Everything You Need To Know About Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

Texture Solar PV panels generate power energy

Are you fed up with high energy bills and want to switch to a cleaner and more sustainable power source for your home? 

Installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels might just be your solution. But with so much information out there, it can be challenging to know where to start.

That’s where we come in. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the basics of solar PV panels, explain how they work, and detail their many benefits. 

We’ll also help you determine if solar panels are the correct choice for your home and find out how much energy you can expect to generate.

Ready? Let’s get started!

How does solar PV work?

Solar PV is a technology that converts sunlight into electricity. A solar panel comprises multiple solar cells made from a special material that can generate electricity when exposed to light.

When the sunlight makes contact with a solar cell, the energy from the light is absorbed by the material, which knocks electrons loose from their atoms. These electrons then flow through the material to create an electrical current, which can be harnessed as electricity.

The electricity generated from a single solar cell is very small, so multiple solar PV cells are connected to create a solar panel. 

These panels can be combined to create larger amounts of solar-generated electricity—enough to power homes, businesses, and even entire communities.

Should I install solar PV?

Whether or not to implement a solar panel system in your home ultimately depends on a few factors, including:

Your roof

When considering solar panel installation, it’s essential to consider some key details about your roof. 

Factors such as your roof’s direction, age, and pitch play a big role in determining its suitability for solar PV systems.

Ideally, having a south or west-facing roof is optimal for maximising solar energy production. However, even if your roof faces north or east, you can still generate a significant amount of energy with solar panels.

Your budget

While solar photovoltaic panels can save you a large amount of money in the long run, they do require an upfront investment. Consider the installation and maintenance costs when deciding if solar PV is right for you.

Your climate 

A common misconception about solar panels is that you need to live in a hot, sunny climate for them to be effective. This is not true. 

In fact, even though Scotland sees more cloudy days than much of the rest of the UK, solar panels continue to work under both light and heavy cloud cover. 

Environmental impact

Solar PV is a clean, renewable energy source that helps reduce carbon emissions and your carbon footprint. 

If you prioritise sustainability and reducing your environmental impact, solar PV panels are the perfect solution for you. 

Available Incentives

In Edinburgh, there are several incentives and funding opportunities available for installing renewable energy technologies, including solar panels.

These incentives and funding opportunities can significantly reduce the upfront costs of installing solar panels, making them a more affordable option. 

What are the biggest benefits of installing solar PV?

If you do decide to install solar PV modules in your home, then there are many great benefits to enjoy, including:

  • Lower energy bills: Solar panels generate electricity from the sun, which means you can use less energy and save money on your electricity bills.
  • Environmental benefits: Solar power is a renewable source of energy and doesn’t emit greenhouse gases. This makes it a clean and environmentally friendly option.
  • Increased home value: Installing solar panels will likely increase the value of your home, particularly in areas where solar power is popular.
  • Energy independence: When you generate your own electricity, you become less dependent on your utility company and protect yourself from rising energy costs.
  • Renewable Energy Certificates: In Scotland, installing solar panels allows you to earn Renewable Energy Certificates, also known as Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs). These certificates can be sold to utility companies, providing an additional source of income.
  • Long lifespan: Solar panels typically have a lifespan of 25-30 years, which means you can enjoy the benefits of clean energy for decades.

How much will my solar PV produce throughout the year?

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a standard 3-kilowatt peak (kW) solar PV system in Scotland can generate around 2,300 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually. 

This amount accounts for around 79% of a typical household’s electricity consumption.

However, Scotland has experienced notably sunny summers in recent times. A study conducted by WWF Scotland revealed that since 2017, homes equipped with solar panels have generated more than 100% of the average household’s electricity requirements in several different cities, including Edinburgh.

How many solar panels do I need to install?

The number of solar panels you need depends on the size of your installation, such as 3kW or 6kW, and the size of the panels you choose. Let’s simplify it:

If you go with a 3kW solar system using 250W panels, you’ll need around 12 solar panels.

For a 6kW system, you’ll need approximately 24 solar panels.

Remember that these numbers are based on using 250W panels as an example. The actual number of panels may vary depending on the wattage and efficiency of the panels you select.

To get an accurate count, it’s best to consult with a professional solar installer. They will consider your energy needs, available space, and panel specifications to determine the panels needed for your specific system.

Overall, installing solar panels in your home can be a great decision for both your wallet and the environment.

By harnessing the sun’s power, you can reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint while increasing the value of your home. 

Go green with Edinburgh Gas Renewables

Are you ready to take the next steps towards a greener, more energy-efficient home? Explore the possibilities with Edinburgh Gas Renewables.

From efficient air source heat pumps to solar thermal water heating systems, we have the renewable technologies you need to heat your home without compromising the planet.

Join us in creating a greener future for your home and the world. Contact us today to explore our sustainable heating options.

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