Power My Home PV Solar Panels UK.
PV performance data in the UK.


Solar panel suitability.

Install PV solar panels to pursue a new life of energy independence

Learn about PV solar panels in the UK's climate that'll still generate power three decades from now. Install an on-grid photovoltaic system, with or without a battery storage device. On-grid with battery storage is for people pursuing a lower level of dependence.


In a nutshell:


Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

This answer depends on the density of the cloud. On average, generation can occur passively. With denser cloud cover, not so much. Therefore, a single 1 kW Photovoltaic Monocrystalline system generates around 900 kWh/year. Domestic PV systems range from 1- 5 kW.

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"PV systems are a technological partnership that lasts longer than your mortgage."



Are PV solar panels financially worth it?

Yes, because the UK absorbs around 50-60% of The Sun's radiation compared to the equator. Add your annual energy/fuel costs x 30 years (panel lifespan). Add 3-7% yearly inflation = approx future energy costs. Compare this figure to the cost of installing a PV system.

Self-generation is common sense for people working from home.


How do PV systems work?

Photons of light strike the electrons in the p-n junction and energize them, knocking them free of their atoms.

These electrons are attracted to the positive charge in the n-type silicon and repelled by the negative charge in the p-type silicon. Electrons become aligned into the circuitry creating a current:


What happens to my surplus power?

If it's not fed into battery storage, heating hot water, or EV charging, then it automatically feeds out to the National Grid, and payment comes via an export tariff.


Micro-Inverters or String Inverters?

Both systems have their positives and negatives.

String Inverters are the original and shoebox-sized way of altering the current to a useful Alternating Current. Micro-Inverters are small jewelry box-sized attachments to individual panels on the roof.

Mico-Inverters are more complicated to install and thus typically add about 20% more to the cost of the installation. Thus, the simpler String-Inverter makes PV more affordable and easier to access and maintain.

Micro-Inverters are typically used if shading is an issue, such as a split-roof configuration. They're often sold as giving a small increase in performance, but from a longer-term maintenance point of view, they're difficult and costly to replace if required. Any performance advantage may be negligible.

Unless there is a specific reason for doing so, then I advocate for keeping it simple and installing a traditional String Inverter and thus keeping the original installation cost to a minimum and bringing the paid-for-itself point to sooner rather than later.


Why PV in cooler climates?

Actually, photovoltaics work more efficiently in cooler temperatures.

Degradation of the panels occurs much quicker in hotter climates, just like redlining your car engine will reduce its lifespan and efficiency.


Can PV heat my hot water?

PV-to-hot water converters heat traditional hot water tanks by using daytime solar-generated electricity redirected to the heating coil. This device eliminates the need for your boiler to heat water.


How much roof space?

Although PV arrays take a lot of roof space, most homes in the UK are suitable. Additionally, they can be ground-mounted A-frames if a roof is unsuitable.


What does grid-connected mean?

Any excess electricity produced will be directed out to the National Grid, and you will be credited accordingly (if battery storage is not present).

Any deficit in power generation automatically draws from your electricity supplier as per usual.


Do I need planning permission?

No planning permission is required unless on a listed building/conservation area.


What maintenance is required?

No maintenance is required because PV is a 'solid-state' energy conversion process with no moving parts.


Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

This answer depends on the density of the cloud. In average cloud densities, the sun can penetrate. With very, heavy dark, dense cloud cover, probably not. As an example, use a solar-powered calculator, and it will work fine.


Will the installation process have an impact?

Once the panels are fitted, the internal components don't take up much space inside. The overall installation process is usually completed within 2-3 days.

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How long does PV last?

Photovoltaics installed in the 1960s are still working today. Degradation is minimal consideration when choosing a system. Monocrystalline solar panels still have an 80% generation capacity after 20 years.


What about cleaning?

PV solar panels are coated with a microscopically thin layer of titanium dioxide during manufacturing. When ultraviolet light falls on the glass, the coating reacts with organic matter to break it down.

With that said, a periodic clean, using de-ionised water, will ensure optimisation.


How much does a PV system cost?

The cost of a PV solar system depends on system size installed. Additionally, prices vary widely across different installers due to operational differences.

Find local MCS installers. Sizing & costs


Solar panels and installations in the UK.Stuart Lovatt
Power My Home Solar Panels (UK)
Sundial House, Panton Road, Chester CH2 3HX.
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