How Many Solar Panels Do You Need to Charge a Lightbulb?

Solar Power - All Night Long... A solar storage battery can provide solar energy day or night

Solar panel output depends on a wide variety of different factors, from panel efficiency, to the amount of panels in your system, to where you live in the UK, and many other things.

So why does it matter how much electricity our lightbulbs use? Well it has been stated by energy conservation groups that our lightbulbs account for 20% of our electricity bills – so how many solar panels do you need to power the lightbulbs in your home?

How Much Electricity Do Appliances Use?

Home Appliances Electricity Usage – kWh/year Cost Over Year
Fridge-Freezer 427 kWh £62
Plasma TV 658 kWh £95
Desktop PC 166 kWh £24
Electric Cooker 317 kWh £46
1 Lightbulb 109 kWh £12

To calculate the usage of 1 lightbulb we knew that a 60 Watt lightbulb would use up 0.06kWh of electricity per hour. We decided by looking at each of the seasons that 5 hours was a good average for the amount of time a lightbulb would be on each day. This worked out as 0.3kWh per day and 109kWh per year.

 

But Who Has One Lightbulb?

Nobody! We had a look online and decided that 9 lightbulbs is a good average amount of lightbulbs for many homes and bungalows. Accounting for all of those lightbulbs we can work out that these cost us upwards of £108 per year in electricity costs! AND that is if you remember to turn them off!

 

How Much Sun Does A Solar Panel Need?

You might think that solar panels need red-hot summer sunshine to work but this is not actually true, whilst solar panels are more efficient on clear sunny days they still produce electricity on cloudy, rainy, foggy or cold days.

On average across the whole year we get around 4 hours of bright clear sunshine a day, which equates to 1460 hours of sunlight across the year. (So to calculate your panels minimum output 4 hours of sunshine a day is a good place to start).

So with 9 lightbulbs in our home, running for 5 hours a day on average, this means we would need 981 kWh of electricity to power them for the whole year.

 

So, to figure out how much electricity we need from our solar panels we divide our lightbulbs electricity requirements by the minimum sunlight our panels will get each year:

981 kWh by / 1460 hrs of sunlight per year
= 0.67 KW’s

After this we must know the KW’s each of our solar panels can produce. So if we get a high efficiency 120W solar panel, this equals 0.12KW’s. So we divide the energy we need by the amount of energy each solar panel can produce to find out how many solar panels we need.

0.67KW / 0.12 KW
= 5.58 panels.

Which means that you would need 6 solar panels to provide the electricity needed for 9 light bulbs in your home for a whole year.

12-16 Panels

Most UK solar panel systems are made up of between 12-16 solar panels, averaging at around 3.5 KW’s for the whole system. So, if you opt for a standard solar panel array you wont just be saving on the 20% of your bill made up by your lights. You would be saving considerably on the costs of every single appliance.

How Many Panels Would Fit On Your Roof?

BUT! We Only Use Lightbulbs At Night!

 Well, most of us are out of the house during the day and most of us only use our lightbulbs in the evening… but thanks to solar storage batteries you can benefit from your solar electricity day and night.

A solar storage battery will store electricity generated by your panels during the day for use in the evening. As soon as the sun goes down and your panels stop generating, your solar storage battery would discharge the electricity it has stored across the day.

Battery manufacturers claim that you can cut your bills by a further 50% with a solar storage battery, as you would be buying less electricity back from the grid during peak hours.

How Much is Solar Storage?

How To Stop Your Energy Bills Becoming Larger Than Your Mortgage…

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In the UK we pay more on our energy bills than most of Europe. On top of that our energy bills have been steadily rising over the last 20 years. It only makes sense that as the demand for energy grows so will the cost of our bills.

Can We Trust Our Energy Providers?

Many people do not know that recently the wholesale cost of energy has fallen for the energy companies but we as consumers have not seen the difference in our energy bills. We all need electricity and heating but the companies in charge do not seem concerned about providing a fair service at a fair cost.

So, What Can We Do?

Can our homes become our own personal power stations? well actually, many UK homes already have. With solar panels popping up all over you may have wondered why they are considered a really great investment.

One reason solar power has seen a boom in recent years is that the price of installing solar panels has come down massively. Solar panels are now more affordable than they have ever been. Here are four more of the best reasons for installing solar.

 

  1. Cut Electricity Bills in HALF

    Average estimates state that you can save up to 50% off of your yearly electricity bills with solar panels. You would also be protected against any future electricity price-hikes as you would rely less on energy companies by providing your own free electricity.

    You can save even more with a solar storage battery. With this you can store the electricity your panels make for use in the evening. This way you can use your free electricity during the night and spend less on bills.

How Much Could You Save?

  1. Tax-free Money For Solar

    The government still offers a tax-free incentive to homes with solar panels. You are paid a small rate for each unit of electricity that your panels produce… for 20 years. You should act quickly though as this scheme will not be in place forever.

    It is vital that you find a properly accredited solar installer otherwise you would not be able to claim the government scheme. There are many solar cowboys out there so you need to ensure that the company you choose is trustworthy, reliable and highly recommended.

  2. Increase The Value of Your Home

    Estate agents now consider solar panels as something that can add value to your home. This is because the many benefits of solar can make a home more desirable.

  3. Easy Peasy

    Once solar panels have been installed you can pretty much leave them to it. They last 20-30 years with little maintenance. So just sit back, relax and let your solar panels do the work.

If you want to avoid solar cowboys click on where you live on the map below to get a fast, free, online quote for solar panels in your postcode.

map

– Click Here For a Fast, Free, Online Quote –

 


 

The Government Is Paying Homeowners To Go Solar: Here’s How It Works

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In the UK we pay more on our energy bills than most of Europe. On top of that our energy bills have been steadily rising over the last 20 years. It only makes sense that as the demand for energy grows so will the cost of our bills.

Can We Trust Our Energy Providers?

Many people do not know that recently the wholesale cost of energy has fallen for the energy companies but we as consumers have not seen the difference in our energy bills. We all need electricity and heating but the companies in charge do not seem concerned about providing a fair service at a fair cost.

So, What Can We Do?

Can our homes become our own personal power stations? well actually, many UK homes already have. With solar panels popping up all over you may have wondered why they are considered a really great investment.

One reason solar power has seen a boom in recent years is that the price of installing solar panels has come down massively. Solar panels are now more affordable than they have ever been. Here are four more of the best reasons for installing solar.

 

  1. Cut Electricity Bills in HALF

    Average estimates state that you can save up to 50% off of your yearly electricity bills with solar panels. You would also be protected against any future electricity price-hikes as you would rely less on energy companies by providing your own free electricity.

    You can save even more with a solar storage battery. With this you can store the electricity your panels make for use in the evening. This way you can use your free electricity during the night and spend less on bills.

How Much Could You Save?

  1. Tax-free Money For Solar

    The government still offers a tax-free incentive to homes with solar panels. You are paid a small rate for each unit of electricity that your panels produce… for 20 years. You should act quickly though as this scheme will not be in place forever.

    It is vital that you find a properly accredited solar installer otherwise you would not be able to claim the government scheme. There are many solar cowboys out there so you need to ensure that the company you choose is trustworthy, reliable and highly recommended.

  2. Increase The Value of Your Home

    Estate agents now consider solar panels as something that can add value to your home. This is because the many benefits of solar can make a home more desirable.

  3. Easy Peasy

    Once solar panels have been installed you can pretty much leave them to it. They last 20-30 years with little maintenance. So just sit back, relax and let your solar panels do the work.

If you want to avoid solar cowboys click on where you live on the map below to get a fast, free, online quote for solar panels in your postcode.

map

– Click Here For a Fast, Free, Online Quote –

 


 

Money Hack: Find Out How Homeowners are cutting Electricity Bills In Half

solarandfam1

In the UK we pay more on our energy bills than most of Europe. On top of that our energy bills have been steadily rising over the last 20 years. It only makes sense that as the demand for energy grows so will the cost of our bills.

Can We Trust Our Energy Providers?

Many people do not know that recently the wholesale cost of energy has fallen for the energy companies but we as consumers have not seen the difference in our energy bills. We all need electricity and heating but the companies in charge do not seem concerned about providing a fair service at a fair cost.

So, What Can We Do?

Can our homes become our own personal power stations? well actually, many UK homes already have. With solar panels popping up all over you may have wondered why they are considered a really great investment.

One reason solar power has seen a boom in recent years is that the price of installing solar panels has come down massively. Solar panels are now more affordable than they have ever been. Here are four more of the best reasons for installing solar.

 

  1. Cut Electricity Bills in HALF

    Average estimates state that you can save up to 50% off of your yearly electricity bills with solar panels. You would also be protected against any future electricity price-hikes as you would rely less on energy companies by providing your own free electricity.

    You can save even more with a solar storage battery. With this you can store the electricity your panels make for use in the evening. This way you can use your free electricity during the night and spend less on bills.

How Much Could You Save?

  1. Tax-free Money For Solar

    The government still offers a tax-free incentive to homes with solar panels. You are paid a small rate for each unit of electricity that your panels produce… for 20 years. You should act quickly though as this scheme will not be in place forever.

    It is vital that you find a properly accredited solar installer otherwise you would not be able to claim the government scheme. There are many solar cowboys out there so you need to ensure that the company you choose is trustworthy, reliable and highly recommended.

  2. Increase The Value of Your Home

    Estate agents now consider solar panels as something that can add value to your home. This is because the many benefits of solar can make a home more desirable.

  3. Easy Peasy

    Once solar panels have been installed you can pretty much leave them to it. They last 20-30 years with little maintenance. So just sit back, relax and let your solar panels do the work.

If you want to avoid solar cowboys click on where you live on the map below to get a fast, free, online quote for solar panels in your postcode.

map

– Click Here For a Fast, Free, Online Quote –

 


 

Homeowners Will Be Shocked By How Much Money They Waste On Electricity

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In the UK we pay more on our energy bills than most of Europe. On top of that our energy bills have been steadily rising over the last 20 years. It only makes sense that as the demand for energy grows so will the cost of our bills.

Can We Trust Our Energy Providers?

Many people do not know that recently the wholesale cost of energy has fallen for the energy companies but we as consumers have not seen the difference in our energy bills. We all need electricity and heating but the companies in charge do not seem concerned about providing a fair service at a fair cost.

So, What Can We Do?

Can our homes become our own personal power stations? well actually, many UK homes already have. With solar panels popping up all over you may have wondered why they are considered a really great investment.

One reason solar power has seen a boom in recent years is that the price of installing solar panels has come down massively. Solar panels are now more affordable than they have ever been. Here are four more of the best reasons for installing solar.

 

  1. Cut Electricity Bills in HALF

    Average estimates state that you can save up to 50% off of your yearly electricity bills with solar panels. You would also be protected against any future electricity price-hikes as you would rely less on energy companies by providing your own free electricity.

    You can save even more with a solar storage battery. With this you can store the electricity your panels make for use in the evening. This way you can use your free electricity during the night and spend less on bills.

How Much Could You Save?

  1. Tax-free Money For Solar

    The government still offers a tax-free incentive to homes with solar panels. You are paid a small rate for each unit of electricity that your panels produce… for 20 years. You should act quickly though as this scheme will not be in place forever.

    It is vital that you find a properly accredited solar installer otherwise you would not be able to claim the government scheme. There are many solar cowboys out there so you need to ensure that the company you choose is trustworthy, reliable and highly recommended.

  2. Increase The Value of Your Home

    Estate agents now consider solar panels as something that can add value to your home. This is because the many benefits of solar can make a home more desirable.

  3. Easy Peasy

    Once solar panels have been installed you can pretty much leave them to it. They last 20-30 years with little maintenance. So just sit back, relax and let your solar panels do the work.

If you want to avoid solar cowboys click on where you live on the map below to get a fast, free, online quote for solar panels in your postcode.

map

– Click Here For a Fast, Free, Online Quote –

 


 

4 Surprising Reasons Why UK Homeowners Are Turning To Solar…

solarandfam1
In the UK we pay more on our energy bills than most of Europe. On top of that our energy bills have been steadily rising over the last 20 years. It only makes sense that as the demand for energy grows so will the cost of our bills.

Can We Trust Our Energy Providers?

Many people do not know that recently the wholesale cost of energy has fallen for the energy companies but we as consumers have not seen the difference in our energy bills. We all need electricity and heating but the companies in charge do not seem concerned about providing a fair service at a fair cost.

So, What Can We Do?

Can our homes become our own personal power stations? well actually, many UK homes already have. With solar panels popping up all over you may have wondered why they are considered a really great investment.

One reason solar power has seen a boom in recent years is that the price of installing solar panels has come down massively. Solar panels are now more affordable than they have ever been. Here are four more of the best reasons for installing solar.

 

  1. Cut Electricity Bills in HALF

    Average estimates state that you can save up to 50% off of your yearly electricity bills with solar panels. You would also be protected against any future electricity price-hikes as you would rely less on energy companies by providing your own free electricity.

    You can save even more with a solar storage battery. With this you can store the electricity your panels make for use in the evening. This way you can use your free electricity during the night and spend less on bills.

How Much Could You Save?

  1. Tax-free Money For Solar

    The government still offers a tax-free incentive to homes with solar panels. You are paid a small rate for each unit of electricity that your panels produce… for 20 years. You should act quickly though as this scheme will not be in place forever.

    It is vital that you find a properly accredited solar installer otherwise you would not be able to claim the government scheme. There are many solar cowboys out there so you need to ensure that the company you choose is trustworthy, reliable and highly recommended.

  2. Increase The Value of Your Home

    Estate agents now consider solar panels as something that can add value to your home. This is because the many benefits of solar can make a home more desirable.

  3. Easy Peasy

    Once solar panels have been installed you can pretty much leave them to it. They last 20-30 years with little maintenance. So just sit back, relax and let your solar panels do the work.

If you want to avoid solar cowboys click on where you live on the map below to get a fast, free, online quote for solar panels in your postcode.

map

– Click Here For a Fast, Free, Online Quote –

 


 

Solar Windows Power Your Home?

A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work. Scientists have demonstrated that superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight. Clever clogs.

Quantum dot LSC devices under ultraviolet illumination.
A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in collaboration with scientists from University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB), Italy. Their project demonstrates that superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight.

“The key accomplishment is the demonstration of large-area luminescent solar concentrators that use a new generation of specially engineered quantum dots,” said lead researcher Victor Klimov of the 
Centre for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP) at Los Alamos.
Quantum dots are ultra-small bits of semiconductor matter that can be synthesized with nearly atomic precision via modern methods of colloidal chemistry. Their emission color can be tuned by simply varying their dimensions. Color tunability is combined with high emission efficiencies approaching 100 percent. These properties have recently become the basis of a new technology — quantum dot displays — employed, for example, in the newest generation of the Kindle Fire ™ e-reader.

Light-harvesting antennas

A luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) is a photon management device, representing a slab of transparent material that contains highly efficient emitters such as dye molecules or quantum dots. Sunlight absorbed in the slab is re-radiated at longer wavelengths and guided towards the slab edge equipped with a solar cell.
Klimov explained, “The LSC serves as a light-harvesting antenna which concentrates solar radiation collected from a large area onto a much smaller solar cell, and this increases its power output.”
“LSCs are especially attractive because in addition to gains in efficiency, they can enable new interesting concepts such as photovoltaic windows that can transform house facades into large-area energy generation units,” said Sergio Brovelli, who worked at Los Alamos until 2012 and is now a faculty member at UNIMIB.
Because of highly efficient, color-tunable emission and solution processability, quantum dots are attractive materials for use in inexpensive, large-area LSCs. One challenge, however, is an overlap between emission and absorption bands in the dots, which leads to significant light losses due to the dots re-absorbing some of the light they produce.

“Giant” but still tiny, engineered dots

To overcome this problem the Los Alamos and UNIMIB researchers have developed LSCs based on quantum dots with artificially induced large separation between emission and absorption bands (called a large Stokes shift).
These “Stokes-shift” engineered quantum dots represent cadmium selenide/cadmium sulfide (CdSe/CdS) structures in which light absorption is dominated by an ultra-thick outer shell of CdS, while emission occurs from the inner core of a narrower-gap CdSe. The separation of light-absorption and light-emission functions between the two different parts of the nanostructure results in a large spectral shift of emission with respect to absorption, which greatly reduces losses to re-absorption.
Concept of a Solar Window
To implement this concept, Los Alamos researchers created a series of thick-shell (so-called “giant”) CdSe/CdS quantum dots, which were incorporated by their Italian partners into large slabs (sized in tens of centimeters) of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). While being large by quantum dot standards, the active particles are still tiny — only about hundred angstroms across. For comparison, a human hair is about 500,000 angstroms wide.
“A key to the success of this project was the use of a modified industrial method of cell-casting, we developed at UNIMIB Materials Science Department” said Francesco Meinardi, professor of Physics at UNIMIB.
Spectroscopic measurements indicated virtually no losses to re-absorption on distances of tens of centimeters. Further, tests using simulated solar radiation demonstrated high photon harvesting efficiencies of approximately 10% per absorbed photon achievable in nearly transparent samples, perfectly suited for utilization as photovoltaic windows.
Despite their high transparency, the fabricated structures showed significant enhancement of solar flux with the concentration factor of more than four. These exciting results indicate that “Stokes-shift-engineered” quantum dots represent a promising materials platform. It may enable the creation of solution processable large-area LSCs with independently tunable emission and absorption spectra.
 
Sadly this all still just an idea and won’t be in the mainstream market for a few more years. The idea though is  revolutionary. You could plug in your appliances into your WINDOW. Ideal for Kitchen windows, plug in your kettle and make a lovely cuppa powered by the sun, bliss. For more information on the Solar Window click here. Also there are many different companies trying to get their own spin on the Solar Window e.g. New Energy claim they are making a Solar Window that can out perform any commercial Solar Panel by 10 fold. Clearly in the foreseeable future not only will we see Solar Windows hitting the market but a whole range of them specially designed in their own unique ways!
 
I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Solar roof tiles (shingles)

To the majority the main reason why they won’t install solar panels is that some can look well… ugly. Nobody wants to lose their curb appeal understandably BUT, you don’t have to get panels. You can get solar roof tiles and they look just dandy!

What are they and how do they work? 

Solar shingles, also called photovoltaic shingles, are solar cells designed to look like conventional asphalt shingles. There are several varieties of solar shingles, including shingle-sized solid panels that take the place of a number of conventional shingles in a strip, semi-rigid designs containing several silicon solar cells that are sized more like conventional shingles, and newer systems using various thin film solar cell technologies that match conventional shingles both in size and flexibility. Solar shingles are manufactured by several companies by now.
 
Solar shingles are photovoltaic cells, capturing sunlight and transforming it into electricity. Most solar shingles are 12 by 86 inches (300 by 2,180 mm) and can be stapled directly to the roofing cloth. When applied they have a 5 by 86 inches (130 by 2,180 mm) strip of exposed surface. Different models of shingles have different mounting requirements. Some can be applied directly onto roofing felt intermixed with regular asphalt shingles while others may need special installation.

Aren’t they just dandy?!  There are all sorts of shapes and sizes that admittedly do aesthetically dance on the eyes more so than the panels!

Downside?

So it is a no-brainer then; fit solar tiles instead of panels unless you want to make a statement to your neighbours with your solar panels. Well – as is often the case – it is not as simple as that. The main issue is cost or, more to the point, return on investment. Solar tiles are more expensive – often double the price – and less efficient – typically 10 – 20% less than than solar panels. And as solar PV systems are being presented as an excellent investment with the Feed in Tariffs this will have an impact on their popularity and applicability.
Solar tiles still may have a part to play in the sustainable design of our buildings however. For those that view the appearance of their roof as paramount or for whom cost is not a concern may still want to make the extra investment. Also with new build homes, it may be practical to install solar tiles instead of conventional roof tiles which will offset some of the cost and look great; particularly if they cover the entire roof pitch.
 
I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!

Top 5 reasons to install solar panels!

Solar power is more efficient, affordable, and easy to install and use than ever before. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should turn to solar energy.

Solar is Easy

Modern Solar systems make going solar virtually stress-free for the home-owner. Installation crews can usually install a residential system in less than a week, and most installation companies take care of the necessary permits as part of their service. Using solar energy is easy too. Once the system is installed, your home’s internal wiring and appliances all work the same as before.

Solar is Flexible

Solar systems work even in areas with less than perfect weather. While solar energy has always made sense in places like the south of England, modern panels generate power at reduced rates even on days with partial sunlight. If you live in a temperate climate with frequent days of partial sun like the North of Scotland, you can still get the benefits of a solar energy system by using a net meter to manage your power needs.
Net meters are utility meters that runs forward or backward depending on the situation. Net meters let you sell excess energy back to the utility company for credit when you produce more than you need, and buy back that power at night or during bad weather.

Solar is Independent

One of the best reasons to consider a solar system for your home is freedom. The idea of becoming energy independent has become a popular subject nationally over the past few years, and owners of solar systems begin their journey to energy independence by reducing their dependence on public utilities, especially with their sky-rocketing prices you don’t want to be around for.

Solar is Environmentally Sound

Environmentally sound building practices are often more efficient than traditional methods, and solar energy is one of the best green investments you can make. Offering more than just panels and an inverter, some companies can install complete home energy management and solar energy systems that lower utility bills while reducing your carbon footprint.

Solar is Affordable

Government feed-in-tarrifs can help reduce the cost of your new system by selling back your excess energy back to the grid, earning up to £750 a year. Not to mention the new RHI that just launched (9th of April) means
Solar energy provides home owners with simple, secure, environmentally sound power, while tax credits and easy financing make energy independence a financially viable alternative to public utilities for more and more home-owners every day. Will you join them?

What you NEED to know before buying Solar Panels

Can I Get A Solar Panel System?

Before you decide to get a solar array there are a number of factors you have to consider as it can be a big deal. There are a number of things that have to be expertly evaluated before you can even consider putting panels on your roof.
 
First of all, some might have to come out and do a site survey. An engineer will climb up on your roof, take measurements, inspect to see if you have visibility to the south, and use this funky solar pathfinder device to determine the times of day that particular areas would be shaded.
Solar Path finder
They go to the four corners of where the solar array is going to be installed with the Solar Pathfinder, and with it point towards the south it has a series of marks on it and a glass dome which reflects anything that would be throwing a shadow. You basically look at the reflection and see what time of day the shadow might affect that spot. 
 
To get the most out of your panels you need to have them in a pin-point location to work efficiently as possible, you can’t just bung them on any old place! Basically this means it must be facing south within about a 20 degree window. If they can’t point the panels in that direction, you might as well not do it because your solar generation drops dramatically. Same goes for shade. If you’ve got a building beside you, or trees that tower over the house, you’re done.
 
Even if your roof points south, and nothing’s blocking the sun you still need to have an engineering survey done to determine if your roof can bear the additional weight! Luckily, it only adds about 5-6 pounds per square foot of roof loading, so most roofs should be able to take it.
 

How Big of a Solar Panel System Do I Need?

To some extent figuring out what you need is narrowed down by how much room you have and cost. But you also need to take a look at your previous year’s electric bills, find out what your electric rates are, and research what the projected generation will be for the size of system you’re thinking about.
 
Here’s a site to let you calculateproduction for your location. Just pick your country and region  You’ll come up with an estimate that looks kind of like this:
Station Identification
City: LondonòGatwick
Country/Province: GBR  
Latitude: 51.15° N
Longitude:     0.18° W
Elevation: 62 m
Weather Data:     IWEC
PV System Specifications
DC Rating: 4.00 kW
DC to AC Derate Factor: 0.770
AC Rating: 3.08 kW
Array Type: Fixed Tilt  
Array Tilt: 51.2°
Array Azimuth: 180.0°
Energy Specifications
Energy Cost:     0.0752 pound/kWh
Results
Month
Solar Radiation
(kWh/m2/day)
AC
Energy

(kWh)
Energy
Value

(pound)
1.45      128  9.63 
1.90      151  11.36 
2.55      227  17.07 
3.99      347  26.09 
4.60      406  30.53 
4.38      368  27.67 
4.63      397  29.85 
4.52      390  29.33 
3.56      302  22.71 
10  2.64      232  17.45 
11  1.61      137  10.30 
12  0.97      79  5.94 
Year  3.07      3163  237.86 
Can I Get A Solar Panel System?
ITS A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ARSE
 

Solar Panel System Tips and Tricks

Oh boy, there is a lot they aren’t telling you! For example, one really good thing is that these systems are mostly guaranteed for 20 years! What isn’t really talked about is that its the solar panels that are warrantied for that long, but the inverters are not. So when you’re doing your ROI calculations you need to include the fact that you’re going to have to spend more money somewhere in the middle of the life-cycle for changing out parts.
Sunny Boy Solar Inverter
Speaking inverters, I should explain that the reason you need an inverter is that the solar panels put out DC current. This is like the current that comes out of a battery. But houses use AC current. So the inverter takes care of the conversion. There are two different kinds of inverters that are currently in use.

Solar MicroInverters

Being dependent on one inverter can be inefficient, if they inverter goes down or has technical problems it means you won’t be generating any electricity. An answer to the efficiency problem comes in the form of micro-inverters. Instead of stringing multiple panels together and putting them through one big inverter, micro-inverters are installed on every single solar panel. This allows each panel to contribute 100% of its production to the home, and if one fails it doesn’t affect the output of any others.

Choosing between Inverters and MicroInverters

Each type of inverter has its own benefits. While micro-inverters are more efficient, they are also more costly. It could also mean a lot more wiring that have to be mounted and routed. Yikes! Big inverters might weigh 140 pounds(ish), but they get mounted in one spot and with minimal wiring. They are also extremely reliable, having been around since the beginning of the industry.
 
 

Other Things To Keep In Mind

Another thing no one bothered to mention is that the roof on your house generally doesn’t last as long as these systems. So let’s say you have a 10 or 15 year old roof. There is NO WAY it’s going to last as long as the panels. What do you do then? If you have to do any work on the roof you have to deal with the solar array first. Although some companies do provide a service that in the event of your roof needs repairs they will take down the Solar Panels for you for a cheaper price than it would cost originally. If you are worried about this then I would advise to talk about this with a trusted company that will be willing to help you out e.g. the solar company that fitted the panels.
 

Who’s going to look after the system? And how? I advise to stay at home and participate during the install so you can learn how things are connected, and if something needed minor repairs you could do it yourself.If you have a pitched roof, you probably don’t want to be getting on it to service your panels. So make sure the company you choose has been around a long time so you don’t have to rely on service from someone else.

 

How Long Does It Take To Install A Solar Panel System?

The good news is that it only takes about a day to a couple of days days for them to be installed on your roof. The bad news is, that the answer isn’t that simple. After we did the site survey and worked out pricing and all that, we had to sign contracts. Those contracts had to get sent off for approval to the electric company because we were going to be tying into the grid. Meanwhile, you have to have the structural engineer come to the house to determine if the roof could bear the weight. All of those things can take weeks to complete.
By the way, if you’re wondering if you can do all this yourself – the answer is no. Next question!

How much do Solar Panels cost?

Obviously Solar Panels range from country to country, region to region but, specifically in the UK (where I just so happen to be from) They are about £5,000-£10,000 but this all depends on the size, quality and quantity of Solar Panels you buy! A website that proved very useful to me was Solar Panel Quoter. They give you a lovely FREE quote from your region specifically and can give you a list of the top 3 companies in your area from their database, how convenient! 
 
Another thing before you are put off by the expensive price, you aren’t JUST buying the panels themselves with that money. Its also for the install which is in itself a complicated process witnessing it for yourself you’ll understand its worth every penny, just its a lot of pennies!

Your pay back can easily be done over a simple spreadsheet, factoring in the months when the panels will be at either a low or high efficiency. It should be fairly straight forward but on average most solar panel systems make back their money in roughly in half their life times. Which means it is worth getting them, you just need the money to kick-start it! However, if you can afford to do it, it is also a form of insurance against the potential of sky-rocketing energy prices.


This should be about everything you need to consider before installing solar panels. If I have missed anything out or you have any queries, make sure to comment below!

I bid you adieu my dear Sirs and Madams!