One for the zoom family quiz!
In 1921, Albert Einstein won his first and only Nobel prize for his work on describing the photoelectric effect.
In a nutshell, light (a beam of particles) knocks off electrons from the solar cell; the solar cells direct these electrons along a current - creating electricity. In theory, solar panels could last forever as there are no moving parts.
Solar panel efficiency has increased significantly over the last ten years so you might be surprised at how much electricity even a small roof could generate.
The smallest system we would recommend would be 9 x 380W panels, covering an area of 17 square meters.
No. It's a common myth. Whilst south facing is the most optimum facing position, as a rule of thumb - an identical East or West facing roof would generate 85% of the energy as the south-facing roof.
You may prefer to have an east and west facing roof than the south and north-facing roof as you could fit twice as many solar panels on the east/west roof than just south facing.
The south-facing roof may be shaded, meaning another roof face may receive more sunlight. Our software will identify which parts of your roof receive the most sunlight.
The installation of solar panels on residential buildings are considered permitted development so do not require planning permission if they comply with the following conditions.
There are necessary limits and conditions which must be complied with to benefit from permitted development rights.
“I’ve been told the maximum I can install is 4kW, is this correct?”
This is wrong and can severely limit the amount of generation possible from your roof. The is a limit on the inverter ac output connected to the grid before permission is needed. Not on the DC capacity of the solar panel array.
The district network operator (DNO) is the company responsible for distributing electricity from the national grid to your home. Installers must inform the DNO of your installation within 28 days after the date of installation. Leoht will handle this for you.
You do not require permission for systems under 16 amps per phase (3.68kW single-phase or 11.04kW three-phase supply). All of the residential systems that we install fall into this category. System sizes are based on the AC inverter rating rather than the peak DC output of the solar system.
Solar batteries measure approximately 47.5cm x 76.5cm x 14.5cm for a 6.5 kWh battery. Depending on the battery chosen, and can be mounted on the floor or onto a wall. Whilst the battery can be quite large, we suggest mounting it onto a wall to avoid taking up floor space is space is limited. There are smaller modular batteries (2.56kwh) that can be stacked on top of one another, which may also be a good fit for your home.
The solar batteries Leoht uses are made from Lithium Iron Phosphate or LiFePO4. The LiFePO4 batteries are the safest type of Lithium batteries as they will not overheat, and even if punctured they will not catch on fire—the same battery technology used in the Tesla Model 3 being built in Shanghai, sometimes known as LFP batteries.
Leoht's mission is to increase the adoption of residential renewable energy by installing high-quality systems that you will love and crucially - recommend.
We focus on providing the best value for money, using high performing and the best looking components to maximise return on investment and ensure that you have a great looking installation. All tailored to your property, current and future electricity usage from the design stage.
Every MCS certified installer should install your system to a high standard, the guidelines and extensive procedures/regulations needed to be followed in order to become MCS certified ensure that you will have a competently installed system if you choose a recommended MCS certified installer.
Not on their own. But it is possible when combined with a time of use tariff and energy storage, depending on the time of use tariff and smart export guarantee rates.
For example, Octopus Go tariff pays 5.5p/kWh for every unit exported and charges 5p/kWh for off-peak use from 00:30 - 04:30. You could install solar panels that generate the equivalent of 100%+ of your electricity consumption and earn 5.5p/kWh for every unit exported to pay for topping up the batteries in the winter at 5p/kWh.
Your bills could even go negative if you can generate more than you use!
Time of use tariffs are why we have smart meters so expect them to become more common in future.
In order to follow the proper MCS guidelines, all solar installations have to have a site survey beforehand. This is to check measurements, the quality of the roof and rafters, space available for the inverter/batteries, the consumer unit/electrical supply and to perform the MCS’s shading procedure if shading is present.
The process takes approximately 1 hour. It can be frustrating if you just want to go ahead and install solar panels, but it’s a good check and helps ensure that your installation will go smoothly.