Solar electricity panels, also known as photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity that you can use in your home.
What types of solar PV Panels are available in the UK?
Solar panels available in the UK are either fixed solar panel installation systems or solar racking systems. Fixed solar panels may come as a solar tile, solar roofing shingle, solar shingle or solar PV roofing tiles. These include:
- hybrid thin film
Monocrystalline modules are among the most efficient and most expensive on the market. They are manufactured from the highest purity silicon using highly complex processes. Because of this, the cost of producing the monocrystalline cells is high compared to modules with other types of solar cell.
Polycrystalline modules use solar cells that are cut from multifaceted silicon crystals. They are less uniform in appearance. These are the most common solar modules on the market, and are less expensive than monocrystalline modules.
In the UK, solar panels are typically black in colour as this provides a solar panel with the most efficient solar absorption. However, they can come in blue, grey or black and may have silver solar cell covers.
Solar panels will produce clean energy and save you money
You may know that solar panel installations are on the rise due to an increased awareness that solar power is a clean energy solution. So, solar panels are now more common in homes across the country.
This type of renewable energy appliance can save you money on your monthly energy bills (as solar panels help reduce your electricity costs).
What’s more, solar panels can also increase the value of your home, and solar power systems qualify for many homeowner tax benefits.
What should you consider before buying Solar PV Panels?
There are several factors that should be considered when deciding whether solar panels are a good option for you.
Do the solar panel installation costs outweigh the benefits? Solar pv is a great way to save money on your monthly energy bills, but solar power is not right for everyone. There may be other more affordable home improvement projects which can lead to cost savings.
Will solar panels fit in with the style of your home? solar panels may not be the most suitable option for you if they clash with the look and feel of your home. However, solar panels come in a variety of designs and solar colours (black, blue, grey or silver)
Do solar panel installation costs outweigh solar savings?
Solar power is typically an expensive investment up front, but these systems can save you money in the long term. You should analyse solar savings against solar installation costs to see if solar is a good investment for you.
What are the benefits of solar panels?
- Go green and clean! solar panels help reduce your carbon footprint and leave a smaller environmental impact on the planet. solar panels can help reduce your energy costs up to 90%.
- Solar pv solar panelling kits come with a solar panel warranty which typically ranges from 20-25 years while some solar system warranties offer up to 25+ years.
- Buying solar PV solar panelling will make you money and save you money! By investing in solar panels, you can save up to 44% of your solar energy costs while making a solar panel system return on investment (ROI) in the first year.
- Solar panels are the perfect solar energy investment as your solar system performance can increase up to 50% due to solar panel orientation effects (i.e raining or snowing).
What exactly makes solar panel installations such a smart choice?
Well, solar panels convert sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic cells (PV) These solar cells, or solar panels, are made up of PV modules that collect sunlight which is then converted into energy to power your lights and appliances.
Solar panel installations in homes are made up of solar panels connected together with an inverter to produce the desired system voltage (120 volts for residential systems) required by your lights, appliances and power grid.
The diagram above illustrates how a system would work if you choose to to store the electricity you generate with solar batteries.
Solar batteries have not been widely available in the past, leaving the homeowner to push the electricity they didn’t use into the national grid.
You can read more about how solar battery storage works here
How much does a Solar PV System cost?
The total solar panel installation cost will depend on the size of your solar power array. The price range is anywhere from £4,000 to upwards of £10,000 per solar panel installation system.
As far as solar panel costs go, solar photovoltaic prices have come down steadily in recent years due to an increased demand for solar panels and solar cells. They also come in a variety of solar panel system types (grid-connected solar power, solar off-the-grid solar kits or solar canopies).
What’s more, you can take advantage of the UK Government incentive schemes to help lower the cost of installation.
Is my home suitable for solar panels?
There are a few checks that you can do to check that your home is suitable for solar panels, but you should give consideration to amount of space you will need on your roof. You will also need space to house your batteries if plan on storing electricity you generate.
You can read more about preparing your home for solar power here