Want to buy solar panels? Read this guide to find if your home can be equipped with solar panels and what happens during installation.
You’re definitely going to need scaffolding if the solar panels are mounted on your roof. Make sure you verify with the surveyor that there is room for scaffolding to be built and that your quote covers the bill.
After you have the scaffolding in place, the installation time of the solar panels could only take less than 24 hours.
Roofers mount the repairing braces to the roof rafters, which is why a proper surveyor should reach the loft to test the integrity of the roof and rafters. Then, the solar panels will be secured on the fixing brackets.
Can your home accommodate solar PV panels?
If you have a roof that faces primarily the south, solar PV panels are worth noting then. This is especially true if your roof receives little to no shade and you’re not going to move houses soon.
Even if a south-facing roof can generate the best power output, a southwest or southeast-facing roof can also be viable.Yet you’d be able to pull less power out of the grid and pay less on the electricity bill.
There are a number of factors to consider in how much power output you can generate with solar panels and how much money you can make:
- Your home’s location – Generally, the South West gets more sun than the North which can affect the power output you’re getting albeit not much.
- Your roof’s tilt angle and its orientation
On average, owners of solar panels in Wales, the East Midlands and South West England have said that their solar panels delivered the largest volumes.
67% of solar panel holders in Wales saw their system make over 3,000kWh per year. 61% in the East Midlands and 60% in the South West reported the same. But in London, just a quarter (25%) of solar panel owners had solar pv systems producing this much.
But take note that the size of the system, as well as the location of the home, plays significant roles in the power output generation. If you’re in London, it’s more than likely that you’ll have a smaller pv system. Approximately 15% have devices with a cumulative generation of 1.5kWp, compared to an average of 3% in the rest of the UK.
But 66% of solar pv owners in Scotland have a 3.6-4kWp setup, but 48% state their system produces more than 3,000kWh of electricity per year.
What are the best roof directions to install solar panels?
Those with a south-facing roof saw the most power output generated. At between 30 degrees and 45 degrees, most UK roofs are angled this way. For roofs that face north, solar PV panels are not recommended.
Often, as PV panels are heavy, you need to remember both the age of your roof and how solid it is.
If you use the electricity they generate during the day, solar PV systems are the most powerful. So, you can’t enjoy the full rewards of your solar panels if you work all day, leaving your home bare.
For solar panels, shade could be a major concern, so no panels should be built where shade from trees, chimneys, walls or other obstructions is present. Do consider whether the roof is going to rise and overshadow nearby trees.
For my house, how many solar panels do I need?
As for the number of solar panels you’ll need, this will largely depend on the available roof space and your electricity usage. Therefore, it’s not recommended to buy a huge system as solar PV panels can’t meet all of your power needs.
Ensure that the surveyor knows the use of energy to get the right method for the needs and expenditure. A typical 4kWp scheme will cost between £ 5,000 and £8,000 as a reference.
Do you need planning permissions for the installation of solar panels?
We can’t speak for all cities which is why you need to get in touch with your council to see whether you need to apply for planning permission first. However, you don’t need planning permission for most domestic solar panels provided that they don’t exceed a certain size.
But there are exceptions as in the cases of listed buildings, buildings in conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
Are there other operating expenses for solar panels or continuing solar panel expenses?
In general, solar panels don’t generate other costs since they don’t need maintenance at all for at least 25 years.
Solar PV systems are relatively straightforward and do not have any moving elements, so they do not require much maintenance.
However, you would need to repair the inverter within 25 years, which costs on average between £ 900 and £1,600 if you have a technician, or between £500 and £1,200 if you fix it yourself, according to a survey.
Only 12% of solar panel homeowners reported that they had a problem with their inverters since it was installed. In general, these problems took place between 3.5-4.1/4 years after installation.
After installation, you should receive a written guide on all the maintenance checks you need to do from time to time to see if your system is working perfectly.
How can I find the right construction company for solar panels?
First, request a site tour, not a sales tour, for a technical survey, and get at least three quotations. Ask for suggestions and addresses that you should go and see for installations in your local area.
It’s always a great idea to choose an installer that is certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
How to make sure that your solar panel installation goes well?
Whatever you do, just make sure that your panels don’t end up overhanging the roof. It is a safe practice to leave at least 30-40 cm between the last panel and the roof edge when panels are fitted just above the current roof to allow access and to reduce the chance of heavy wind blowing off the panels.
Before your installer even draws up the plan for installation, make sure to ask how much space they’re planning to leave between the panel and the edge of the roof.