Solar panels are an excellent source of renewable energy and more and more households, businesses, commercial properties and public buildings can be seen with them already installed. This dramatic rise in popularity is largely down to the government backed Feed in Tariff scheme that has been set up to pay property owners a tariff for every unit of energy their system produces. Exactly how the tariff works can be found on the Energy Saving Trust website. The government has introduced this tariff in a bid to dramatically reduce UK carbon emissions by 2050 and it’s a fact that businesses are particularly under pressure to do so. Energy generated from a solar panel system will usually be used by a business during the day as it is being produced, making this an ideal energy efficient solution.
How Solar Panels Work
Solar panels work by using energy from daylight and then converting that energy into energy to power the property. They do not need constant sunlight to work efficiently. For the panels to work at their best, they should be placed facing south and the panels should not be overshadowed by neighboring homes or trees. The roof intended for the panels should be substantial enough to hold the panels in place for a minimum of twenty-five years as this is how long solar panels are guaranteed to last. Asbestos and lead roofing are not suitable sites for solar panels. They can be mounted on a traditional roof structure but can even be mounted onto a frame for them to be fitted to a flat roof or they can be used in a ground-based system. Any business with spare roof space or a spare patch of land may be able to benefit from a solar panel system in this way.
Finding the Right Company
To find the panels that are going to be best for your business, you will also have to find the right company to install them. Companies that you look at should specialize in renewable energy installations and have a long-standing reputation. Solar installers and equipment should have up to date MCS certification – an essential requisite if you want to benefit from Feed in Tariff payments. A full list of certified installers can be found on the MCS website and the Energy Saving Trust website should also be able to help you find an installer in your local area.
Try to obtain at least three quotes and assessments from three specialist companies. The size of the system installed will depend on the property’s energy usage and the space you have available and the provider should be able to advise you on the best type of panels for your system. A good company should also be able to explain everything about the installation and the energy production of an intended solar panel system in a manner that you can understand. Unfortunately, however, many companies try to blind people with facts and figures, fooling them into thinking they are getting a good deal from a professional – so beware. They should be able to provide you with all this information after an initial assessment of your property has been completed free of charge.
The Best Panels
Choosing the best type of panels for your business will, again, depend on the space you have available. Some models of solar panels are considered better and more productive than others. Typically, solar panels in the UK are either monocrystalline or polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are generally more expensive to purchase as they are more efficient. However, if you have a large surface area for the panels then they might not be the best ones for you.
Polycrystalline panels work at slightly less efficiency and are therefore cheaper to purchase, making them more popular with businesses that have a larger surface area to cover. Then there are different makes of solar PV to consider. Sharp’s HIT series are thought to be some of the most efficient panels that are available in the UK today but some of these may not be suitable for a large surface area.
Installing solar PV is a massive investment for any business and you need to choose the best you can find. If you are interested in solar PV and are unable to afford the initial cost of a large business installation, there are a few government grants that may available and more details can be found on direct.gov.