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General > What are Solar Panels?
What are Solar Panels?
Solar Photovoltaic systems are a clean, green and smart way to produce cheap electricity for your home or business whilst doing your bit for the environment.
What are Solar PV panels?
Photovoltaic cells are at the heart of the solar panel they convert sunlight into electrical energy. Each panel consists of around 40 cells, these cells work in sequence to produce a type of electricity known as direct current or D.C.
This electricity is converted using an inverter to an alternating current (A.C) and this is metered to determine the amount of electricity generated by the sun. The electricity is now ready for use. This energy is supplied via a single cable to the fuse board (electrical supply) where it is either distributed around the installation or sold back to the energy provider.
Bellow is a typical Solar Panel PV installation-
It is only possible to sell you electricity back to the utility company if the Solar Panel installation has been carried out by an MCS approved installer.
Is your Home or business suitable for Solar PV?
Many buildings in the Wales and the South West are, the perfect home for a solar panel has a roof orientated somewhere between South West and South East, with a 30 degree slope and no shading.
There are many different ways in which PV panels could be fixed onto a roof or the floor so no matter what your roof type we will have the appropriate installation for you. Each of the installations is described below.
Using various different attachments designed for the roof covering, e.g. tiles or slate, a mounting rail network is attached to the main structure of the roof and the solar panels are attached to the rails. This is a flexible arrangement allowing most configurations and sizes of solar panels to be attached to all common roof types.
Solar panels can be installed on a ground-mounted structure that will be easily be orientated to maximise energy capture.
These poles require minimal foundations to be prepared and the installation can be rapidly assembled at a height above the base to suit the requirements of the location. These installations could withstand wind speeds up to 120 MPH, which is probably greater than the average house is capable of.
On suitable flat roofs, solar PV panels could be connected to adjustable metal racking systems which can be angled up to 45 degrees to improve the energy capture.
These installations are quick to erect and following a detailed site survey, an MCS approved installer will recommend a suitable installation, depending on the profile and strength of the roof.
Questions & Answers
Why Install photovoltaic (PV) Solar panels?
Your PV system will generate electricity for you. You will be paid by the government introduced "feed in tariff" FIT scheme for every unit of electricity you produce even if you use that electricity yourself.
What is a "FEED IN TARIFF" (FIT) ?
The Government started FITs to encourage the UK public to produce their own electricity. At present you will be paid 14.38p for every unit of electricity you produce. A typical 2kW system installed in South Wales will produce about £300 to £400 a year. TAX FREE! 3kW, 4kW etc the bigger the PV system, the more you will earn.
Who pays me?
Your electricity provider will pay you quarterly for the full 20 year term of your feed in tariff. They are legally required to do this under the renewable energy rules that have been introduced by the UK government to encourage PV users and to reduce our carbon emissions. Visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/generate-your-own-energy for more information.
Do we have enough sun in the uk to make our pv panels work?
YES, surprisingly the UK annually receives 60% of the light falling on the equator. South Wales has an average of around 1100kWh per kW peak installed where panels are optimally positioned. South, South East or South westerly facing roof tops are ideal for PV in the UK.
Do I need planning permission?
No, PV systems fall under "Permitted development rights" So most domestic PV systems do not require planning permission. Listed buildings may require planning permission but laws are very lenient where pv is involved.
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Areas that we cover include Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, West Wales, mid Wales, Bristol and Devon.
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