• 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

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

Latest Job requests posted in the United Kingdom

30 Jul

Rotherham (S66)

New Solar PV Installation

Not built yet. 3 bed detached. Roof: south. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 6 months

29 Jul

Telford (TF1)

New Solar PV Installation

3 bed semi. Roof: Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. call anytime. Install within 1 month

29 Jul

Marazion (TR17)

New Solar PV Installation

its being built. 4 bed detached. Roof: will be south west. Pitched and slate. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 6 months

29 Jul

Llantwit Major (CF61)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof: south facing. Pitched and tiled. No shading. No windows on roof. 3.5kw system, would like quotes with/without a battery. Replace within 1 month. Contact(...)

29 Jul

Lee-on-the-Solent (PO13)

New Solar PV Installation

3 bed detached. Roof: south west. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. ASAP. Call anytime

28 Jul

Chelmsford (CM3)

New Solar PV Installation

4 bed semi. Roof: south. Half house roof is flat & other half pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 3 months

28 Jul

Brixham (TQ5)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Fix solar panels as they aren't working.

28 Jul

Enfield (EN1)

New Solar PV Installation

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

27 Jul

Cardiff (CF5)

New Solar PV Installation

New Installation of Solar PV with Battery. Unsure which way roof faces. Pitched & tiled. No shading. Timescale ASAP. Contact anytime.

27 Jul

Stevenage (SG1)

New Battery Installation (Solar PV)

Currently has Solar PV: 4KW system. Would like an additional Battery only. Timescale ASAP. Contact anytime.

27 Jul

Cambridge (CB24)

New Solar PV Installation

Sourcing and installation of solar panels. Advice required about which roof most appropriate, i.e. house or garage.

27 Jul

Leeds (LS17)

New Solar PV Installation

3 bed challet semi. Roof: south ish. Pitched and tiled. 1 Dormer at front and 1 at back. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 6 months

27 Jul

Wolverhampton (WV4)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof: Unsure of roof direction. Pitched and tiled. No shading. No windows on roof. Open to advice of number of panels. Install within 3 month. Contact AM.

27 Jul

Harwich (CO12)

New Solar PV Installation

5 bed detached. Roof: not sure of direction. Pitched and tiled. 3 velux on back. 2 dormers on front. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 1 month

27 Jul

Harwich (CO12)

New Solar PV Installation

5 bed detached. Roof: not sure of direction. Pitched and tiled. 3 velux on back. 2 dormers on front. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 1 month

26 Jul

Liskeard (PL14)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

ch not working, please call daughter Debbie to book appointment

26 Jul

Wigston (LE18)

New Solar Thermal Installation

To install and supply SOLIC 200 Immersion heater

26 Jul

Oldbury (B68)

New Solar PV Installation

Not sure of roof direction. Pitched and tiled. No shading. No windows. Open to suggestion regarding system size. Install ASAP. Contact anytime.

26 Jul

Middlesbrough (TS9)

New Solar PV Installation

4 bed detached. Roof: south west one side. Pitched and tiled. No windows on this side. There are some trees. Has been told it's possible to have solar. Call(...)

26 Jul

St. Albans (AL3)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Quotes for maintenance work on current Immersen System. Contact anytime

26 Jul

Llanelli (SA15)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

Hello, Three years ago I had solar panels installed by a competitor who has since gone into administration. Recently we received a phone call from a company(...)

26 Jul

Galashiels (TD1)

New Solar PV Installation

3 bed mid terrace. Roof: South ish. Pitched and tiled. No windows. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 6 months

26 Jul

Esher (KT10)

New Solar PV Installation

Supply and fit of Solar PV plus battery. Roof facing E/W. Pitched and tiled. Possible shading from a tree. 6 velox windows to be installed shortly. Open to(...)

25 Jul

Bedford (MK41)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar HW System

I have a Smart Energy solar water heating system that isn't working so well and needs a service

25 Jul

Leicester (LE2)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof:South west. Pitched. Tiled. No shading to affect panels. No windows on roof. Would like to discuss size of system required. Install within 6 months.(...)

25 Jul

Wrexham (LL13)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof: Unsure which direction roof faces. Pitched and in 3 sections. Made of galvanised steel. No shading to affect panels. There are clear perspex panels on the(...)

25 Jul

Grays (RM16)

New Solar PV Installation

Roof: South facing. Pitched. Slate. No shading to affect panels. No windows on roof. Would like to discuss size of system required. Install ASAP. Contact:(...)

25 Jul

Hythe (CT21)

Repair/Maintenance of Solar PV System

x2 meter , 1 of the meters is not working properly. Located in plant room , property is a large services .

24 Jul

Ashford (TN23)

New Solar PV Installation

Solar PV. Roof: South facing. Pitched and corrugated . No shading . No windows on roof. Wants a 4kw system. Install ASAP . Contact 9am-5pm. **wants more(...)

24 Jul

Leicester (LE8)

New Solar PV Installation

2 small 2 bed houses. Roof: south. Pitched and tiled. 1 velux in each. No shading. Call anytime. Install within 1 month // Alos owns shop and flat next door -(...)