Preparing for an uncertain future with a solar panel installation.

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PV (Photovoltaic) solar panels work 365 days and the most popular of all installation types

"Learn about photovoltaic (PV) solar panels for your home with these on-grid systems that average a lifespan of thirty years. Welcome to the solar panelled century."

Photovoltaic solar panels.

Quick fact - Contrary to popular belief, pv solar panels work more efficiently in cooler climates and last longer as a result.

In a nutshell.

PV solar panel (Photovoltaic) installations produce electricity from daylight through a process called photovoltaic streaming. "Photo" refers to light and "voltaic" to electricity. Photons are converted to electrons and streamed into your power supply or sold to the National Grid.

Photons from the sun can penetrate clouds allowing you to generate even on overcast days.

Photovoltaic arrays can be roof or ground mounted. The panels on your roof will be southern/ or East or West facing or close to at an angle of 30 degrees for the best performance.

The panels produce a DC current which an inverter fitted in the loft space changes the DC into AC. A wall mounted display unit will allow you to check on performance and usage of your system.

The science bit.

Solar panels generate due to the sun's ejected photons which hit the panels and create electrons.


Monocrystalline or polycrystalline.
Size: 1318 mm x 994 mm x 46 mm.
Weight: 6.5 kg.
1-100 KW sizing options.
Power: 180-300 Watts per panel.

Beat the banks with a better return on your money.

Beat the energy companies who don't want you to self-generate your own electricity.

Reduce your electricity bills by up to 85%, depending on your energy consumption rate and size of system.

Sell power to the National Grid at better rates than your bank, even if you use the electricity yourself.

No maintenance with a long lifespan of 30+ years. PV solar installed in the 1960s is still working today.

Contributes all year round, even in the winter months.

Sunshine on a cloudy day.

Questions about photovoltaic solar installations

There are three types of photovoltaic panels. Which is best?

Monocrystalline cells are considered the most efficient technology by industry experts.

Monocrystalline cells are made from a single large crystal of silicon (mono = one). Polycrystalline systems are made from melted together multiple crystals (poly = many). The poly ones are marginally less efficient because of the boundaries between crystals in each cell wafer compared to the monocrystalline cells. So for the same power output a mono panel is slightly smaller in size. systems are, therefore, the best for smaller roofs or where there is a problem with shadows that limits the useful area of the roof.

New to the market is hybrid crystalline and amorphous thin-film types. These make use of mono cells, but with either an overcoat of thin-film amorphous cells (light can pass through the thin-film to the mono/poly cell below) or in the dead space around the mono cells.

Thin-film amorphous cells are much less efficient than or polycrystalline cells in strong sunlight, but they are better than them in cloudy conditions.

Are these suitable for my home?

Most homes are suitable with a South/South East/South West facing roof space. Your internal electric board will need to be checked for compatibility and wiring routing, but this can be done easily through our free "get a quote" service.

No planning permission needed in most cases.

Check your homes orientation

How does this technology work in the UK?

PV solar panel installations are a popular investment, with the feed-in tariffs.

The UK receives 60% of the sun's radiation compared with the equator. Each square metre of the UK receives between 900 to 1,300 kWh annually from the sun's radiation each year.

Solar radiation map of the UK

How much roof space do I need?

The system does take a lot of roof space, but photovoltaic panel systems can be installed within your garden area using A-frames, facing south, if roof space is a problem.

Panel roofing guide

How much will a system generate?

A system would generate approximately 750 kWh/year per kW installed. So our basic 1.0 kW system would generate around 750 kWh per year, and a 5kW system will produce around 4500 kWh. Installing Photovoltaic technology is a terrific way of future proofing proofing' your home.

Photovoltaic panel power guide

How much will a system cost?

The cost of a PV solar panel installation depends on several factors, but is usually based on system sizes. A consultation appointment can be arranged to give you your options and costs.

Get quotes

Can I install photovoltaics myself?

In most cases no, but if you have a Part P electrical qualification, then it may be possible to install in a diy capacity. DIY PV solar panel kits are available.

DIY installing can work out much cheaper. However, you will not be eligible for the generous feed-in tariff schemes currently available. All eligible installations must be carried out and certified by an accredited MCS installer.

DIY solar panel kits

"The UK’s first grid-connected system has been tested on its
20th anniversary, and still has a 95% generation rate."

What can I earn?

This varies depending on your location and local climate variations and roof orientation. For this reason, we offer a free property inspection and quotation. Once we have the correct information, we will be able to sit down with you (a cup of tea optional) and give you more accurate facts and figures based on your individual location.

What about payback?

Adopters of this technology, acknowledges the global price of oil and energy in general, will rise continuously over 10, 15 even 30 years from now. People inverting today will benefit from cheaper installation and product costs.

Photovoltaic feasibility equation:

Your yearly electric bill x 30 years (panel lifespan).

+3% (average yearly inflation).
= your future energy costs.

The above equation does not take into consideration any future energy price rises, within the next 30 years, which is inevitable.

"Sell power to the National Grid at better rates than your bank,
even if you use the electricity yourself."

What does 'grid connected' mean?

The generated electricity, which will obviously vary according to the level of sunlight, means the excess energy produced will be directed out to the National Grid, and you will be credited accordingly.

In this way, the deficit between generation and demand can simply be purchased from your electricity supplier as normal.

Do I need planning permission?

No planning permission is needed, unless you live in a listed building or conservation area.

What maintenance is required?

The advantages of photovoltaic solar panels, over other micro-generation technologies, are that no maintenance is required because it is a solid state energy conversion process.

I heard fitting is expensive?

With generous, grants available, the increase in your house price after fitting and freedom from energy prices, investment in such a system has now become a real choice for homes across the UK.

Does this technology work on cloudy days?

This rather depends on the technology installed and the density of the cloud. In moderate cloud density, the sun's energy can still be used. With very, heavy dark, dense cloud cover, probably not. Use your solar powered calculator out on a cloudy day and it will still work.

Can I heat my hot water with these panels?

Yes, although it's not a standard piece of kit, you can add additional converters that use some of your free electricity to heat your hot water tank. The converters are relatively cheap to install and will give you bountiful amounts of hot water over the life of your system.

Can I sell my surplus energy?

Yes, feed-in tariffs for electric-generating systems or the Clean Energy Cash Back Scheme will be credited to you. The system is time sensitive designed to reward the earlier takers with bigger feed-in tariff rewards.

Will fitting have a large impact on my home?

Once this technology is installed on the roof, the internal components do not take up much space inside. Fitting usually can be done within 3-4 days, with installers being polite, clean and tidy.

What size system will I need?

This depends on your energy consumption rate. You can find this out by looking at your electricity bill and finding your annual KW consumption.

Do I need planning permission?

Only if you live within a conservation area, or in a listed building. It is worth contacting your local council beforehand.

How long does a photovoltaic system last?

PV solar panels installed in the 1960s are still working today. Photovoltaic panel degradation is commonly used as a sales tool within the industry, but with modern manufacturing, the degradation rate is a very small consideration when choosing an installer.

Do I need to clean my panels?

A quality system will usually have a self-cleaning glass surface. However, depending on your location, they may be more prone to environmental dirt, i.e. Tree resin, urban dust or bird Poo. If these are an issue, then most window cleaners can reach and clean or you may use a professional solar panel cleaning company.

How does the glass clean itself?

The glass is coated with a microscopically thin layer of titanium dioxide. When ultraviolet light falls on the glass, the layer reacts with organic matter in the dirt, breaking it down into water can carbon dioxide. The dirt takes readily to water. Thus, when the rain arrives, it spreads uniformly across the surface and the loosened dirt is washed away rather than streaking.

What reassurance can you give me?

All our MCS solar installers are RECC scheme (Renewable Energy Consumer Code) members and work throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

How soon can you install?

In most cases, installations can be fitted within one calendar month, but can be quicker under special circumstances.

Welcome to the solar panelled century.

Stuart Lovatt
Founder of Heat my Home.

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