Is it right for me?

Is your home suitable for Solar PV?

  • Is your roof facing South, East, or West?
  • Do you have more than 3sq meters of roof or ground space?
  • Is your roof in good condition?
  • Is your roof free from significant shading?
  • Has your house got an Energy Performance Certificate rated “D” or above?

Orientation and Tilt Angle

The ideal orientation for Solar PV in the UK is South facing and the ideal tilt angle is between 30 and 45 degrees from the horizontal axis.

However, facing an Easterly or Westerly direction, or being at an angle of 65 degrees will still generate significant volumes of electricity but not a such as south facing at 30 degrees.

Calculation table

The following table shows performance levels for all types of system installations. Use the table to estimate your returns based on your orientation tilt angle.

Download Table

Shading

If even a small section of a panel is shaded by the branch of a tree or telephone pole then there will be a large reduction in power output from the panel. This is because a PV solar panel is made up of a string of individual solar cells connected with one another.

The output of the whole panel is limited to the output passing through the weakest cell. If one cell (out of 36 in a panel) is completely shaded, the power output from the panel will fall to zero, or if one cell is 50% shaded, then the power output from the whole panel will fall by 50%.

In addition to a loss of power output, shade can have much more serious effects on photovoltaic solar panels – hot spot damage to cells in which a shaded cell or cells overheat and potentially burn out.

Energy production

How much energy you can generate from an array will firstly depend on the space you have available and how much you want to spend.

A typical sized domestic system would be 4 kilo watt; this would comprise 16 panels of 250 watts each.

Energy Production

Planning Permission

You do not require Planning Permission for home solar PV systems, but it is always advisable to check with your local planning officer to confirm if any part of your home is a Listed Building, or in a Conservation Area, or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), or World Heritage Site.

Planning Permission

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