Solar photovoltaic panels

Solar is one of the most popular renewable heating solutions available. They are renowned for saving homeowners money on their electricity bills and the Energy Saving Trust say solar panels will typically cut your electricity bill by 15-25%. 

If you are considering installing solar PV panels, we have everything you need to know about the fastest growing renewable heating solution on the market.

Solar PV panels

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.

The term ‘solar panel’ is often used interchangeably to describe the panels that generate electricity and those that generate hot water.

  • Solar PV panels generate electricity when exposed to light. Solar PV is the rooftop solar you see on homes and businesses.
  • Solar panels that produce hot water are known as solar thermal collectors or solar hot water collectors.

What is solar photovoltaics? (Solar PV)

Solar PV panels produce their energy from daylight, rather than solar radiation, meaning energy is produced even on cloudy days. This technology is suitable for a variety of buildings including, homes, businesses, schools and hospitals. Solar PV do not have any moving parts and therefore are one of the easiest and reliable ways to future proof against the imminent rising energy costs that we all face. Not forgetting that you will drastically reduce your CO2 emissions and play a part in looking after the planet by adopting a sustainable energy source.

If you are wondering ‘are solar panels worth it?’, here are a few benefits of solar PV panels:

  • Solar energy is low carbon, renewable energy. A typical home solar PV system could save around a tonne of carbon per year, depending on where you live in the UK.
  • Reduces the dependency on large–scale commercial electricity providers.
  • Sunlight is free so once you’ve paid the initial installation, your electricity cost will be reduced. You can find out how much you could save by using the Solar Energy Calculator.
  •  High reliability - the latest solar panel models on the market have an expected lifespan of 40-50 years.
  • Solar energy systems generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean.

How do solar PV panels work?

Every solar PV panel consists of many cells made from layers of semi-conducting material, most commonly silicon. When sunlight shines onto the material, a flow of electricity is created. However, the cells don’t require direct sunlight to work. They will also work on cloudy days. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity that will be generated.

Solar PV systems are made up of several panels, each panel generating around 200-350W of energy in strong sunlight. Typically, a system would contain 10 to 15 panels and generate direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter will need to be installed alongside the system to convert DC electricity to AC, as most household appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity. Once converted, the electricity can be used throughout the home. It can be stored in a battery or other storage solution like your hot water immersion tank, or exported to the grid.

Installing domestic solar PV panels

A Solar PV system in your home would consist of several solar panels mounted to your rooftop or installed in your garden and connected into the electrical loads within your home. What is involved in installing panels – ask renewables. Solar PV panels are a great way to make the jump into renewable energy.

Our expert engineers will carry out the work to the highest standard.

If you're thinking about how you could make a difference to your carbon footprint and are considering domestic solar panels, then we think Solar PV panels would be the perfect solution for you.

All our renewable engineers are MCS Certified. MCS is an industry-led quality assurance scheme, which demonstrates the quality and reliability of approved products and installation companies.

Want to know how much solar panels cost? For more information on Solar PV Panels or to request a free, no obligation quote, call Swale Heating on free phone on 0800 731 33 44 or complete the contact form on the right-hand side.