tank and offer two solar technologies in one.

Can PV solar panels charge my electric vehicle?

Many homeowners installed PV systems over the last decade because it bestowed a pioneering status. The next logical step is to trade in your old gas guzzler for an EV (electric vehicle) charged for free with solar panels.. Solar panel technology can give you free motor mileage.

How long do photovoltaic solar panels last?

Many PV solar panels installed in the 1960s are still generating today. Expect 80% generating capacity remaining after twenty years, including a manufacturer's warranty of ten years. A three-decade lifespan is standard.

How does solar heating benefit?

50% of solar 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 solar exposure to the UK.

Solar heating extends the lifespan of your boiler because your boiler won't fire up as often. On sunny days, temperatures of 80 Celcius can be achieved (45 Celcius is hot enough for bathing.) This temperature is dependent on geography and the type of system installed.

Can solar panels add value to my property?

A 2009 survey by MORI found people are willing to pay more for a solar-equipped home.

Can I install solar panels myself?

PV export tariff-eligible systems are certified by an accredited MCS PV solar installers. Off-grid PV or solar heating systems are available for DIY solar installations.

Do I need to clean solar panels?

Solar panels have a self-cleaning glass surface. However, depending on your location, you and maybe more prone to tree resin, urban dust, moss growth or bird poo. If this is an issue, then most window or gutter cleaners can help.

How much do solar panels cost?

Domestic solar panel systems come in different sizes and a variety of different costs and configurations. My consultation service helps new solar adopters cut through the sales chatter and overwhelming choice in this modern over-saturated marketplace.

Stuart Lovatt
Power My Home Solar Panels
Sundial House, Panton Road, Chester CH2 3HX.
How I can help?

"Empowering people since 2004"