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Harnessing the Power of the Sun: Exploring Solar Panels and their Remarkable Benefits


surveying solar pv installation using a drone
Installers surveying solar pv installation using a drone

In today's world, where environmental sustainability is gaining increasing importance, harnessing renewable energy sources has become paramount. Among the various options available, solar power stands out as a clean and reliable source of energy. Solar panels, in particular, have gained significant popularity due to their numerous benefits and potential for a high return on investment (ROI). In this blog post, we will delve into the world of solar panels, discussing their advantages and addressing the question of whether your property is suitable for solar panel installation, regardless of its orientation.



The Benefits of Solar Panels:



Cost Savings and Return on Investment (ROI): One of the primary benefits of installing solar panels is the potential for substantial cost savings on your energy bills. By generating your own electricity, you can reduce or even eliminate your reliance on traditional utility companies. Over time, this can lead to significant savings on your monthly energy expenses. Additionally, solar panels have a long lifespan, often lasting 25-30 years, making them a wise long-term investment. The return on investment for solar panels typically ranges from 5 to 10 years, depending on various factors such as system size, local energy rates, and available incentives.


Environmental Impact: Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source, meaning it produces zero greenhouse gas emissions during operation. By switching to solar energy, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint, contribute to the fight against climate change, and promote a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations. Choosing solar panels over fossil fuel-dependent energy sources helps to protect air quality and conserve natural resources.


Energy Independence and Reliability: Solar panels provide homeowners with a sense of energy independence. Instead of relying solely on the grid, solar power allows you to generate your electricity, providing a stable and reliable energy source. This aspect is particularly crucial during power outages or grid failures, as solar panel systems with battery storage can continue to supply power to essential appliances and devices, ensuring your comfort and safety.


Increased Property Value: Installing solar panels on your property can boost its market value. Studies have shown that homes equipped with solar panels tend to sell faster and at higher prices compared to non-solar homes. Potential buyers are increasingly interested in energy-efficient features, and solar panels can be an attractive selling point, showcasing your property as environmentally conscious and offering potential energy cost savings to future owners.



Is My Property Suitable for Solar Panels?


Solar pv on  concrete tiles
Solar Pv installation on interlocking concrete tiles

When considering solar panel installation, many people believe that only south-facing roofs receive adequate sunlight. However, solar panels can still perform optimally on roofs facing east, west, and even north under certain circumstances. The key factors to assess the suitability of your property for solar panels include:



Roof Orientation and Tilt: While south-facing roofs receive the most sunlight throughout the day, east and west orientations can still be viable options. Solar panels on east-facing roofs capture the morning sun, maximizing energy production during the earlier part of the day. Similarly, west-facing roofs generate higher energy yields in the afternoon. Additionall


y, north-facing roofs may experience increased solar exposure during the summer months when the sun is higher in the sky. A qualified solar panel installer can assess your property's specific orientation and calculate the potential energy production accordingly.


Roof Angle and Shading: The angle and shading on your roof play a crucial role in solar panel efficiency. Ideally, roofs with a pitch between 15 and 40 degrees are best suited for solar panels. However, shallower or steeper angles can still be viable with appropriate adjustments. It's important to consider any potential shading from nearby trees, buildings, or chimneys, as shading can significantly impact energy production. Advanced technologies such as micro-inverters and power optimizers can mitigate the impact of shading, ensuring optimal performance.


Available Roof Space: The amount of available roof space is another consideration. Solar panels require adequate space for installation, and an unobstructed area is necessary to capture sunlight effectively. Factors such as roof size, shape, and the presence of obstructions like vents or skylights need to be taken into account. A professional solar panel installer can assess your roof's suitability and recommend the optimal system size based on your energy needs and available space.



How Long does solar pv take to pay for itself?




Pig on a calculator
Savings to be made

Let's explore an example of a solar panel system with a 4150W array and a 9.5kWh battery installed, along with the calculation of ROI figures. Considering an electricity price per kWh of 38p and a day rate of 48p, with an annual usage of 6000 kWh, we can estim


ate the potential savings and return on investment.


Example: 4150W Solar Panel System with 9.5kWh Battery

The installation of a 4150W solar panel system, combined with a 9.5kWh battery, can generate a significant amount of clean and renewable energy. This system size is commonly available and suitable for residential properties.

Estimated Energy Production: On average, a 4150W solar panel system can generate approximately 4000-4500 kWh of electricity per year, depending on factors such as location, weather conditions, and system efficiency. Let's assume an annual energy production of 4250 kWh for this example.

Electricity Consumption and Savings: With an annual usage of 6000 kWh, it is unlikely that the solar panel system alone will cover the entire energy consumption of the property. However, the system can offset a substantial portion of the electricity bill.

To calculate the savings, we need to determine the amount of electricity consumed from the grid after accounting for the solar energy generated. In this case, let's assume that 40% (2400 kWh) of the electricity is consumed directly from the solar panels, while the remaining 60% (3600 kWh) is drawn from the grid.

  1. Cost Savings from Solar Energy:

  • Solar Energy Consumed: 2400 kWh

  • Cost of Solar Energy (38p/kWh): 2400 kWh x £0.38 = £912

  1. Cost of Grid Electricity:

  • Grid Energy Consumed: 3600 kWh

  • Cost of Grid Electricity (48p/kWh): 3600 kWh x £0.48 = £1728

Total Cost Savings: £912 (solar energy) + £1728 (grid electricity) = £2640

Return on Investment (ROI) Calculation: To determine the return on investment, we need to consider the upfront cost of installing the solar panel system. Let's assume the system's total cost, including installation, is £11,000.

ROI = (Total Cost Savings / Total Cost) x 100 ROI = (£2640 / £11,000) x 100 = 24%

In this example, the estimated return on investment is 24%. It means that the solar panel system has the potential to recoup its initial cost within approximately 4-5 years (100 / 24 = 4.17 years).

It's worth noting that the ROI can vary depending on factors such as local energy rates, available incentives, system performance, and maintenance costs. Additionally, the inclusion of a 9.5kWh battery allows for energy storage, ensuring power availability during times when the solar panels cannot


generate electricity, such as in the evening or during grid outages.


Conclusion:

Solar panels offer a host of benefits, including substantial cost savings, environmental friendliness, energy independence, and increased property value. Contrary to popular belief, properties with orientations other than south can still harness the sun's energy effectively. East, west, and even north-facing roofs can provide ample sunlight under the right conditions. By consulting with a reputable solar panel installer, you can determine the suitability of your property for solar panels and embark on a sustainable journey toward a greener future. Embrace solar power, and let the sun illuminate your life while positively impacting the environment.


Thinking of have solar installed? Contact us today to receive a free solar proposal and see how much we can save you on your bills. Complete an online solar enquiry or call us on 01926 354690


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