PV solar panels, installations and MCS-installers for the UK's savviest homeowners
PV solar panels in the UK's climate do work and will still be providing in three-decades time.
In a nutshell.
PV (photovoltaic) cells produce electrons. Electrons will naturally gravitate to where they're earthed/needed. In a PV solar context, that maybe your TV, battery storage or credited by your energy provider.
A display unit is provided to check performance.
The science bit.
Photons strike cells to create electrons that stream to Earth.
1-4kW Monocrystalline. 280-300 Watts per panel.
It's good to know:
Photovoltaic's degradation rate is 80% generation capacity after twenty years of operation.
Lifespans and warranties, consisting of decades, comes as standard with modern PV-tech.
PV cells are bombarded with photons during daylight hours. Electrons are created.
The Inverter switches the resulting current from AC to DC.
The power will go to technology in your home first, then battery storage.
Electricity generated will be recorded in the management system.
Simply, fit and forget.
What happens to surplus power?
When a system is producing excess power, it will automatically feed the power out to the National Grid, and you'll get credited for your contribution via your power company. It has never been such a good time to install.
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 between 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 or conservation area.
What maintenance is required?
No maintenance is required because PV is a 'solid-state' energy conversion process.
Is fitting expensive?
Fitting costs account for 55% of the final installation.
Do PV 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.
Once installed on the roof, the internal components don't take up much space inside. The full installation process is complete within 3-4 days. All MCS-installers are polite, clean and tidy.
What size system?
Sizing requirement depends on your consumption rate, roof space and your budget. Various options are available to suit different budgets such as typical 2, 3 and 4kW size systems.
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.
As NASA's Mars inter-planetary rovers, Spirit and Opportunity demonstrated perfectly, dirt and dust find it difficult to attach permanently.
With that said, a periodic clean, using de-ionised water, will give an extra 10% performance.