So, you’ve chosen to go solar but have no idea how big a system your roof can accommodate or even if your home is suitable. You have many questions, no doubt, such as where to position the panels, how many kilowatt-hours the device can produce, and what kind of panels you should purchase.
As there is a lot of expert support available, there’s no need to worry. You will find that if you plan to go ahead and buy solar panels, they are a great way of supplying your home with electricity and also reducing your annual energy bills in one go. It is assumed that from £ 85/£ 410 a year, your average power system will save you cash on your energy bills.
Solar panels are a perfect source of renewable energy, apart from saving money on your power bill, which would certainly reduce your carbon footprint. As well as being environmentally friendly, hardly any maintenance is needed.
Solar technology is developing and improving gradually. Last year saw milestones in solar production, storage of solar energy and technology for solar design. In addition, solar panels were never as cheap as they are now. The price of solar is 70 percent lower than in previous years.
However, before purchasing, it is important to have a rough understanding of the size of the panel and the number of panels you would need. To discuss all of this, it is best to meet with a competent and certified installer. The purpose of this article is to give you a rough idea of the things that you need to consider before purchasing solar panels.
Usually, two variables, space and budget, determine the size of your solar array. If your roof is thin, the amount of power you can produce will be less, but this result can be mitigated if you add more costly panels that generate more energy per m2. On the market, the most effective panels are about 22.8 percent efficient, so it is necessary to shop around. An additional survey that can interrupt your installation includes residential systems over 4kW.
Here are a few ways to find out if solar panels are worth the investment, this guide should help you find out if they’re worth buying or not:
Calculate Your Daily Electricity Usage At Home
Firstly you’ll need to figure out the amount of energy that your home uses. You need to look at your past power bills and figure out your annual energy consumption in order to do this. These bills will show you how much energy you have used over a period of time in kilowatt-hours (kWh), depending on how often you pay (every month or quarter, for example). You will first need to measure your energy consumption each day to figure out how many solar panels you will need to purchase in order to power your house. You will need to divide your energy consumption by 30 kWh if you’re billed monthly; if you are to be billed quarterly, you will need to divide the amount by 90, and so on. For instance, a UK home with a monthly electricity consumption of 320kWh would use around 11kWh of electricity per day.
Calculate The Average Hours of Sunlight Your Panels Will Get Each Day
Broadly speaking, each day, the peak hours of sunlight are between 9 am and 3 pm, this may vary depending on your location, there can also be other factors that impact on sunlight hours such as being in a valley or having tree coverage around your home. There may be more light in some places than in others, and there might be a bit of a gap between the north and the south of the UK. This doesn’t mean, however, that if you live in a shadier region, you won’t be able to generate as much electricity, it simply means that you might need more panels to truly gain. You need to divide your daily kWh consumption by the peak number of sunlight hours per day to determine approximately how much energy you need to generate in kWh. For watt consumption, you can multiply this number by 1000. It’s important to also consult about this with your installer.
That said, for a variety of reasons, solar panels won’t always operate at maximum efficiency. It could be a gloomy day, for instance, or there could be some unusual shadow. For this reason, experts suggest that when it comes to estimating how much energy you can use every day, you leave a margin of 25 per cent. This compensates for any inefficiencies that might take place.
How Many Solar Panels Will You Need?
Solar panel capabilities and efficiency can vary, so quality can really make a difference. Depending on the size of your solar panels and the solar cell technology used to build each of the modules, PV solar panels appear to vary from 150w to 345w per panel.
Divide your home’s hourly electricity consumption by the wattage of the solar panels to figure out how many panels you need. For a low and high wattage option that will allow you to build a variety of sizes, you can do this to ensure your expectations are reasonable.
This will provide you with an estimation of the number of panels you need to produce electricity. You will need a skilled contractor to come and access your roof at this point to decide what angle will be best and how to place the panels on your roof.
Solar Panel Cost?
Depending very much on the panels you chose, and the size of your roof, how much your solar panel array would cost you. Including the installation cost, your typical solo ar setup would cost you between £ 800 and £ 8,000. Solar tiles are also available, but depending on how many are needed, these are more costly than conventional panels costing between £ 5000 and £ 14000.
Most government incentives, programs and funding for this sector have now ended, there are still a few solar panel related grants still available and free installations that come with some terms and conditions regarding the roof on your home or property but solar panel prices are still dropping. Entrepreneurs and manufacturers of solar panels like Elon Musk and Tesla have already released statements claiming to be trying to bring down the cost of installation and solar power battery storage systems too.
However, energy and gas costs continue to grow, and they are unlikely to stop going up because of demand. As solar prices begin to lower due to increased demand – now could be the perfect time to install them at your home or business.
Can You Make Money With Solar Panels & What is The Feed In Tariff?
While the Feed-In tariff has come to an end, some of the surplus electricity produced by solar energy will eventually return to the grid, and a new scheme has been devised because it would be illegal under current law not to be charged for this. You may have learned of this year’s Smart Export Guarantee that is coming into effect.
The Smart Export Guarantee includes power companies including EDF, SSE, British Gas, ScottishPower, Npower and EON UK and other providers who supply over 150k customers in the UK to provide a Smart Export Guarantee to medium-large electricity supply companies (SEG). For your wind power, solar power and other renewable sources of energy export – all eligible suppliers will have to give you payment terms.
The payment guarantee will be based upon a minimum rate instead of a discount, and it seems likely that there will be a rivalry between energy providers to deliver better rates in order to win your loyalty after the new scheme has kicked in. Last year, two main points about the Smart Export Guarantee were confirmed:
You must have an MCS approved installation to benefit from the current proposed Export Guarantee scheme.
Anyone who has installed solar panels will be eligible for the new scheme between the end of the Feed-in Tariff and the start of the new scheme.
It is important to remember that the best price for you might not always be the best deal, such as in cases where you are expected to be a supplier’s customer as well. If the tariff is listed as currently set, the supplier warns that the current fixed price will adjust in the future.
Another alternative is to store the extra power to use during non-daylight hours in a solar battery. It will still be easier to use your ‘free’ electricity than buying electricity from the grid and energy providers will never pay you for your electricity at the same rate that they sell it back to you.
Battery technology has significantly improved, and the price of purchasing one with a solar panel system has also decreased. They will give households and businesses the ability to use very little energy from the grid as they increase in quality.
More and more individuals are opting to install photovoltaic systems, causing rapid growth in the solar energy industry. All the time, technical changes are occurring.
In the 21st century, solar power has become a part of our daily lives, from sun-powered homes to solar-heated pools. There are several examples that illustrate clearly how important it is to use renewable energy. The future of solar-powered energy can only get brighter as fears intensify about the dire consequences of over-reliance on fossil fuels.
For those of you seriously considering investing in Solar powered energy, you might be interested in reading about the government’s green homes grant. Some solar panel installations are included in the grant that is available to homeowners to improve their homes with greener technology and insulation. Head over to our blog to read more about green energy and other blogs about solar panels. We also have blogs on how to go off grid and build yourself a greener home.
If you have any questions or if we have missed something in this article then please let us know in the comments below or get in touch with your question and we might even do a feature blog answering your question in depth.