Are you thinking of having solar panels installed? You're not alone, as thousands of people are choosing renewable energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to lower the cost of energy bills.
You might know a little bit about solar panels and how they are installed, but it's always worth doing your homework before going ahead with any project of this size. After all, this will be a sizeable investment, so it's best to learn about the process so you understand exactly what's going on.
As a professional solar PV panel installation company, Skylamp Solar is perfectly placed to tell you all you need to know. We've compiled this guide to do just that - by the end, you'll have all the information you need to decide whether a solar PV system is the right choice for you. You will also know what's involved in the installation process, and you'll learn many other fascinating facts besides!
First, let's deal with the issue of the difference between PV panels and thermal panels.
If you didn't realise that there was a difference, don't worry; many people believe that solar panels are all the same. However, it is vital that you know which is which as they both perform very different functions.
We touched on this briefly, but let's look more closely at the technology involved.
Photovoltaic solar panels are set up in an array, usually comprising several panels. Inside each panel are photovoltaic cells coated with a thin film of silicon, which is a semiconductor.
Light particles (photons) hit the cells and the silicon inside, causing electrons to be knocked off the surface which generates an electrical charge known as the photovoltaic effect. This is collected and channelled through to an inverter as DC electricity, where it is converted into an AC current.
After this, it goes through to a meter and a fuse box ready for use anywhere within the property.
Before any work takes place, we need to know what type of roof you have. You also need to be absolutely certain that no planning permission is required (see below for more details).
Let's deal with the type of roof first:
On average, domestic solar panel systems take between one and two days, although this can be affected by a range of factors.
Please bear in mind that unforeseen circumstances might cause a delay in the work. While this rarely pushes up the installation cost as agreed with the client, it might mean that we are onsite for longer as we strive to provide high-quality installations.
As there are very few moving parts, solar panels require very little maintenance. Ideally, they should be inspected every three to four years for any damage, and given a gentle wipe to remove dust and dirt. Keeping the solar cells free from dust helps them to run efficiently, meaning more solar power is absorbed and turned into electricity.
Although you can clean the solar panels yourself, it's best to check the details of any warranty, as this could be voided if you cause any damage to the solar panels during the cleaning process.
It's a good idea to keep any nearby trees pruned to stop branches and debris from dropping onto your solar panels, as this could damage them or reduce their efficiency.
In simple terms, it means solar photovoltaics, and it's all about catching the sun's energy and transforming it into usable electricity. We have covered this exact question in detail in our blog. It's a hefty read!
Typically people tend to put them on the roofs of their homes but you can also place them on land, outhouses and sheds as long as you have sufficient angle for them to catch the sun.
No solar panels do not devalue your home, they are an investment and an investment that saves money on the home's energy costs so they are very likely to make your property a more attractive investment.
The schemes for solar panel grants are changing all of the time so you would be best to speak to us about this but we also cover it in our blog post that we use for updates.