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 Frequently Asked Questions  Based on experience we have compiled a comprehensive list of the questions that we often get asked.  


Solar Photovoltaic PV Systems 

Q. How much space on my roof do I need for a solar PV installation? 
Grid connected systems start from around 1kW rating; this occupies approximately 6.6 square metres on your roof. 
Q. How much electricity does a PV system output? 
For every kW rating installed on a south facing roof the system will generate approximately 800 kWh per annum. 
Q. How much does a Solar PV system cost? 
Prices start from around £3600 for a standard 4kW solar array with no battery storage and with battery storage £6200, dependent on the size of PV array, battery storage capacity and a number of key factors relating to the installation site. 
Q. Will having a battery storage system installed affect my Feed in Tariff (FIT) payments? 
It will if you simply change your existing string inverter to a new Hybrid inverter and you have the power running through your old solar generation meter as before. This is mainly due to the cheaper charging options now available from energy companies. If you are charging from the grid at night like the old economy 7, the power will be forced into the battery then when the power is called for the next day, that power (bought at the cheaper rate) will pass through the solar generation meter and clock kW's up on there. The way around this is to either have a Bidirectional generation meter installed and let your FIT provider know that you have changed your meter or have an AC coupled battery system installed so that the solar still charges the batteries but the power feeds straight into the fuseboard when called for. 
Q. Can I have battery storage fitted without having solar? 
If you want to benefit from the cheaper energy prices during the night then you can install an AC coupled battery system, this enables you to charge the batteries during the evening at the lower energy cost for use in your home during the day. 
Q. Are there any grants available to cover the cost of installation? 
Following the introduction of the Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme, generally, there are no longer funding grants available. However, this may vary in some regions; we can clarify this for you relative to your location. 
Q. What rate would I receive for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)? 
The export tariff is available to all customers who have had a solar installation, tarrifs do vary between different energy suppliers. Which have done a comparison table that you can find here. 
Q. Do I need to inform my electricity supplier? 
Yes, we will inform them that you will be a property with duel supply and to get all the relevant G98 paperwork (which we will submit on your behalf). For systems larger than 16 Amps or above a 3.68kW inverter, a G99 application will need to be completed and submitted to the network provider in advance of the installation so that they can check that their side of the network can take the potential extra power into their system. There is normally a charge for this application from the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). 
Q. Can I export any of the electricity I generate? 
Yes, all unused electricity will automatically be exported when the demand for your house is met, the batteries (if you have them) are fully charged and or the Solar iBoost has heated your hot water tank (if you have one). Your electricity company who you sign up for the (SEG), will want to fit a new smart meter that can read both import and export and you will be paid the SEG on the Export reading. 
Q. How does the electricity generated get in to the internal system? 
As part of our installation of the system we connect the solar supply straight into your consumer unit, this can only be done by a qualified (Part P) electrician. The electricity generated will then be passed into the distribution board and used when there is demand for it. 
Q. What happens during a mains power cuts? 
Standard solar PV systems do not operate during power cuts for safety reasons. This is to prevent feedback down the power lines in case somebody is working on them. 
Q. Do I need a three phase electricity supply? 
Generally no, systems up to approximately 7.5kW rating can be accommodated on a single phase electricity supply; greater than 10kW will require 3 phases, with the power split equally between them. 
Q. How efficient are Solar PV panels? 
Solartech Installations use PV panels which operate on available daylight not simply sunlight, this ensures that you get the maximum efficiency. In addition, we carefully survey your installation site to ensure it is most suitable (south facing) and does not have any shading problems from trees, chimney stacks or adjacent building, which can dramatically reduce the performance of the system. 
Q. Do I need planning permission? 
Generally no; planning permission is only usually required if the building is listed or in a conservation area. We notify Building Control on your behalf after the installation. 
Q. Will my roof be strong enough? 
As MCS guidelines have now changed, it is a requirement to get a structural survey of your roofs integrity prior to installation; however, most roofs are strong enough to take a solar installation without any reinforcement. 
Q. Does your price include scaffolding? 
Yes, our prices include the cost of full scaffolding across the length of the roof that we are installing the panels on. 
Q. How are the panels fixed to the roof? 
For a standard roof we use rigid stainless steel brackets that are fixed directly to your roof rafters, the brackets hook out from underneath your roof tiles. We work to MCS standards and because of this we do not drill tiles or use silicone to seal your roof, we are aware that some companies will do this. 
Q. How long will the installation take? 
Normally 1-2 days. 
Q. Are the solar PV panels fragile ? 
Solar panels are very robust and can withstand the normal stresses subjected by Mother Nature. 
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