How do solar panels work?

In simple terms, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels turn sunlight into electricity.

When the rays of the sun hit the panels, these panels generate DC current which is passed to an inverter to be converted into alternating current (AC). This AC electricity is then fed into the home’s main electrical panel, or to a battery storage system if one has been installed. 

The solar array size will reflect the amount of electricity needed to meet the household’s energy requirements. As a result, each home is unique when it comes to solar panel needs. Our professional team can help you determine the best way to configure your system for optimal efficiency and energy savings. 

What can solar do for you?

Reduce your electricity bill and guard against soaring prices.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels turn sunlight into electricity . This means that you can then use this free energy from the sunlight to warm your home and power your devices; you will be generating your own energy - the more energy independent you are, the less you are at the mercy of the market. The amount of energy savings from using solar power depends on the size of the solar panel system, the orientation towards the sun, the amount of shade, the slope of your roof and your household's energy consumption.

Reduce your carbon footprint

When you install solar panels on your property, they capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity that you can use to power your home. Because the energy comes directly from the sun, it doesn't require any non-renewable resources. Unlike coal, natural gas or oil, which tend to be major sources of carbon emissions, solar energy does not generate air or water pollution, making it a cleaner option overall. Moving away from these traditional sources of energy is a key step in our efforts to combat climate change.

Generate income and increase the value of your property

When your PV system is generating more power than it is being used you can sell the excess power into the national grid. Sign up to the smart export guarantee (SEG) with a provider of your choice (it doesn’t have to be your existing provider) and they will pay you an agreed amount for every unit exported back to the grid. The amount you get paid back depends on company and ranges from 1p per kilowatt hour (kWh) from E, to 15p per kWh for Octopus customers.

Not sure if solar is right for you? Contact us today. Our team will work with you to design a bespoke system within your budget and requirements.

How to maximise your savings?

The best way to maximise your saving is to use most of your electricity while you are generating it (during daylight hours). The electricity generated that is not being used to power your home will automatically be exported to the national grid at night time. Buying this energy back from a supplier will cost you nearly 3 times as much, so it only makes sense to hold on to and use as much of your free solar energy as you possibly can.

There are a couple of technologies available that will allow you to harness the surplus electricity generated by your solar system and make the most of out of it. 

Incorporating a solar battery whiting your solar system

This will allow you to store the excess power and use it when you need it rather than exporting it to the grid. 

Adding an energy diverter to your solar system

This will divert any excess power generated to an immersion heater in the hot water tank. The water in the cylinder will be heated using free energy. This is a fantastic way to o make the most out of the excess power your solar system generates and reduce your gas bill!

If you are currently generating energy for your home with solar panels but don't have a way of utilising any surplus then both options are well worth considering.

How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels typically last between 25-30 years - this is what most manufacturers call the optimal rate. 


Out of all the components making up you Solar PV System, the solar panels usually come with the longest warranty (typically 25 years). This warranty guarantees the performance level of the solar panels over their lifespan. The warranty will usually guarantee a 90% power output for the first 10 years and a 80% power output for the entire 25 years. This does not mean that your solar panels will simply stop working after 25 years. This means that their power output will no longer be guaranteed. However, they will continue to generate electricity, but at a lower rate. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working effective levels. To put things into perspective, a boiler will last for about 10-15 years. 

Will my solar panels work in winter?

YES. One of the most common misconception around solar panels is that they only work in direct sunlight. In fact, solar panels are designed to capture the available sunlight, so they will still produce energy when it is cloudy or raining and power your property effectively. 

Could I charge my electric car with solar?

YES, you can fully charge your electric car with solar energy. We can connect your solar panels to your EV Charger, meaning that you would be using the free electricity from the sun to power your electric vehicle in a sustainable way.

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