Solar Panels

Solar panels for homes and commercial users from Yorkshire energy systems


Solar Cells There is enough energy in 15 minutes of sunlight to supply the entire energy demands of the human race for a whole year! If we can harness only a fraction of this power then we have an inexhaustible, clean source of power for the next 5 billion years. Photovoltaic panels (solar panels) are one step towards achieving that goal. With every PV system installed we are one step closer to ending our reliance on expensive fossil fuels and all the environmental problems they cause.

Whether you are a commercial or domestic user, fitting solar panels to your roof is probably the easiest and most cost effective way of lowering your energy bills and protecting the environment, and with generous government initiated incentives in the form of feed-in-tariffs (which pay you for generating electricity) there has never been a better time to go green and lower you bills. For a FREE survey and quotation please contact us.

Unfortunately many people think that they have “missed the boat” and that solar panels do not offer the financial returns they did some years ago. This is a mistake. The feed- in tariff (the amount you get paid for generating electricity) has fallen considerably but this is only in line with the dramatic fall in installation costs from £12,000 – £16,000 some years ago to a much more affordable £4000 – £6500 for a well designed, premium system now. The price of electricity certainly has, as we all know too well, increased so the potential savings from your bill have actually gone up. Return on capital invested is as good as it ever was and the fall in prices has brought a solar PV system within reach of many more people.

A well designed 4KW system on a roof with little shading and reasonable orientation should produce around £400 – £600 in the North of England and this will increase in real terms year on year as electricity prices rise.

So what do you need for a good PV system? Well, you need somewhere to put it, usually a roof and for the average domestic consumer about 27m² is ideal. That enables you to fit 16 250W panels – a 4KW system in total – on your roof which is the maximum you can install on a single phase without seeking permission from your DNO (Distribution Network Operator – the people who look after the network that delivers electricity to your house). To understand what that means here is a classic installation:

This roof is 8.5m long (that’s nearly 30 feet in old money) and just under 5m from eves to ridge (about 16 feet) and easily accommodates 16 panels. Of course a smaller system than this would still be very worthwhile so long as the orientation is favourable and there is not too much shading.

This system is facing SE and has some modest shading from a neighbouring tree:

The effect of shading can be seen in this close up (the percentages show the losses due to shading per annum):

By re-arranging the position of the panels we can reduce the effects of shading and increase revenues which can make a substantial difference over the lifetime of the system. A good installer will experiment with different panels and different design scenarios to maximise revenue. Shading analysis is one of the key aspects of solar design but is often overlooked by customers (and bad installers!).

MCS have recently improved minimum standards of shade analysis by the use of sunpath templates for calculating shade and its impact on system performance. Whilst this is a huge improvement on earlier MCS methodology it is still not as accurate as sophisticated computer modelling programs available (from one of which the above illustrations were taken) and does not really assist in designing the most efficient system.

We provide customers with both analyses and use computer aided system design.

Combining solar panels with other technologies such as heat pumps or clever switching devices such as the Solar iBoost to heat hot water can make a solar PV system even more financially attractive.

Larger, commercial installations can produce astonishing returns. The larger the system the lower the install cost per kilowatt and the greater the generation. A recent 20KW installation on a barn in North Yorkshire is currently earning over £4000 a year for an install cost of £26,000.

To learn more about the advantages of solar panels click here.

For a guide to solar panel installation click here.

For a FREE survey and quotation please contact us.