I supported the UK's PV solar panel industry before it became cool.
I'm proud that I supported early regulations that made Britain world-leading in domestic installation standards. I'm happy to report that Power My Home became the inspiration for 35,131 new solar panel installations between 2004 and 2021.
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.
Is my roof suitable?
The UK receives 60% of the sun's radiation compared to the equatorial regions. Most homes in the UK are suitable if you have a South, South East, Southwest un-obscured by shading.
How much power is generated?
PV solar panels reduce energy bills by around 70%, depending on the size of the system. Surprisingly to most, even in the winter months, they could produce 50% of your requirement.
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.