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According to the UK Government, there were 970,000 installs up until 2020. Which means about 3% of UK homes are already generating their own free solar electricity.
It's hard to say really, every house in the UK is different. The cost of a solar panel system will vary depending on several factors, such as how many panels are needed, so it’s tough to give an exact price. But on the whole, solar panels are around 70% cheaper than they were in 2010. Most homes will need 12-16 panels to meet their energy needs. With an average home of 3 people needing a 3kWh system of 12 solar panels, with a total cost of £5,000 – £6,000. Typically, the cost of a solar system will range from around £2,000 for smaller homes up to £9,000 for larger homes.
Once your solar panels have been installed, the installer should leave you with details of the maintenance checks that you’ll need to do from time to time but, on the whole, solar panel maintenance is fairly minimal.
Solar PV systems have no moving parts apart from the inverter and as such have very long life spans. The inverter should last for over 10 years and may cost up to £1,000 to replace, however you can buy an extended 20 year warranty for as little as £300. You should expect the panels to last for at least 25 years.
Your Solar Panels will come with a manufacturer's guarantee of the panels performance and durability. Different manufacturers offer different guarantees, with the more premium levels of protection usually associated with the more expensive panels. It’s wise to make sure you understand the guarantee before you purchase. In addition to this, an installation guarantee will come from the installer. They're all different so be sure to ask what the guarantee is.
Absolutely! It’s actually radiation from the sun, rather than temperature, heat or direct sunlight, that enables solar PV panels to generate electricity. Solar panels in hot sunny countries are bound to gather more energy, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they won’t work well in the UK. They don’t need constant direct sunlight to work and can still generate electricity when the weather is cloudy. Don’t forget either that Germany is currently the world leader in solar energy generation – not exactly a country well known for its abundance of sun!
If you have an electric car, or are considering one, being able to charge it for free, reducing your fuel costs and impact on the planet, is possibly the biggest benefit on offer. Planning to power your home and electric car with solar energy will require a larger solar PV system, so it’s worth mentioning this to your installer.
Solar Panels work well on any roof facing South, SE or SW. Although your Solar Panels will perform better and produce more electricity if they are South facing, they will still perform at 86% (compared to South facing) either facing due East or West.
No, Solar Panels work in all daylight conditions and actually work at their optimum at 10ºc. In fact, if it gets too hot they start to become increasingly inefficient.
More often that not, solar panels are generating more energy that can be used around the home at any one time. All the excess energy is then sent to the electricity grid, meaning that you’re losing out on energy being generated by your panels. By including a solar battery as part of your solar PV system, you can hold onto the unused energy to use during the night when your solar panels aren’t generating any energy.