Solar energy guide

Solar energy guide

Solar energy can be a confusing subject, so we’ve put together the following Solar Energy Guide to help you chose the right solution.

We have simple diagrams explaining how solar PV works and how the feed-in tariff works.

If you’re thinking of investing in solar photovoltaics (or PV for short) to generate your own electricity you should read up on the different types of solar PV.

Choosing a solar installer

With so many solar Installers springing up on the MCS register every day it’s hard to know who to trust but it’s still the best place to find your local solar installer and when phoning for quotes make sure to ask:

  • How long they have been established, when they joined MCS (the Microgeneration Certification Scheme – the body which allows them to install systems which qualify for the Feed-in Tariff), and how many installations they have performed
  • The length of the “Workmanship warranty” they offer, because your PV panel “power warranty” will not be worth anything if the panels fall off the roof!
  • Check that the energy generation figures they are quoting you are based on SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure)

Once you have had solar PV installed you may want to think about monitoring your solar energy production and what happens if you have an old electricity meter which runs backwards.

Solar energy facts

  • Enough sunlight falls on the earth every hour to meet the world’s energy demands for an entire year.
  • The sun will not run out of fuel for 5 billion years!
  • It takes 8 minutes 19 seconds for light to travel from the sun’s surface to earth.
  • Albert Einstein won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his experiments with solar energy and photovoltaics.
  • If we covered a small fraction of the Sahara desert with photovoltaic cells, we could generate all the world’s electricity requirements.