Solar energy installers in bedfordshire

SOLAR AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SERVICES

Renewable Products Include

Solar PV Panels and Inverters2023-10-28T12:03:29+00:00

There are many types of solar PV panels and inverters that you can use, depending on your budget, roof size, orientation, and energy needs. Some of the most common types are:

  • Solar PV panels: These are the devices that capture the sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. There are different types of solar PV panels, such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, and bifacial. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of efficiency, durability, cost, and aesthetics. We can explain these and help you decide which is best for your circumstances.
  • Solar inverters: These are the devices that convert the DC electricity from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by your appliances or fed back to the grid. There are different types of solar inverters, such as string inverters, microinverters, and hybrid inverters. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of performance, reliability, cost, and compatibility. Again, we can steer you through this potential minefield!

We will help you choose the best solar PV panels and inverters for your home or business, taking into consideration several factors, such as:

  • The size and capacity of your system: we need to calculate how much electricity you need and how much roof space you have available. This will help determine the number and size of solar panels and inverters you need.
  • The quality and warranty of your products: We only use reputable brands and products that have high-quality standards and long-term warranties. This ensures that your system is durable, efficient, and safe.
  • The features and functions of the products: where necessary or advisable, we will consider products that have additional features and functions that suit your needs and preferences. For example, some solar inverters have smart capabilities that allow you to monitor and control your system remotely. Some solar panels have optimisers that maximise their output under different conditions. We will help you compare different products so that you can see what they offer in terms of features and functions.

As your local renewable installer, we can provide you with a customised quote and installation service for your solar PV system. Just give us a call or fill in the contact form and we will make time to point you in the right direction.

Enhancing Solar Energy Savings2023-10-28T12:03:04+00:00

There are a number of different ways to save money and utilising renewable energy. Some equipment is directly linked to your system to enhance its benefits, whilst other aspects are complimentary and are basically dictated by your own needs and preferences. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Battery storage: This allows you to store excess electricity generated by your solar panels and use it later when you need it, such as at night or during peak demand periods. This can help you reduce your reliance on the grid and save money on your energy bills.
  • Solar water heating: This uses the heat from the sun to warm water in a cylinder that can be used for showers, baths, washing dishes, etc. This can reduce your gas or electricity consumption for water heating and lower your carbon footprint.
  • Heat pumps: These are devices that transfer heat from one place to another, using electricity as an input. They can be used for space heating or cooling, as well as water heating. They can work well with solar panels, as they can use the electricity generated by the panels to run the heat pump. Depending on the type of heat pump and the source of heat, they can be very efficient and environmentally friendly.
  • Home insulation: This is not exactly an equipment, but rather a way of improving the thermal efficiency of your home. By insulating your walls, roof, windows, doors, etc., you can reduce the amount of heat that escapes from your home and keep it warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This can lower your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable.

These are some of the energy saving equipment that can work well with your solar panels in the UK. However, you should also consider other factors such as the cost, installation, maintenance, warranty, and lifespan of each option before making a decision.

Battery Storage2023-10-28T12:03:14+00:00

Battery storage can be a good idea for solar panels in the UK if you want to use more of the electricity you generate from your solar system, reduce your reliance on the grid, and save money on your energy bills. However, there are also some drawbacks and limitations to consider before investing in a solar battery.

Some of the benefits of battery storage for solar panels in the UK are:

  • You can store excess electricity produced by your solar panels during the day and use it later when the sun is not shining or when the grid electricity is more expensive. This way, you can maximise your self-consumption of solar energy and minimise your grid imports.
  • You can take advantage of time-of-use tariffs that offer cheaper electricity at off-peak times. You can charge your battery from the grid when the electricity is cheap and use it when the electricity is expensive. This can help you lower your energy costs and balance the grid demand.
  • You can increase your energy security and resilience in case of power outages or grid failures. You can use your battery as a backup power source to keep your essential appliances running until the grid is restored.
  • You can reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact by using more renewable energy and less fossil-fuel based energy. You can also support the integration of more renewable energy sources into the grid by providing flexibility and stability.

Some of the drawbacks and limitations of battery storage for solar panels in the UK are:

  • The initial cost of a solar battery is high. Depending on the size, type, and quality of the battery, it can cost between £2,000 and £11,000.
  • If you have an old feed-in tariff (FIT) contract that pays you for both generation and export of electricity, adding a battery may reduce your export payments. This is because a direct current (DC) coupled battery system will reduce the amount of electricity that goes through your generation meter. However, this does not apply to an alternating current (AC) coupled battery system or a smart export guarantee (SEG) contract.
  • The capacity and performance of a solar battery may degrade over time due to various factors such as temperature, cycling, depth of discharge, and state of charge. This means that the battery may store less electricity and deliver less power as it ages.
  • The installation and maintenance of a solar battery may require additional equipment, space. For example, you may need a new inverter, a mounting system, a monitoring device, and a protection device for your battery system. We would also need to ensure that it complies with any safety standards and regulations for installing and operating a battery system.

Therefore, whether battery storage is a good idea for solar panels in the UK depends on your individual circumstances, preferences, and goals. We can sit down and chat about it and consider all the factors such as your energy consumption patterns, solar system size, available roof space, budget, payback period, warranty, features, and environmental impact before you make any decision to invest in a solar battery.

If you are interested in getting a solar battery for your home or business in the UK, please, just call us and we can guide you through it all.

Home Vehicle Charging Station2023-10-28T12:06:33+00:00

Having an electric vehicle charging station at home can be worth it if you own or plan to own an electric car. Some of the benefits of having a home charging point are:

  • It is safer, faster, and more convenient than using a standard 3-pin plug or a public charging station.
  • Built in safety features make it safer than a 3 pin plug.
  • Weatherproof!
  • It can save you money on electricity costs if you use an EV-friendly energy tariff or charge your car during off-peak hours.
  • It can reduce your carbon footprint if you choose a renewable energy source for your home charging point.
  • It can make your car eligible for some government grants and incentives.

If you are interested in installing a home charging point, give us a call.

GENERATING RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY

All About Solar Power

How do solar panels work?2023-10-28T12:11:43+00:00

Solar panels are devices that use the sun’s energy to generate electricity. They work by using photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are made of materials that can create electric currents when exposed to light.

Here is a simple explanation of how solar panels work:

  • The sun emits light, which contains photons, or particles of energy. The photons reach the earth and hit the solar panels, which are usually installed on roofs or on the ground.
  • The solar panels have many PV cells, which are usually made of silicon, a semiconductor material. When the photons hit the PV cells, they knock electrons loose from the silicon atoms, creating a flow of electrons.
  • The flow of electrons is called direct current (DC) electricity, which can power devices like lights, fans, or TVs. However, most homes and appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity, which changes direction periodically.
  • To convert DC electricity into AC electricity, solar panels need an inverter, which is a device that changes the voltage and frequency of the electricity to match the grid or the load. The inverter is usually connected to the solar panels by wires and connectors.
  • The AC electricity from the inverter can then be used to power your home or business, or be sent to the grid for a credit or payment. To measure how much electricity you produce and consume, you need a meter, which is a device that records the energy flow.
  • Sometimes, you may produce more electricity than you need, especially during sunny days. You can store this excess electricity in a battery, which is an optional component that can save energy for later use. A battery needs a charge controller, which is a device that regulates its charging and discharging cycles.

This is how solar panels work in a nutshell. But if you have further questions, well, that’s what we are here for!

What are the benefits of solar power?2023-10-28T12:12:15+00:00

Solar power is a form of renewable energy that uses the sun’s rays to generate electricity. Solar power has many benefits for the environment and society, such as:

  • It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, which contribute to climate change and health problems. Solar power does not produce any harmful by-products or waste, unlike fossil fuels
  • It saves water, which is a precious and scarce resource. Solar power does not require water for cooling or processing, unlike nuclear or thermal power plants. Water is only used for cleaning the solar panels occasionally
  • It lowers electricity bills and provides income opportunities. Solar power can help you save money on your energy costs by generating your own electricity and reducing your dependence on the grid. You can also earn money by selling your excess electricity to the grid or receiving incentives from the government or utility companies
  • It increases home value and creates jobs. Solar power can enhance the attractiveness and resale value of your property, as it shows your commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. Solar power also supports the growth of the green economy and creates employment opportunities in the installation, maintenance, and manufacturing sectors.
  • It has a long lifespan and low maintenance costs. Solar power systems are durable and reliable, as they have no moving parts and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Solar power systems typically come with long performance warranties of 20 to 25 years, and only require minimal cleaning and inspection.

These are just some of the benefits of solar power that make it a smart and sustainable choice for your home or business.

How do I know if Solar Panels are right for me?2023-10-28T12:12:43+00:00

Solar panels are a great way to generate your own clean and renewable energy, but they are not suitable for everyone. To know if solar panels are right for you, you need to consider several factors, such as:

  • Your roof: You need to have a roof that is large enough, strong enough, and facing the right direction to accommodate solar panels. Ideally, your roof should be south-facing, have a pitch of 30 to 45 degrees, and have no shading from trees or buildings. You also need to check the condition of your roof and see if it needs any repairs or replacements before installing solar panels.
  • Your electricity usage: You need to know how much electricity you use and when you use it. Solar panels work best when you can use most of the electricity they produce during the day, rather than exporting it to the grid or storing it in a battery. You can check your electricity bills or use a smart meter to see your consumption patterns and see if they match the solar generation.
  • Your budget: You need to know how much you can afford to spend on solar panels and how long it will take you to recover your investment. Solar panels can cost anywhere from £3,000 to £10,000 depending on the size and type of the system. You can also apply for government rebates or incentives that can reduce the upfront cost by 30 to 50%. However, you still need to factor in the maintenance costs and the lifespan of the system. Solar panels typically last for 20 to 25 years and have low maintenance costs, but you may need to replace the inverter or the battery after 10 years.
  • Your location: You need to know how much sunlight your area receives and how it varies throughout the year. Solar panels generate more electricity in sunny and clear days than in cloudy and rainy days.

These are some of the main factors that you need to consider before deciding if solar panels are right for you. If you want to learn more about solar panels, give us a call.

How do I maximise my solar energy system?2023-10-28T12:13:11+00:00

To maximise your solar powered system, you need to optimise the amount of electricity you use from your solar panels and minimise the amount of electricity you buy from the grid. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

  • Use high-power appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, electric ovens, and kettles, during the day when your solar panels are generating the most electricity. This way, you can use the free electricity from your panels instead of paying for grid electricity. You can also use timers or smart devices to schedule your appliances to run when the sun is shining.
  • Use energy-efficient appliances and LED lights, which consume less electricity than conventional ones. This will reduce your overall electricity demand and help you save more money. You can also turn off appliances and lights when they are not in use or on standby mode.
  • Monitor your electricity generation and consumption using a smart meter, an in-home display, or an online portal. This will help you understand how much electricity your solar panels produce and how much electricity you use at different times of the day and year. You can then adjust your behaviour and habits accordingly to maximise your solar savings.
  • Consider installing a battery to store excess electricity from your solar panels for later use. A battery can increase your self-consumption and independence from the grid, especially during periods of low sunlight or high demand. However, batteries are expensive and may not be cost-effective for everyone. You need to weigh the benefits and costs of a battery before buying one.
  • Choose a suitable tariff and supplier for your electricity needs. Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for a feed-in tariff or a net metering scheme that pays you for the electricity you export to the grid. You may also be able to switch to a time-of-use tariff that charges you different rates depending on the time of day. You should compare different tariffs and suppliers to find the best deal for your solar system.

These are some of the ways to maximise your solar powered system and save money on your electricity bills. If you want to learn more about how solar power works, how much it costs, and what factors you need to consider before installing it, simply contact us. It’s what we do!

What savings can I expect?2023-10-28T12:13:34+00:00

The savings you can expect to make from a solar power system depend on several factors, such as:

  • The size and efficiency of your solar panels
  • The amount of sunlight your location receives
  • The electricity rates and incentives in your area
  • The amount of electricity you use and export to the grid
  • The cost and performance of your solar battery (if you have one)

To get a more accurate estimate of your potential savings, reach out to us. As professional solar installation experts, we have all the numbers!

How much does it cost to install?2023-10-28T12:14:24+00:00

The cost to install solar panels depends on various factors, such as the type, size, and efficiency of the panels, the location, and the incentives available. The average cost of a residential solar panel installation in the United Kingdom  typically costs between £6,600 to £31,000 or more. The solar panels themselves can range from £2,000 to £11,000 depending on the type, size, and efficiency. Mounting systems and racking, which secure the panels to your roof or ground, typically cost between £600 and £2,500. So there are a lot of variables and no one size fits all I am afraid, but that’s why we are here. Give us a call or fill out our contact form and we will give you a no obligation estimate and from there you can at least make an informed decision.

Do solar powered systems involve a lot of maintenance?2023-10-28T12:17:49+00:00

Solar panels are designed to be durable and low-maintenance, so you do not need to regularly maintain them. However, there are some things you can do to ensure they perform at their best and last longer. Here are some tips for solar panel maintenance:

  • Check your solar panels for any dirt, dust, bird droppings, leaves, or other debris that may block the sunlight and reduce the efficiency of your panels. You can use a pair of binoculars or a camera to inspect your panels from the ground. You should do this at least twice a year, preferably in spring and autumn.
  • Clean your solar panels gently with water and a soft cloth or sponge. You can use a hose or a bucket to spray or pour water on your panels. Avoid using any harsh chemicals, detergents, abrasives, or pressure washers that may damage your panels. You should clean your panels every five years on average, or more often if they get very dirty. The best time to clean your panels is in the early morning or evening, when they are not too hot.
  • Remove any snow or ice from your solar panels if you live in an area with cold winters. Snow and ice can prevent your panels from generating electricity and may cause damage if they accumulate too much weight. You can use a soft broom, a leaf blower, a squeegee, or a hose to clear the snow or ice from your panels. Do not use any sharp tools, hot water, salt, or antifreeze that may scratch or crack your panels. Ideally you should remove snow or ice as soon as possible after a snowfall or freeze.
  • We recommend that you monitor your solar panel performance using a meter, an app, or an online portal. You can track how much electricity your panels produce and how much you consume over time. You can also compare your actual output with the expected output based on the weather and season. This will help you identify any issues or malfunctions that may affect your system’s efficiency and savings. You should monitor your solar panel performance as often as possible.
  • Get your solar panel system serviced by us every 5 to 10 years. As professionals we can inspect your panels, wiring, inverter, battery, and mounting system for any signs of wear and tear, corrosion, loose connections, or faults. We will also test your system’s safety and functionality and make any necessary repairs or replacements. A professional service will almost certainly extend the lifespan of your system and ensure it meets the warranty requirements.

These are just some of the ways you can maintain your solar panels and system to keep it all in good condition and maximise their benefits.

Can you explain some the tech stuff to me?2023-10-28T12:18:49+00:00

There are many terms associated with solar panel installations in the UK, and it can be confusing to understand them all. Here is a brief explanation of some of the most common ones:

  • Solar cell: A solar cell is a device that converts the energy of sunlight directly into electricity using the photovoltaic effect. Assemblies of cells are used to make solar panels .
  • Solar panel: A solar panel, also known as a solar module, is a packaged, interconnected assembly of solar cells that can generate electricity from sunlight. Solar panels can be mounted on roofs, ground, or other structures .
  • Solar array: A solar array is a group of solar panels that are wired together to form a larger system. A solar array can vary in size and power output depending on the number and type of panels used .
  • Inverter: An inverter is a component of a solar panel system that converts the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by appliances and devices in your home or business. Some inverters also have additional features such as monitoring, optimization, and safety functions .
  • Solar battery: A solar battery is a device that can store excess electricity produced by a solar panel system for later use. Solar batteries can help you reduce your reliance on the grid, increase your self-consumption of solar energy, and provide backup power in case of blackouts .
  • Solar-plus-storage: Solar-plus-storage is a term that refers to a solar panel system that also includes a solar battery. This combination can offer more benefits and flexibility than a standalone solar system .
  • Mounting Frame – secure the panels to your roof. There are a number of different options and we will ensure the correct one is chosen for your roof.
  • Grid-tied: A grid-tied solar panel system is one that is connected to the utility grid and can send or receive electricity from it. Grid-tied systems can take advantage of net metering or feed-in tariff schemes that pay you for the excess electricity you export to the grid .
  • Off-grid: An off-grid solar panel system is one that is completely disconnected from the utility grid and relies solely on its own generation and storage capacity. Off-grid systems are usually more expensive and complex than grid-tied systems, but they can provide independence and security for remote locations or areas with unreliable grid access .
  • Hybrid: A hybrid solar panel system is one that can operate both as a grid-tied system and an off-grid system. Hybrid systems can switch between modes depending on the availability and cost of grid electricity, as well as the state of charge of the battery .
  • Generation meter – measures how much electricity the system officially generates so you can inform your feed-in tariff supplier. Similar to your electricity meter, except the figures relate to how much energy is being generated instead of used!  Our ones are all Ofgem approved.
  • Net metering: Net metering is a policy that allows you to sell your excess electricity generated by your solar panel system to the utility company at a retail rate. This way, you can offset your electricity bill and reduce your net energy consumption from the grid .
  • Feed-in tariff: Feed-in tariff is a policy that pays you a fixed rate for every unit of electricity you generate and export to the grid from your solar panel system. This rate is usually higher than the retail rate you pay for grid electricity, which means you can earn money from your solar system.
  • Monitoring Systems – Offer a detailed insight into how much energy is generated by your renewable energy installation. It details how much energy has been produced and can break it down into hours, days, weeks, months and years. The ones we recommend upload data to web-portals allowing you to remotely access data at all times.
  • Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI): RHI is a scheme set up by the UK government to reward you for using renewable heating systems, such as solar thermal panels, which use sunlight to heat water or air for your home or business. RHI pays you a fixed amount for every unit of heat you produce from your renewable system for up to 20 years .
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): EPC is a certificate that gives your property a rating from A to G based on its energy efficiency. EPCs are required for selling or renting properties in the UK, and they can also affect your eligibility for some renewable energy incentives, such as RHI or feed-in tariff .
  • Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS): MCS is a quality assurance scheme that certifies renewable energy technologies and installers in the UK. To qualify for RHI or feed-in tariff payments, you need to use an MCS-accredited installer and product for your solar panel system .
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