Solar PV

Harnessing the power of the sun to generate your own electricity!

Solar PV Ground MountedGSR Heating is an MCS accredited installer of a wide range of renewable energy solutions; one of these being energy provision through the installation of solar panels. Panels not only provide for your energy needs but also give a substantial return on your original investment. Solar panels are available in two systems which enable you to either heat your hot water or generate electricity for your own use, and to sell the excess back to the national grid (see our funding and incentives page for more details). GSR?s surveyors can give you all the advice you need to choose a system suitable to your home and requirements.

Solar PV Ground MountedSolar Photovoltaic panels, otherwise known as solar PV, have photo sensitive cells built into them that react to light turning the suns light into energy. The panels create direct current electricity which needs to be converted into an alternating current, enabling households to run their appliances. To do this the system requires an inverter and the whole system is linked to the national grid through your normal consumer unit or fuse board and  electricity meter. There are various types of panel available including mono crystalline which have octagon crystals, poly crystalline multiple crystals, and hybrid which is a mixture of mono crystalline panels and thin film cells.   GSR Heating is able to install any of these systems, and can advise you which would be best suited for your property and energy needs.

The financial benefit of a solar system is threefold and comes in the form of a government incentive package called the ?FIT? or ?Feed in Tariff?. This is made up of a payment for each kwh produced, an amount received by selling excess energy back to the national grid and the saving to the household energy bill by generating electricity. Claiming the tariff is a very easy process, the payments are linked to the retail index which means payments increase each year over a 20 year period. Returns on your investment can be between 8 and 15%. The life expectancy of the system itself is more than 35 years. These system will even work on a cloudy day but at a reduced capacity.

The benefits of solar electricity


Solar PV Ground MountedCut your electricity bills: sunlight is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation of your panels your electricity costs will be greatly reduced. Get paid for the electricity you generate: the government’s Feed-In Tariffs pay you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it all. A 4kWp system can generate around 3,700 kilowatt hours of electricity a year ? roughly equivalent to a typical household's electricity needs. It will save nearly two tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Sell electricity back to the grid: if your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can't use it, you can sell the surplus back to the grid. There are no export meters so this is paid automatically and the assumption is 50% of what you generate. Cut your carbon footprint: solar electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn't release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical domestic solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year ? that's more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.

How do solar panels (PV) cells work?

PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof. The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof.

Hot Water

PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof. The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof.

GSR Heating can supply a device that uses the excess electricity from a solar pv system which optimises the energy for to power an immersion heater. Our fully trained surveyors can explain how these work and for a small extra cost these can reap significant savings on your water heating.

Maintenance

Solar PV needs little maintenance ?but occasionally you may need to manually keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't begin to overshadow them. The panel surface is self-cleaning. In the UK panels that are tilted at 15° or more have the additional benefit of being cleaned by rainfall to ensure optimal performance.

Green Deal finance and renewables

This technology is an eligible measure under the UK government?s Green Deal which is a financing mechanism that lets people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills. Further information on Green Deal see our funding page.