PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can either be mounted on your roof or on the ground.
The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof, but you can also fit solar tiles.
Solar PV needs little maintenance – you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't begin to overshadow them. In the UK panels that are tilted at 15° or more have the additional benefit of being cleaned by rainfall to ensure optimal performance. Debris is more likely to accumulate if you have ground mounted panels.
Once fitted, your installer should leave written details of any maintenance checks that you should carry out from time to time to ensure everything is working properly. This should include details of the main inverter fault signals and key trouble-shooting guidance. Ideally your installer should demonstrate this to you at the point of handover. Keeping a close eye on your system and the amount of electricity it’s generating (alongside the weather conditions) will familiarise you with what to expect and alert you to when something might be wrong.
The panels should last 25 years or more, but the inverter is likely to need replacing some time during this period, at a current cost of about £800
How do solar panels (PV) cells work?
The benefits of solar electricity
Cut your electricity bills. Sunlight is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced.
Generate cheap, green electricity from sunlight
Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
Our Government have committed to paying massive incentives to encourage the uptake of solar panels. By installing solar panels on your home you can save hundreds even thousands of pounds a year while earning a handsome income!
Earns tax free income
Improves the energy efficiency of your home or business
Anglian Energy, supply and install solar panels for homes and business across the region. As well as installing for homeowners we are experienced in working with all sectors, including commercial, agriculture and the public sector, and with contractors, architects, planners and community groups.
Solar PV Specialists
With electricity and gas prices set to rise it’s time we looked to next generation power.