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PV (Photovoltaic) solar panels & installations

"PV solar panels, also known as photovoltaic panels operate even on cloudy days in the UK and in some cases heat up your hot water tank. These are the most popular form of sun-powered technologies today and will still be generating for their owners in three decades from now."

Photovoltaic installations.

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

In a nutshell.

PV solar panels produce electrons that are like cats. They'll go where ever the food is better and in a PV context, that may be battery storage, washing machine, TV or EV charging etc. Electrons will naturally gravitate to where they are needed.

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

Photovoltaic arrays can be roof or ground-mounted. The panels on your roof will be South 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.

PV extras.

PV to heating converters and PV and battery storage devices are an option to consider in addition to the current feed-in tariff incentives.

Quotes from installers. Schematics


Size: 1318 mm x 994 mm x 46 mm.
Weight: 6.5 kg.
1-5 KW sizing options.
Power: 180-315 Watts per panel.

MCS solar panel installers

For your peace of mind.

All our MCS installers are RECC scheme members and work throughout England, Scotland and Wales. We are happy to help from the early stages of quoting to our fantastic after-sales customer support teams.

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Sunshine on a cloudy day.

Questions about PV solar panels

Monocrytalline or Polycrystalline?

  • Monocrystalline cells.
    Thin slices cut from a single crystal of silicon with a typical efficiency of 15%. Slightly more expensive, but offer a higher peak output of 280-320 Watts per panel.
  • Polycrystalline cells.
    Thin slices cut from silicon crystals with a typical efficiency of 12% and gives a maximum output of 180 Watts per panel.
Quotes from installers. Learn about incentives

The actual and real benefits of photovoltaic solar panels.

Can PV heat my home?

PV to hot water converters can heat up a traditional hot water tank using a clever device that diverts some of your generated daytime electricity toward your heating coil. This is beneficial because it eliminates the need for your boiler to heat your water and is an additional way of benefiting from this fantastic technology.

Quotes from installers. PV to hot water converters

Roof orientation?

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.

Quotes from installers. Check your roof orientation

How does this technology work in the UK?

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

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?

Although PV arrays takes a lot of roof space, most homes in the UK are suitable. Additionally, they can be installed using A-frames if roof space is a problem.

Is my roof suitable for PV solar panels?

How much will a system generate in the UK?

A system would generate approximately 750 kWh/year per kW installed. So a 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 your home.

PV solar panels in the UK

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.

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Can I install photovoltaic 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 panels

What about payback?

PV systems are 'performance guaranteed' for twenty years, but can will still be generating thirty plus years. Payback can be achieved within ten years and will deliver a tax-free return of investment of around 5% - even if you use the power yourself. More can be expected when used alongside an EV charger.

PV incentives

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 - that are inevitable.

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 solar panels?

Yes, although it's not a standard piece of kit, you can add additional converters that use your PV solar panels free power 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 Cashback 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 solar 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.

Get a quote.

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

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Founder of Heat my Home.


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