What is Solar PV and how does it work?

PV stands for photovoltaic, which comes from the Greek words photo (light) and Voltaic (energy). Solar PV panels convert light into D.C electricity, which is converted to A.C domestic electricity using an inverter. The inverter is usually mounted in your garage or attic, and connects to your fuse board providing generated electricity to your home. More details at: http://www.energysmart.com.au/

How does the F.I.T (feed-in-tariff) work?
See our page on the Feed In Tariff

Is my home suitable for a Solar PV installation?
See our page on Domestic PV

Do I need Planning Permission?
Unless your building is listed or you live in a conservation area then you will not require planning permission for a Solar PV array.

What happens with a site survey?
We will visit your house personally (no ex-double glazing salesmen!) and take a number of measurements and see if the site and your existing electrical installation is suitable for a PV system. We check access, the direction your roof is facing, angle of the roof, shading factors, light levels and current electrical conditions among other things. We then create a detailed site survey report and send to you along with any quotes you have requested (different size arrays / manufacturers etc), free of charge.

How much does an installation cost?
It varies depending on size and brands of equipment used. We can tailor-make your installation to suit your needs and budget.

What are a kilowatt (kW) and a kilowatt hour (kwh)?
A kilowatt is a thousand watts or a unit of power. I kilowatt hour is a measurement of energy used, when a kilowatt of power works for an hour.

Is electricity only generated when the Sun is shining?
No. Recent advances in Solar PV technology means PV modules can create electricity even in cloudy or overcast days, so your array will generate electricity all year round. Of course you will create more power the sunnier the weather but the UK is perfectly good for Solar PV.

Will I still have power in a power cut?
No, because all of our installations are grid-connected to the National Grid. The inverters are designed to require A.C connection as well. This is a safety precaution to stop generated electricity leaking back to the National Grid if individuals are working on the main supply.

How much energy do I need?
An average 3-bedroom house consumes around 3,300 units of electricity (kwh) a year, (excluding powering heating and cooking with electricity). If you produce more electricity than you consume then you get paid even more by the government, exporting excess generated power to the National Grid.

What size installation shall I get?
How much money do you want to make? It is entirely up to you. Naturally the larger the installation the more sheer profit you will receive. Of course it needs to be within your budget and you will need to have a suitable roof space for the size installation you require.

Regular size houses usually go for a 4 kW system, but larger houses and farms etc often go larger up to 10 kW. We are currently offering complete package deals for 4kW and 10 kW systems. You can check here to see if your property is suitable, and check here to see what returns on your investment you can expect to make for different size installations.

How can I trust your work standard?
Solar & Electrics Ltd. are MCS approved contractors, (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) which is a very high level of standard set to eliminate cowboy fly-by-night companies, and ensure that every installation by every MCS approved company is up to their exacting standards.

We are also Elecsa ECA Part P registered fully qualified and experienced electricians so we are used to delivering only the highest standards and customer service possible. Member of REAL.

Solar & Electrics Ltd are also REAL approved contractors, which is a scheme put in place to protect the customer and their investment at all times. All deposits rest in a third-party ESCROW bank account This ensures absolute peace of mind that your money and investment are safe and under warranty even if the company goes into liquidation.

Are you insured and am I covered for the work involved?
Solar & Electrics Ltd have public liability insurance for £5,000,000, and are able to work up to any height. We also have business insurance which again protects.