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Home Solar Power

Home energy costs are rising year on year at an unbelievable rate. Interruptions to supply and a growing concern for what we’re doing to the environment mean that the demand for renewable energy, especially Home Solar Power, can only increase.
Planet Solar specialise in the design and installation of home solar power systems for homes and businesses and were on hand to tell us more.

Home solar power - how it works!

Home solar power - how it works!


Today, 98% of the UK’s power comes from non-renewable resources. Home solar power systems now give you the technology to generate your own electricity from the power of the sun:

  • produce your own clean energy
  • cut ever increasing energy bills
  • pollution and noise-free systems
  • no contribution to global warming

We speak to the home solar power experts, Planet Solar, to find out more:

So why Home Solar Power?

“Alternative energy choices like home solar power are no longer out of reach because they’re too expensive, or simply confined to the world of politics. They’re now an affordable and sensible choice available to everyone.
Planet Solar say “When you invest in renewable energy you’ll feel the benefit in lower energy bills and the planet will benefit from lower carbon emissions. With the cost savings you’ll make on home solar power and with government grants available of up to 50%, you’ll soon be recovering the outlay.
“So renewable energy is now a real alternative, in a real world that has a real problem.

How do home solar power panels work?

“Solar panels are manufactured from layers of specially treated silicon – one side is positive and the other negative. As sunlight (electro magnetic radiation falling during daylight hours) hits the silicon in a PV cell this causes a flow of electrons inside the cell which generates a voltage. This is directly converted into useable electricity.

Solar panel's explained

Solar panel's explained


“You can use this electricity to power your home, or it can be sold back to the National Grid if you’re producing more than you need at any point.

So the techy bit, how do home solar power systems work?

Planet Solar say “An inverter is wired to the solar modules and mounted usually in the loft. This receives DC current from the panels and converts it into usable AC power automatically. The inverter is connected to your household electrical system through your existing consumer unit or fuse box. The inverter is the unit that automatically controls the entire system.
“An Isolator is fitted between the inverter and your consumer unit to safely isolate the home solar power system for maintenance.

Home solar power explained

Home solar power explained


“A generation meter is also fitted which logs the amount of electricity generated by your panels. Your electrical home solar power system is connected to the utility grid through your existing consumer unit and electricity meter. Your electricity supplier may also fit an additional meter called an export meter which records the amount of excess electricity that you are sending back to the grid when energy production exceeds usage.
“A stylish wireless personal display is also provided which can be placed in your lounge or anywhere that you choose. This features push button controls and communicates with your inverter to show current and cumulative electricity generation from your solar installation (in both kW and o) as well as how much CO2 you have saved.
“An additional remote meter called the “Electrisave” shows instantaneously the amount of energy actually being imported from the grid to meet current household needs. This unit will encourage energy efficiency because it immediately shows the beneficial impact of the many energy saving measures you can take, like turning electrical equipment off at the mains instead of leaving it on standby.

What happens if I produce surplus home solar energy?

Planet Solar say “If during the day you produce more electricity than you need, the excess will flow back into the grid and you can get paid for it. Provided you have an arrangement with your energy company, you’ll get paid for this home solar power. But not all electricity suppliers offer this service so you may need to change supplier. 

Will home solar panels work in the UK, even during winter?

“Home solar panels work on daylight, so even in a country like ours with overcast or dull days, they will generate trouble free electricity for years and years. The power that you generate from the sun won’t dwindle like fossil fuels, it won’t contribute to global warming or pollute the environment.

How long will home solar panels take to pay for themselves?

According to Planet Solar “The average UK home consumes around 3300kWh (or units) of electricity per annum. A typical PV home solar panel system would be a 2kWp system which would produce approximately 1500kWh per year (based on 750kWh per 1kWp installed under UK conditions), which is roughly half of the expected yearly consumption. Payback will vary greatly depending on individual electricity consumption patterns and naturally, energy prices, which are projected to rise remorselessly. The time will obviously be even shorter if energy prices continue to increase in the future.

Will home solar power panels add value to my home?

“The answer is yes, although it is difficult to quote an exact percentage, primarily because awareness about the advantages of PV solar panels is not widespread yet. However the desire to become more environmentally friendly in making purchase decisions for the home, combined with the obvious attractions of saving money, will definitely add value from day one. Some Industry sources are already happy to suggest that if fitted with a home solar panel system, your home should demand at least a 10% higher price than the same house without home solar power. Furthermore, when Home Information Packs come into force, homes with solar panels fitted will achieve a higher rating of Energy Performance Certificate.

What kind of house can home solar panels be fitted to?

“The roof that the home solar panels are fitted to needs to be yours. This unfortunately rules out anyone living in a flat, unless your landlord is a keen! Your roof also needs to be of a suitable orientation, material and size. Planet Solar will establish whether your home could usefully have home solar panels installed using a combination of our pre-survey questionnaire and home site survey by one of our professional home solar surveyors. They will take photographs, exact measurements and then use the latest computer modelling techniques to provide a detailed assessment and report.

Will I ever have to go without power?

Planet Solar say “Never! Your home will always be connected to the National Grid. If at any time your home solar panels produce less electricity than your home is using, or at night time when they will not generate any, you will simply receive electricity in the normal way, through the mains.

How do the government grants work?

“Each installation is individual so an application has to be processed prior to the agreement of a grant. Typical grants are in the region of £2000 per kW of installed power up to a maximum of £2500 per household. Download the grant form here.

Planet Solar Thanks to Planet Solar for providing a detailed overview on how Home Solar Power works, sounds like a great green idea to me! Remember that every Home Solar Power system is tailored specifically, either to your budget, or stated electricity generation requirements, so contact Planet Solar for more information.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Louise Taylor
    July 27, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Had email recently… “Does anyone know how long solar panels last? I was told that they have a certain lifespan – Is this true?”
    I seems that there is a huge variance in how long solar panels can last – some people say 15 – 25 yrs, others say up to 80 years, so I guess it depends on a number of other factors. I would suggest chatting to your supplier in detail about it and nailing down details of your warranty duration when shopping around.

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