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Questions & Answers about solar PV

Posted on May 12, 2014 by Chris

Is there enough sunlight in the UK for a solar photovoltaic system to work?
A good quality solar photovoltaic system will actually work throughout the hours of daylight. Although they work best when it's sunny, it's not essential.

Do solar panels work in the winter?
In the UK there are plenty of hours of daylight for a PV system to work effectively at any time of year.

Obviously in the winter months there are considerably fewer hours of sunlight per day (the ratio is around 5:1). However well-sited high quality solar panels will still generate a significant level of power.

Is there enough daylight here to make solar panels worthwhile?
In the North of Scotland there's an average of 900 kWh of sunlight per year, compared to 1,300 kWh a year in the South West of England. However a solar PV system should still cover a good proportion of your electricity requirements during the winter and more than enough in the summer.

What happens when the weather is bad?
Our solar PV installations are designed to work in varying light conditions, from dawn to dusk. The solar panels themselves and the inverter make the most of the available light.

How big is a typical residential system?
Most residential systems are between 2 and 4 kWp (kilowatt peak). A 4 kWh system has 16 panels, each with an output of 245 watts. As a rough estimate, for every kW (kilowatt) you should allow for eight square metres of roof area on a sloping roof. So a 4 kWp system would cover approximately 32 square metres.

What does kilowatt peak mean?
The kilowatt peak (kWp) is the power output a solar system is able to achieve when exposed to 1,000 watts of sunlight per square metre.

How long will the system last?
Solar PV systems are designed to last at least 25 years. There are no moving parts, little maintenance required and generally not much to go wrong. The weakest point of the system is the inverter.

Can we use a photovoltaic system to heat our building?
Only if you have electrically-powered heating.

Solar photovoltaic systems are designed to produce electricity from sunlight. You can also purchase solar hot water systems, which you can use to heat your home if it's fitted with conventional radiators or under-floor heating. These directly harness warmth from sunlight to heat water, which flows through the panels.

Find out more call us today on : 02476920080


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