At Solar Advocates we try and make renewable energy as simple as possible. You can view a list of common questions and answers below. Hopefully this page will provide answers to most of the questions you have but if we have missed anything, or you would like us to go into more detail please contact us.
Solar Panels work well on any roof facing South, SE or SW. Although your Solar Panels will perform better and produce more electricity if they are South facing, they will still perform at 86% (compared to South facing) either facing due East or West.
Solar Panels can be fitted to your roof or on your land. Generally an 8-panel Solar PV system would be one of the smallest we would recommend and this could easily fit on the roof of an average 3-bed semi. Our popular Solar Advocates panels generate the most energy per m2 so you can still get plenty of electricity from a smaller roof.
No, Solar Panels work in all daylight conditions and actually work at their optimum at 10ºc. In fact, if it gets too hot they start to become increasingly inefficient.
Your panel choice will usually combine a number of factors including aesthetics, value for money, performance, track record and guarantees. Our engineers know the market and can advise you on the panels that will suit your needs.
Your Solar Panels will come with a manufacturers guarantee of the panels performance. Different manufacturers offer different guarantees, with the more premium levels of protection usually associated with the more expensive panels. It’s wise to make sure you understand the guarantee before you purchase.
Solar PV systems have no moving parts apart from the inverter and as such have very long life spans. The inverter should last for over 10 years and may cost up to $1,000 to replace, however you can buy an extended 20 year warranty for as little as $300. You should expect the panels to last for at least 25 years.
Most domestic Solar Panel installations take no more than a day with minimum disruption. Typically, the scaffolding will be erected a couple of days before the Solar PV installation team arrive. We will then mount the panels on the roof and install the inverter, finally carrying out the internal wiring.
Solar panels are generally self-cleaning if positioned at an angle of over 15 degrees. However it is advised to visually inspect them annually and rinse if necessary. Most window-cleaning companies have a reach-and-wash system and should be able to clean your panels.
It is recommended that your Solar Panels are checked and serviced every 2 years. We offer a standard service and maintenance package, which your local office can advise you on.
It’s highly unlikely, when we install the Solar PV panels we make sure they are securely attached to the fabric of the building using a roof hook and rail system. Our panels are always mounted at least 30cm in from the edge of the roof to prevent excessive wind loading.
The electricity produced by your Solar Panels is converted from DC (direct current) by the inverter to AC (alternating current), which your home is run on. The electricity is then taken from the inverter via an AC cable to your distribution board, where it is used to power the circuits in your home.
Solar PV panels alone will not give you electricity 24 hours a day as they only produce electricity in daylight hours. You would need alternative energy sources or a battery system as well as Solar PV panels to be able to come off grid.
If there is a power cut your inverter will switch off, which stops any generation from your Solar Panels entering the property. This is a safety feature to protect workers who may be repairing the grid. However, we can install a back-up system which will enable you to use your solar energy in a power cut.