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Solar Panel Systems: Understanding the Various Components

Solar panel installation is becoming increasingly commonplace, and within the next 20 years, most households will have some form of solar panel system. The technology behind solar panels is relatively straightforward, but it can appear daunting at first.


However, it’s important that we understand a bit more about it, in the same way that it’s important that you understand a bit about the electrics in your home, or how the water works. Here, we are going to introduce you to the various components of a solar panel system. If you have a solar panel installation, these are the bits of kit they will install.


Solar panels: the most important piece of equipment within the system is the solar panels. There are a number of different types of solar panel, but most are PV cells. PV stands for photovoltaic, and what this basically means is that when light hits the cell it creates voltage (or electricity – a volt is a measurement of electromotive force; don’t worry about the technicalities at this point). PV cells require direct sunlight, so in the UK they work best on south facing roofs.


Mounting brackets: This housing secures the panels to the roof. It is relatively heavy, and so you need to have the roof surveyed to make sure that it is structurally sound enough to support the mounting. Usually, with a solar panel installation, they have their own chartered surveyor look at the roof, but do double check that they have carried out the survey before you agree to the installation.


Wiring: this is self-explanatory. There are numerous wiring components. The solar panels need connecting to each other as well as other items, such as batteries, charge controllers, inverter and junction boxes. There’s a surprising amount of wiring.


Batteries: not all systems will have batteries, but some do. Often, the off-grid systems have batteries but the grid-tied systems don’t. Off-grid means that the electricity is not connected to the mains so doesn’t go back to the national grid. Grid-tied refers to solar panel systems that link to the national grid. With the grid-tied systems, any surplus energy goes back to the grid, but with an off-grid system, it is stored in batteries.


Charge controller: the charge controller controls the electricity stored by the batteries. It helps to prevent it from draining unnecessarily; it also prevents it from over charging. There are a number of different features offered by a charge controller, and this differs between brands and models. The better the model, the more features it offers.


Inverter: an inverted is a piece of equipment that changes the current of the electricity generated from direct current to alternating current. We need inverters because our electrical equipment (e.g. fridges, laptops, TVs, etc.) run on alternating current.


Grounding tools: it’s important that the solar panels be grounded correctly. If they aren't, then they can cause a fire hazard. Grounding tools simply ground the electronics where required.

Why Pv Panels Are Worth Considering

If you are having a solar panel installation Yorkshire done on your home you will probably end up having PV modules fitted on your roof.


This is for a good reason as these particular panels convert sun and daylight directly into electricity. Thermal panels, however, heat water and for that you would have to have a tank fitted. For domestic use the latter will only heat your water and not power your lights, appliances and heating.


With our weather as it is there is not always an abundance of sunshine, so you need to understand that you will not always produce enough energy. This is especially true in the winter months and in Yorkshire it is also not as sunny as in the South East of the country.


In the winter you will use a combination of home produced energy and electricity supplied by your provider for some of the time. In the summer, however, you are most likely to go into overproduction and you will be able to sell the surplus back to the National Grid.


You may wonder how these payments are made to you. You will receive amounts via your chosen payment methods. These will be made when generation and export meter readings are received. If you do not have an export meter you will receive estimated payments that are based on a 30kW system.


Any good installation company will assess your roof space before giving you a quote. You will need to know whether your roof is strong enough to carry an array of panels. Moreover the position of your roof is very important. If it is north facing it will not be worth your while having panels installed as they will not generate enough amount of energy.

If your roof needs strengthening, you will understand that this will be an extra cost over and above the installation price.


There may be other costs involved before you can apply for the Feed in Tariff. If your home does not have an energy performance certificate, you will have to have one prepared at a cost.

A Fast Selling And Efficient Solar Panel

Solar panel designs are increasingly getting better at capturing all available sun and daylight. If you should have 300W solar panels fitted to your roof you need to know that they are the latest monocry stalline modules available.



There are a few facts about these modules to consider. They have proved to be ultra-efficient in capturing the maximum amount of light due to their 60 cell panel structure. The latest model is only 16.8 kilograms which is much lighter than PV panels.


PV panels used to gather DC electricity and needed much DC cabling. These monocry stalline panels obviate the need for this and use AC cabling which is much cheaper and easy to install. Because of their weight installation can be done by one person rather than two which makes installation cheaper.


Because of their non-reflective black coating they absorb more heat which makes them more energy efficient. It is no wonder that they are now the fastest selling model on the market.


Having panels installed is a major long term investment and you should not undertake it if you are not planning to stay put for a long time. Although panel prices have come down a great deal recently, a typical installation will still set you back between 5,000 and 7,000 Pounds.


You can expect a return on your investment in about 7 years, depending on the size of the installation and the energy efficiency of your home.


Because these particular panels are a hybrid PV module they will qualify for the FIT system when the work has been completed. In order to apply for this scheme you need to find an installer who is a member of the MCS scheme. Upon completion of the work you will be given a certificate by the company.


This certificate, your bill which should have your address on it and an energy performance certificate should all be produced when you apply. It is important to do so if you want to receive more money back rather than just lowering your energy bills.

A Spark Of Genius

When something becomes increasingly popular it will always become cheaper as mass production kicks in.


This is happening with solar panels as their usefulness means they are not only to be found on roof tops and spacecraft but at traffic lights and petrol stations. They are increasingly seen atop of parking meters as these require very little electricity.


It also helps that they need virtually no maintenance at all and although the instructions may include the suggestion of a wash of the surfaces now and again this is hardly necessary in the UK where rain will do it for you.


Solar power is on the increase as a major renewable energy. If it cannot entirely power cars and trains just yet there is every possibility that the technology will evolve to do so in the future.


Meanwhile, even if it is a contribution to the power supply that comes to you via the National Grid it is well worth taking up. After the cost of the installation there are no further maintenance costs and it should be good for twenty years.


By the time twenty years is up it’s a safe bet to say an upgrade will be bringing even more efficient models and a change will be extremely cost effective.


Installation takes just a couple of days and it easy to check online with Contact Solar to see if your property is likely to benefit from solar panels.


To install solar panels UK usually takes two days and involves the bolting of a frame onto the roof to secure the panels.


It also involves the fitting of a box called an inverter that is best placed in the roof space below the panels. This piece of kit converts the direct current electricity into alternating current to enable all your electrical appliances to work.


From the inverter some wiring will be installed to connect with your normal consumer unit along with the connection of a consumer unit. This last piece of equipment allows you to see exactly how much electricity your panels are generating.


For more on how to install solar panels UK please visit at Contact Solar

Let The Installation Begin

If you own your own home and haven’t got solar panels on the roof then you should now seriously think about it.


Solar panels will decrease the amount of electricity you buy from your normal provider and these are bills that can only increase. It’s more than unlikely that you will have received a letter from the electricity company telling you the price is being reduced.


From an initial online quote to a completed installation can be a swift and trouble free procedure. When you fill in your details including the address and post code the Company will immediately be able to tell you whether your house faces in the right direction to benefit from solar panels.


You should be able to step outside and check the roof is facing south or at least within a maximum thirty degrees of that. It is also important to check the sun’s rays are not obscured by other buildings or perhaps large overhanging trees.


The roof should be exposed to the sun throughout daylight hours and when you have established all this then an online quote is easy and quick to obtain.


A solar panel installation Leicester is the same as any other part of the country and costs just the same in Scotland as it will in Cornwall. The team will arrive the day after some scaffolding has been erected.


Two roofers and an electrician along with a site supervisor will ensure the job is done within two days. The work involves securing a frame for the panel on the roof ideally at a thirty degree angle to the horizontal.


The panels consist of cells that are photosensitive to light and convert light rays into DC electricity. These cells are arranged into groups known as modules and these in turn are linked together into an array.


The more panels you have the greater the electricity production but your home’s roof must be inspected to ensure it will be able to take the weight.


When the work is finished the savings begin and you will see those benefits on your very first bill.


For solar panel installation Leicester please visit at Contact Solar

Thinking of Installing Solar Panels? Here are Some Things You Need to Know

Solar panels are definitely the way forward for households. We’ll each become self-sufficient in terms of energy supply, freeing us from ‘the big 6’ and giving us some autonomy and control. However, you need to know a few things before you part with any cash.


1. There are different types of PV cells. Unless you understand solar panels, you’ll probably assume that the term ‘PV cell’ refers to a single product that is manufactured the same way across the board. However, different types of PV cell use different materials. This material affects a variety of different things, including:


  1. The efficiency of the panels: hybrid panels tend to be the most efficient, while amorphous silicone are the least efficient. Clearly, the hybrid models tend to be more expensive. Make sure you do your research when buying hybrid panels because there are different types, some are better than others.
  2. The quality of the panels: some panels have a better build quality than other panels. Make sure that you establish the quality of any panels that you might consider buying.
  3. The cost of the panels: the cost of panels varies greatly and while it should be that the more expensive panels are the higher quality, more efficient, panels, this is not always the case. Some solar panel installers will take advantage of people’s lack of knowledge on the subject of solar panels to sell them cheap panels are premium prices.
  4. Our best advice in choosing PV panels is to do your research. Find out about the different composites and how these affect performance. Establish which brands are of better quality. Don’t rely on a single source, but ask around and read a variety of books.


2. Remember that solar panels will go wrong from time to time. As with any technology, PV panels aren’t indestructible they go wrong. Just like your car, your boiler, your computer, etc. solar panels require maintenance. When buying solar panels remember the following:


  1. You will need to keep the panels clean. They work best when clean because they absorb more sunlight. Keeping them clean is much like cleaning the windows. You will need to buy special cleaner, and probably an extendable squeegee too!
  2. Who offers the warrantee? Check with your solar panel installers who the warrantee is with: is it with the installer, or with the manufacturer? You need to know that you can get your money back if they break before the warrantee.


Who will you be able to call on if things go wrong? It could be that the panels require simple maintenance, rather than being replaced completely. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact a solar panel maintenance person (just think of it the same way you would your boiler. You have a warrantee for if it goes wrong, but for general maintenance once, the warrantee runs out you have plumber).

Sunpower Solar Panels: Maintenance

Sunpower solar panels represent a great opportunity to both make and save money. The amount of energy that they produce is dependent on their size. The larger the panel, the more energy they create. However, there is an initial layout and it can take up to five years for the panels to start to pay for themselves. Once they’re paid off, you can sit back, and reap the rewards of lower energy bills (if any) and even making money from the grid. The only problem is maintenance these costs can eat away at any savings if you’re not careful, so what should you expect to have to do in order to maintain the solar panels in a good state of repair? We’re going to explain it all below.

Keeping Them Clean
The first thing to note is that sunpower solar panels work best when they’re clean. If dust and debris gets onto the outer surface, it can reduce the amount of UV light that hits the cells. This means that the solar panels are less efficient, and consequently that they don’t save you as much money.

It is important to keep the clean and fortunately, this is straightforward. You need to buy a special cleaner that will work with your particular panels, once you have the cleaner, you simply clean the panels in the same way you would a window. This usually means using a squeegee.

It can be worth buying an extension squeegee so that you don’t have to climb all over your roof to clean the panels. Climbing on the roof can damage your roof tiles. Of course, you should never climb on solar panels.

Keep Out the Shadows
Solar panels work best with direct UV. This means that the sun shines directly onto the panels. Modern panels do collect energy from ambient UV, even on a cloudy day, but it is always better for them to collect energy by direct sunlight (this might change as solar panel technology improves).

It is important to make sure that the solar panels are free from overhead obstructions, such as trees and bushes. Make sure that you keep trees trimmed and that no trees stand between the sun and the panels.

Checking for Fault Signals
Modern solar panels are very clever, they have their own signalling devices to tell you when things are going wrong, or when you need to undertake maintenance. They even tell you what you have to do.

Solar panels rarely run into serious issues, but they might require you to call someone out to help you. You should expect this to cost a similar amount to calling out a plumber or an electrician. It’s not cheap, but it’s not too extortionate.

Solar panels are sophisticated, but they are built to last. They need to be because they only begin to become worthwhile after year five, so it’s important that they last long enough after this point to be lucrative. Otherwise, nobody would buy them and that would be a massive shame.