Do you want to escape the continued rise of mains electricity costs? Are you looking to reduce your business’s carbon footprint? No matter your personal motivations, it’s impossible to deny the appeal of a new solar PV system installation. Solar energy is one of the world’s most effective types of renewable power. As solar PV installers, REE Contracting Ltd designs a bespoke system tailored to your needs. This takes into account the specific nature of your home or business property in Leeds or the surrounding areas.
In most cases, we install solar electricity panels, also known as photovoltaics (PV), on your roof where they capture the sun’s energy. Your system then converts this into electricity that you can use to light and power your home.
We recognise that upgrading to solar PV panels represents a significant investment, not to mention a step into a relative unknown. As such, we have dedicated this blog to providing an introductory guide to these sustainable systems.
As a bespoke service, many aspects of your installation will have their own unique quality. Because of this, we have only covered the more general information you should know in the early stages of the planning process.
For more personalised information, call us on 07581 739569 to schedule a visit from one of our solar PV installers. After listening to your requirements and surveying your Leeds or Yorkshire-area property, we can provide more precise advice and answers.
How Do Solar PV Panels Work?
The individual solar PV panels we install consist of many cells, each of which have multiple layers of a semi-conducting material. This is most commonly silicon. When sunlight shines on this material, it creates a flow of electricity. It’s important to note, sunlight doesn’t need to shine directly onto the cells for this process to start. In fact, they even work on cloudy days. Needless to say, though, the stronger the sunshine, the more electricity the panels generate.
Generally speaking, solar PV systems have several panels, with each one generating approximately 200W to 350W of energy in strong sunlight. An average system contains anywhere between 10 and 15 panels, all of which generate DC (direct current) electricity.
You may already know that household appliances use AC (alternating current) electricity. But this isn’t an issue. Our solar PV installers fit an inverter along with the panels. This feature converts the DC electricity to AC, allowing you to use it throughout your home in Leeds or the wider Yorkshire area. Alternatively, you can export it to the grid.
Are Solar Panels Right for Me?
It’s little surprise that this is one of the most common questions we receive. Any final answer will depend entirely on your personal circumstances, including your budget and property type. However, two important questions to address in this regard include:
• Do you have enough space for solar PV panel installation?
• Do you need permission to install a solar PV system?
The amount of space available for your installation is a key consideration. The typical system our solar PV installers fit takes up around 15 to 20 square metres of roof area.
In addition, a south-facing, unshaded roof is the ideal combination for maximum electrical output. We do still consider west- and east-facing roofs, but we don’t recommend this solution for north-facing structures. If you install a system facing west or east, its energy yield will be around 15% to 20% less than one facing south.
Of course, if nearby trees, buildings or your own chimney shades part of your system, this will also negatively impact your system’s performance. While some shading is often unavoidable, an unshaded spot is by far the most effective option.
When it comes to planning permission, solar PV panels usually qualify as a ‘permitted development’. In short, this means they typically don’t need prior approval from a local authority, be it in Leeds or any other location. However, exceptions do apply, so we advise checking with your local planning office for guidance.