• pen icon Complete our simple form
  • quote icon Up to 3 solar companies will contact you
  • thumbs up icon You choose the best quote

Start your quote

Find local, MSC certified Solar Installers

Trustpilot Logo

Solar Panels

Solar panels have been around for sixty years and, with development ever increasing on the functionality of them, are seen as one of the future sources of alternative energy for businesses and households.

They are an active solar power meaning they harvest sunlight and actively convert it into energy. The panels are made up of solar cells, or photovoltaic cells, arranged in grid-like patterns which collect sunlight during the daytime and convert it into electricity or heat water.

What are solar panels made from?

Solar panels are traditionally made from crystalline silicon and gallium arsenide which is produced only for photovoltaic cells. However, there are now also types of panel made by depositing amorphous silicon alloy in a continuous roll-to-roll process. As a result, amorphous silicon solar cells are created which can be used in panels that are more durable, efficient and thinner than crystalline versions.

Solar water heating panels, also known as collectors, are made up of either evacuated glass tubes or flat plate collectors encasing metal tubing. These panels look very different to photovoltaic panels and can provide your household with the majority of its annual hot water requirements.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels collect solar radiation from the sun and converts that energy into electricity. The solar cells within the panel function in a similar way to that of semiconductors – they utilize a large-area p-n junction diode. When the cells are exposed to sunlight the p-n junction diodes convert the energy from sunlight into usable energy.

The energy generated from photons hitting the surface of the solar panel knock electrons out of their orbit and releases them. The electric fields in the solar cells pull these free electrons in a directional current to the metal contacts in the solar cell which can generate electricity. So the more high quality solar cells in a panel, the more electrical output the solar panel can produce.

How much power do solar panels produce?

The efficiency of a solar panel, and the resulting energy it produces, is dependent on many climate, geographic and weather-related factors. Arid climates are ideal for solar panels, and they will produce more energy when exposed to direct sunlight in clear skies. But the power a solar panel can achieve and the power it delivers are two very different matters.

There are ways of working out how much power a solar panel could produce. If a panel is rated at, for example, 180W it will perform up to that level in the brightest sun light which would generate 1,000 watts per square metre. However, unless you live directly on the equator, your solar panel is not going to be subject to that much sunlight. The easiest way to work it out is finding out the number of ‘peak sun hours’ your location receives each day with a peak sun hour being one hour of 1,000 watts per square metre of sunlight. Once you’ve found this out you can multiply the watt rating of the solar panel by the number of peak sun hours of your location. Be aware that sun hours will vary by season with the lowest being in the winter.

What are the advantages of solar panels?

The primary advantage of solar panels is that they are a renewable energy source so there is no danger of depleting the reserves. It’s also non-polluting and causes no harm to the atmosphere. But what consumers will benefit from directly is the fact it’s a free energy source. And solar cells require very little maintenance as they are non-moving parts and can last a lifetime.

What are the disadvantages of solar panels?

Solar panels aren’t a cheap technology to purchase and have installers fit. But the savings incurred by having one implemented into your home will cover the cost of the collectors and fitting over time. And government grants are available to encourage you to fit renewable energy sources for your home.

Start your quote

Find local, MSC certified Solar Installers

Trustpilot Logo

Latest Job requests posted in the United Kingdom

07 Feb

LOCHGILPHEAD (PA31)

New Solar PV Installation

this is a new build in Tayvialich and we require 4 X PV electric panels to gain our SAP result. please quote for supply and fit.

07 Feb

Ambleside (LA22)

New Solar PV Installation

Installation of domestic solar panels and associated wiring and equipment. Advise on solar thermal heating will be a secondary priority this year, also.

05 Feb

Prestonpans (EH32)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof direction not known. Chimney & 1 window. Open to suggestions regarding the system size. 8 X panels. Replace within 3 months. Contact after 1pm - before 8pm

05 Feb

London (E14)

New Solar PV Installation

50 Kw Total PV installation on two buildings including two G59 connections

05 Feb

Derby (DE65)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Unsure on the direction of the roof, pitched, corrugated roof. No shading and a few windows. Work timescale within 1 year. Call anytime.

04 Feb

Ashford (TN25)

New Solar PV Installation

Current PV system in place to install gadget off consumer unit. Contact anytime. Timescale ASAP.

04 Feb

Epsom (KT17)

New Solar PV Installation

Remove extg PV and install new PVs to existing slate roof

04 Feb

Bradford (BD13)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

removal of four panels and replace when repair to roof is finished scaffold will be all ready be erected

03 Feb

Peebles (EH45)

New Solar PV Installation

New build solar PV and other energy systems

03 Feb

Scunthorpe (DN17)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV: L Shaped Roof facing south. Pitched and tiled. No shading. Timescale within 1 month. Contact anytime.

01 Feb

Southampton (SO40)

New Solar Thermal Installation

I require a general quote for the cost of materials and installation for hot water solar PV system.

01 Feb

Warwick (CV35)

New Solar PV Installation

Sports club. We have many lights and also water to heat during day. Large flat roof facing South South East.

31 Jan

Shaftesbury (SP7)

New Solar Thermal Installation

Roof faces south. Already has panels on one side of the roof but would like additional panels on the other side. Roof: Pitched and tiled. Shading: none. No(...)

31 Jan

Shaftesbury (SP7)

New Solar PV Installation

additional solar panels to existing system and new solar water panels

30 Jan

Pontefract (WF9)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Service/maintenance of solar thermal system.

28 Jan

Oldham (OL4)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: South facing. Pitched and tiled. No shading . No windows on roof. Not sure on size . Install within 1 month. Contact anytime .

28 Jan

Paisley (PA2)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar panels

28 Jan

Minster-on-Sea (ME12)

New Solar PV Installation

New Build - in line PV panels required - can supply resonable spec if you send me email

28 Jan

Kelso (TD5)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

Service contract/Maintenance

28 Jan

Sheffield (S17)

New Solar Thermal Installation

Semi-detached, will carrying out loft conversion, re-roofing & extension soon. Need advise/quote on the following systems; solar hot water, solar PV, GSHP.

27 Jan

Manchester (M22)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: East/West facing. Pitch and tiled. No shading from next doors house. No windows on roof. Wants a 4kw system. Install within 1 month. Contact(...)

27 Jan

Pontefract (WF8)

New Solar PV Installation

3 bed semi. Roof: Not sure of direction. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. call anytime. Install within 6 months

26 Jan

Torquay (TQ1)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: South facing. Pitched and slate . No shading . 4 windows on roof. Not sure on size system. Install within 1 month. Contact anytime .

25 Jan

Nottingham (NG3)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: not sure on direction facing. Pitched and tiled. No shading No windows on roof. Wants to discuss size system. Install within 3 month. Contact(...)

25 Jan

Norwich (NR8)

New Solar PV Installation

Installation

25 Jan

Andover (SP10)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof:East and West. Pitched and tiled. No shading. No windows on roof. open to advice of the system size. Install within a year. Contact Between 5pm(...)

25 Jan

Johnstone (PA9)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Interested in quote for PV including battery storage and also information on solar thermal.

24 Jan

Dingwall (IV7)

New Solar PV Installation

Panels to south facing roof at back of adjoining garage

24 Jan

Fareham (PO16)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof:. Pitched and tiled. No shading. Open to advice of the system size. Install within 6 months. Contact anytime. **Customer is at the planning(...)

23 Jan

Burnley (BB12)

New Solar PV Installation

House being renovated. Want solar installed for electric and maybe Solar iBoost or equivalent. Also probably underfloor heating so maybe look at Solar Thermal(...)