Why install Solar?

There are many reasons for installing solar on your home. Here are just a few of them:

  • Reduce your impact on the environment
  • Save money on your bills
  • Potentially increase the value of your property
  • Harvest the suns abundant energy
  • Make a better return on your money than leaving it in the bank
  • Do your bit to make the world a healthier place
  • Will Solar work on my house?

Whether solar will work on your home is something we can easily determine. The two different types of solar energy systems have slighlty different requirements. The basic requirements for the two different systems are as follows:

Solar Hot water (Solar Thermal)

A south, east, or west facing roof, with a two meter square space available on it. A hot water cylinder (either vented or unvented) or a solar compatible combi boiler (please check with the boiler manufacturer). The ability to run pipes from the panel location to the hot water cylinder.

Solar Electric (Photovoltaics - PV)

  • A south facing roof, although an east or west roof will also work well.
  • 8 sqm of roof space for every kW of power you want to produce.
  • Space to mount inverters and switches (this could be in the loft).
  • A spare fuse in your consumer unit to attach the system to (if you do not have this we can arrange it). *SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS (PV)

What is solar electricity?

Solar electric panels, otherwise known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, generate electricity from sunlight. The generated electricity is used as a supplement to your mains electricity to power all the normal electrical appliances within your home.

What will a solar pv system do for me?

The larger the solar system installed, the more power it will generate. A small pv system would contribute to your electricity usage whilst a larger system could provide the same amount of electricity you use in a year.

What size system will you need?

To get the most out of a solar electric system it needs to be placed on a large south facing roof with no shading. In terms of area, a small PV system will generally take about 8m² and a large system could take up to 30m² or more.

How much is it all going to cost?

Please contact our sales offfice for more costing information. Most properties require a full survey before accurate quotes can be produced.

What savings can I make by installing a Solar PV system?

The new feed-in tarriff means that you should get a decent payment for the electricity that you generate, the payments should be enough to dramatically reduce your electricity bills, and maybe eradicate them all together.

What happens in an install?

The whole installation process normally takes around 2-3 days. We will spend a day putting the panels up on your roof and the other connecting everything up, testing and commissioning the system. We will always install an approved meter which lets you monitor how much electricity you are producing so you can inform your energy supplier for payment. We will go through the system with you to ensure you know how everything works and provide you with a user guide plus any ongoing support you require.

How is it connected to the existing services?

In addition to the solar pv panels, an inverter is installed that allows the panels to interact safely with the national grid, at the right voltage and operating frequency. The system works fully automatically requiring no adjustment by the householder. A full wiring diagram and shut down procedure will be displayed next to the inverter.

Are there any maintenence issues?

No they do not need any maintenance, and there are no moving parts. The panels also do not need cleaning unless mounted in a particularly dirty environment. You may have to replace the inverter during the life of the system, usually after 10-15 years. Rensus offers a 2 year warrantee on the installation, and we will make sure you know the warranty details for all of the system parts.

Is it worth going off grid?

Many people ask if it is worthwhile going “off grid” and running the house with the solar PV connected to a battery bank. If you are already connected to the grid, this idea is not practical as you will require large quantities of batteries that need regular maintenance. The national grid is essentially a giant battery from which you are taking and supplying electricity.

How are the solar panels fixed on my roof?

The way that the solar panels are mounted is dependent on the type of roof. There are mounting systems for flat or sloped roofs and we can work with almost all roofing materials. Panels can be fixed “on roof” or built “in roof”. We always use framing of a highest quality made from stainless steel and aluminum, never galvanized steel.

How long will the system last?

We expect the lifespan of the panels to be in excess of 35 years. The pv panel manufacturers offer a performance warranty of 25 years. Inverters may need replacing after 10-15 years. We guarantee all our work for 2 years.

FEED-IN TARRIF

What is the Feed-in Tariff?

The FIT (also called the Clean Energy Cash Back) will pay a premium for energy generated by renewable energy systems like solar panels. It is designed to get more of us using renewable energy and encourage low carbon living.

When does it start?

1st of April 2010

How much money will I get for my electricity?

The rates vary depending on the size of the installation. For every kWh your solar PV system generates you will be paid up to 43.3 p. For a well sited 4kW retrofitted system the estimated annual output would be 3300kWh and you would be paid 43.3p for every kWh – approximately £1350 a year. Generating you own power also means your bills will drop as you will be buying less power from the national grid. On top of all this anything you export back to the national grid will earn you an additional 3p.

How long will I receive payments for?

Payments are guaranteed at the sign-up rate for 25 years

Financially why should I invest in solar?

The income generated by the FIT is tax free and because the tariffs are linked to inflation we believe that it represents a 7-10% rate of return on your investment.

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one! You need to find the money to pay for the initial system but don’t let this put you off, come and chat to us about potential financial help.

OK, sounds great but where do I get more information from? Try our feed in tarrif calculator to get an idea of what sort of systme will be suitable for your property! If you want to know more about the FIT and what it means for your project give one of our team a call.

SOLAR WATER HEATING

How much hot water will the solar system provide?

An average solar hot water heating system will provide up to 90% of your hot water in the summer, and up to 20% in the winter. When averaged throughout the year, the solar water system will provide up to 70% of your hot water.

How much does solar thermal cost ?

Between £3000-6000. This includes supply and installation of the solar panels, hot water cylinder and all pipework and controls. Solar Price will vary depending on the system that is required.

Are there solar grants available for the solar water heating installation? No. The grants have been replaced by the new goverment renewable heat incentive.

Is a boiler still needed?

Yes. Solar water heating systems will not replace your boiler. Your boiler is still needed for your central heating and to top up the temperature of your hot water when necessary. However, your boiler life may be extended due to reduced cycling.

Does the system still work on cloudy days?

Yes. Solar panels produce more output in direct sunlight, but they also make a contribution in indirect sunlight (diffuse radiation) as on a cloudy day.

Is Planning Permission Required?

No not normally. Not unless you live in a listed building or within a conservation area. However, it is always a good idea to double check with your planning department before installing the system.

What area of solar panels are needed?

An average house will need 4 square metres of solar water heating panel. This would require around a 250 litre hot water cylinder.

Can solar panels be used for producing hot water and running central heating? Yes. However, much larger panel areas are required and also a much larger water storage volume. Since the peak supply of sun never occurs at the same time as the peak demand for heat, the heat must be stored. It should also be noted that such systems are only suitable for use with specifically designed underfloor heating.

What maintenance does the solar water heating system require? Very little. However, it is a good idea to visually check the solar panels on the roof on a regular basis, and every three years have the fluid in the system checked.

Do I have to pay VAT on the cost of the solar hot water system? Yes. However, if the system is professionally installed, you only pay 5% instead of 20%. Unless its a new build which is 0% rated.

What roof requirements are there?

Ideally, solar panels should be installed on a south facing roof. However, depending on the orientation others may also be suitable.

How long will it take to pay-back the cost of the installation? This depends on a number of factors including the level of gas prices over the coming years. We are not able to predict future energy prices, but it is unlikely that they will fall. On average 25% of a households heating bill is accounted for by hot water heating. If you now calculate how much you spend on hot water and reduce it by around 70%, you can estimate your annual saving.

Will the solar panel freeze in winter?

No. The fluid in the solar water heating panel is a special non-toxic anti-freeze.

Other

Our highly efficient solar panels for water heating will help to reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions. Purchasing solar panels for producing hot water may also add value to your property, as buyers are becoming more aware of the reduced fuel bills these systems can offe

In most cases our efficient team of solar panel installers will install the solar water heating system in one or two days. Normally, installing a solar water heating system will involve replacing the existing hot water cylinder. Hot water cylinders for use with solar panels are designed specifically for the job. In particular, a purpose built hot water cylinder for solar panels will have a 'dedicted solar volume'. This dedicated solar volume is crucial to the efficiency of the system, since it remains unheated by the boiler. In this way, the solar panels have a greater potential to add solar energy into the hot water cylinder.

Ascending order

  • How much electricity will my solar pv system generate?
  • How much electricity will my solar pv system generate?

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Is my home suitable for solar pv? Is my home suitable for solar pv?

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  • The Basics explained

  • The Basics explained Product Details...

  • What are the different types of solar pv cells?

  • What are the different types of solar pv cells?

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  • What do solar pv systems cost?
  • What do solar pv systems cost?

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  • Which type of PV do you need?
  • Which type of PV do you need?

Product Details...