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
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
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!
Cost and savings
A 4kWp system can generate around 3,800 kilowatt hours of electricity a year in the south of England – roughly equivalent to a typical household's electricity needs. It will save nearly two tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. A 4kWp system can generate about 3,200 kilowatt hours of electricity a year – more than three quarters of a typical household's electricity needs. It will save more than a tonne and a half of carbon dioxide every year.
If your system is eligible for the Feed-in Tariff scheme, you could generate savings and receive payments of £610 - £740 a year depending on your location if you register before 31st December 2015 (based on a 4kWp solar PV system eligible for a generation tariff of 12.47p/kWh). You will get paid for both the electricity you generate and use, and what you don't use and export to the grid.
Solar PV is eligible for Feed-in Tariffs and you will earn a tariff for each kWh of electricity generated by your system. You will also receive another tariff for each kWh of electricity you export
How do solar panels (PV) cells work?
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.
Renewable Energy Consumner Code
The aim of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) is to ensure that consumers wishing to install a small-scale heat or power generation unit for their homes have the necessary confidence and service standards so that they can make an informed choice.
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.
Microgeneration Certification Scheme
MCS Accredited your Solar PV System will qualify for payments under the Feed-In Tariff Scheme. Under this scheme electricity suppliers pay you for generating electricity and pay you for selling electricity back to the grid.
These Feed-in Tariff and Export payments are index linked and guaranteed for 20 years.