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What is Solar PV?

Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels absorb light, which is then converted into useable electricity.  A common misconception is that solar panels only work during sunny weather, when in fact they generate electricity even on cloudy days.  You will notice that on brighter days that more electricity will be produced than on cloudier days.

What is an inverter?

An inverter is an electrical unit designed to convert the energy into useable electricity within your business.

What happens if there is a power cut?

In most instances, the solar PV system will simply shut-down and re-start again once power has been restored and there is sufficient light for the solar panels to start generating again.  We do offer renewable energy solutions that incorporate the use of solar storage batteries and there are some that can continue functioning without reliance on the national grid, so you can keep your lights on even if there is a power cut. 

What if my roof isn’t facing due south or there is shading?

Solar panels will still work no matter which orientation they are facing, since they work by absorbing light.  The difference in energy production between a due south array against other orientations is very minimal.  We will discuss with you the various options and provide detailed designs and calculations for your consideration.  

Since solar panels function when there is light, it makes sense that their output should reduce if there is any shading, for example, from a nearby tree or chimney.  However, there are technologies available that are specifically designed to mitigate the impact of shading and boost the electricity output of your solar system, which means solar panels can be installed in places where occasional shading occurs.

What is the expected lifetime of the solar installation?

As with any technology, the efficiency of the solar panels will degrade over time, which is why we only offer quality solar panels whereby this reduction in efficiency equates to no more than 3% over 25 years.  By incorporating the best, cutting-edge technologies together into one solution, we can offset the efficiency degradation and therefore, design and build a solar PV system that will have a lifetime expectancy of around 25 years to maximise your investment. 

How much solar do I need?

There isn’t a one-size fits all when it comes to solar, therefore, through careful analysis of your current energy usage, future growth plans, and site requirements, we will establish a design of appropriate sizing for your business. 

Do I need planning permission?

Quite often the answer is no.  There are certain requirements regarding the size and implementation of the solar installation that allow most types of projects to be constructed under the permitted development rights.  

However, if your project falls within any of the following categories then you will be required to submit a planning permission application to your Local Authority for approval:

  • Generate 1MW or more in energy
  • Is located at or on property which has Listed Building status
  • Is located within a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty*
  • The solar panels sit more than 200mm from the roof**
  • The solar panels are to be ground mounted and have a footprint greater than 9m2

* You may install solar panels within these areas under permitted development so long as they are not facing a main highway or installed on a wall

** All our solar installations are always installed under the 200mm threshold.

As a business, what are my duties as a client?

Through the Construction (Design Management) 2015 regulations, businesses will have certain duties (listed below) to undertake as the client during the development and construction of their solar installation.

  1. Appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor
  2. Ensure arrangements are in place to manage and organise the solar project
  3. Allow sufficient time for the solar project
  4. Provide information on any existing services infrastructure, asbestos etc.
  5. Communicate with the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer
  6. Ensure adequate welfare facilities are provided during construction
  7. Ensure the Principal Designer provides a Health and Safety file on completion of solar installation.

Who is the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor?

If successful with your renewable energy order, we will become the Principal Designer and Contractor.  It will become our responsibility to carry out the design elements of the solar project to ensure that the technology products can be installed and maintained safely, reducing the level of risk to everyone involved throughout the project.  We will also produce a Health and Safety Handover pack to ensure all relevant information associated with the solar installation is readily available to maintain a safe management of the project.

Our experienced team of Project Managers will ensure that the construction of the solar PV system is properly planned, assessed, managed, and monitored to minimise disruption to your company’s operations.  We achieve this through a stringent planning phase and building great relationships with our clients, sub-contractors, and supply chain.

We have an in-house SHEQ Director who will support you in understanding these duties through each stage of your solar project.