Solar Energy, Battery Storage and Electric Car Chargers Explained
Here in the UK, we’ve witnessed a dramatic rise in installations of “solar photovoltaic (PV) panels”
all over the country; there are probably houses in your own street with this technology fitted to the roof.
The UK now boasts over 12,000MW of installed solar capacity, compared to just 31MW at the beginning of 2010. Love them or not, they have helped greatly in the reduction of our carbon footprint!
With the recent end to the Government’s “Feed in Tariff” customers are now looking to self-consume and use all the electricity produced from the system, rather than export back to the grid.
This is now being made possible with the additional help from Battery storage and EV car chargers.
Are Solar Panels Suitable for Me?
Orientation is Key when considering installing Solar PV. Solar PV can be installed on a South Orientation, East or West facing orientation, however never on a north facing orientation. South is deemed as the best performing orientation and will generate more electricity over the course of the year in comparison to East & West orientations – although East & West can still generate a high yield too. It is best to have a survey to find out how much your home will generate specifically.
Pitch of roof is also important. A roof pitch of around 45 degrees is the best performing pitch and will deliver a slightly better return than other pitched angles. In the circumstances such as flat roofs, you can also make use of prefab A-frame’s and ensure an optimal pitch.
How much roof space do you need? System sizes can vary from 1.6kw to 5.1kw for a domestic house. So, space is often not a problem on most houses, however its when other factors such as Dormer windows and other restrictions are located on the elevation that space becomes an issue. A 1.6kw system will require just under 10m2 in space on the roof and a 5.1kw system will require just under 30m2.
When it comes to Solar Panels, shading is not a friend. When considering Solar PV for your property, take note of any surrounding trees that may cast a shadow on the roof that is most suitable, during the daylight hours. Heavy shading will prevent the Solar panels generating and if a significant percentage is shaded then it cannot prevent the whole system from working.
How can Battery Storage help me?
Before Battery storage became available, Solar systems automatically sent any un-used energy generated back to the national electricity grid. For this, you were paid around 4p per unit from the export tariff. The government deemed this to be around 50% of what was generated regardless of what was used or exported.
By having a battery to store the energy that you do not use, you can potentially store that surplus 50% that would other wise be sent to the grid. As the average cost per unit of electricity is around 15p in todays market, you stand to make around 11p per unit saving on all energy stored and used from the battery.
Electric Vehicle Car Charger
To summarise, Solar PV systems can be beneficial to many households by saving money on electricity and significantly reducing your carbon footprint. Even better, with a Battery Storage system, you can store unused energy that would otherwise be sent back to the grid, resulting in further savings. There are several factors to consider when installing PV systems such as roof orientation, pitching, space and shading, so it is recommended to have a survey carried out by a member of our specialized survey team. With the rise of households using electric powered cars, battery storage and solar PV systems can be advantageous, by providing the cheapest energy and even special rates provided by energy suppliers.