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Getting the most out of your solar PV system

Solar panels commonly referred to in the field of photovoltaics (PV) are able to capture the sun’s energy , and convert it into electricity you can use at your home.

With solar panels installed you can generate the electricity you need to power your home.

How do solar panels work?

Solar PV panels is made up of many cells made of layers of semi-conducting material mostly silicon. When light hits the silicon it generates electricity. is generated.

The cells don’t require direct sunlight to function and could even function during clouds. However, the more intense the sunshine, the greater the amount of electricity produced.

Solar PV systems are comprised of a number of panels, with each panel producing 355W of power in bright sunshine. Most solar panels UK home systems have approximately 10 panels that generate Direct Current (DC) electric power. Because the electricity that powers household appliances is AC or alternating current (AC) which is why an inverter is included with the system in order to convert DC electricity into AC. The electricity is used within your home, and exported back to grid.

Export payments

In any PV system for domestic use there will be instances when the power you generate is greater than what you could store or use, and the excess will be sent into the grid to be used by someone else. If you’d like to get paid to export then you must make sure that you are receiving an export fee. If you’re eligible to receive this Feed-in-Tariff (this was closed to new applications as of the close in March, 2019) and you were eligible, then you should receive payments for exports as part of this. If not, you’ll have to locate an energy company which will pay for the surplus.

Following the termination in the Feed-in-Tariff scheme for new solar PV system applicants in March of 2019 The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) was created to offer assistance for micro-scale renewable power generators in the power they export into the grid. The savings generated by solar PV that is backed by the SEG are significantly more than without it.

For Great Britain, the Smart Export Guarantee covers the power you generate.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, you can be paid for the surplus you export . This is typically, it is by the amount you produce. Many organizations provide this option If you’re interested, we suggest looking into their offerings to find the one that is suitable for your needs.


The typical residential solar PV system is 3.5kWp and is priced at around £5,500.

The cost you spend is influenced by the size of the array and is affected by any issues in accessing your roof. Certain installation costs are shared with you if already have scaffolding in place for roof repairs , or if you’re building a brand new home. Costs also depend on whether you decide to use panels or tiles, and if you select building-integrated panels or panels that are placed on the roof. Panels that sit on top of the roof are the most affordable alternative, while tiles are more expensive for the similar system.

The price of ground-mounted systems is harder to forecast, because the variables are greater, such as the kind of mounting frame and the distance it’s from the home.

Costs vary among the installer and the product, so we recommend getting estimates from three installers at least.

Savings annually when you use the energy you produce

The majority of households use 15 to 25% of the energy generated however this could be quite different depending on:

If you work from home, or at your home or office.
How many are at home during the working day.
If you own an electric motor vehicle.
The choice is whether you want to heat your house or hot water with the heat pump or another electric heating.
No matter if your cooking is made with electricity.

Instead of sending excess power to the grid the PV diverter switch will provide power to the immersion heater inside the tank that holds hot water and then store hot water to use in the future. By itself, solar energy will not be enough to provide all your hot water requirements however, it can cut your expenses.


Solar PV systems need little maintenance. Pay attention to nearby trees to ensure that they do not begin to shadow your solar system.

In the UK the panels tilted by 15 degrees or more gain from being cleaned by rain and helps to guarantee optimal performance. The likelihood of debris to accumulate in the case of panels that are mounted on the ground or if you live in an area that is prone to dirt in the air. In these instances it is possible to have your panels cleaned regularly.

After the installation, your installer should provide written notes of any inspections you need to conduct to make sure everything is operating in a proper manner. The details should include the primary inverter fault signals and the most important troubleshooting guidelines. The ideal scenario is that the installer be able to demonstrate this to you after the system has been put in place.

Be vigilant about your equipment and how much power it is producing (alongside your weather forecast) will let you know what you can expect and help you identify any indication that something could be not right.

The panels should last for 25 years or more, however the inverter will require replacement sometime in this time frame, at the cost of about £800 (depending on the size of the system and the brand). Some inverters feature online monitoring features and send you an email notification if the system is not working properly.

The majority of inverters come with warranties of five years at the minimum. However, warranties may be extended fifteen years. Ask your installer about the probable longevity and the benefits of extended warranties. You may find that a 15-year warranty is nearly the same amount as a new inverter therefore, you should think about it.

Talk to your installer about the exact requirements for maintenance before you make a decision to install solar PV systems.