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Solar panels contain semiconductor cells protected behind a glass sheet. Those cells convert daylight into electricity. The brighter the daylight the more electricity they generate. Controlled by a device called an inverter, this electricity is fed into the electrical switchboard reducing the amount that needs to be purchased from your supplier.
Solar is a renewable technology which means it's more beneficial to the environment than established fossil fuel sources of energy.Generating your own electricity with solar panels on your roof will reduce your carbon emissions, save you money and protect your household budget from future energy price hikes.
It’s no more difficult than the original installation. Provided there is suitable roof space we can access then installation is very straight forward.
Although a replacement system might be more efficient (so generates more electricity from the same area) we wouldn’t recommend an upgrade unless there are obvious faults with the existing system and replacement is more cost effective than repair.
Your solar panels should be good for more than 25 years or longer.
Ofgem do allow extensions and additional capacity to be added to FiT eligible systems (although the extension/extra capacity won’t qualify for FiT payments).
We may also be able to install another system that sits alongside, and doesn’t affect, the existing one.
The technology behind solar panels and their physical characteristics have changed enormously since the industry’s early days. Efficiency is increasing constantly.
The panels that we use today are both smaller and more highly powered. They have superior light trapping, lower series resistance, and improved current collection meaning that roof spaces and ground sites can be configured much more efficiently to maximise the production of lower cost green energy.
All of Forster’s solar solutions are tailored with future energy and grid developments in mind which means they can be connected to heat storage batteries either immediately or when the grid in your area permits.
For smaller systems the main restriction is space.
When the system size is above a certain threshold then we need to obtain for you permission to connect the system to your local electricity network. The company that owns that network (known as a Distribution Network Operator or DNO) can place conditions on that connection depending on the size of system and the location.
A spot with good exposure to sunlight is preferable but modern solar panels work even in cloudy weather and rain can even help keep them clean.
We have sufficient light levels throughout the year that means solar performs exceptionally well.
With the right solar installation, the savings can be significant.
Calculating the actual amount is very much dependant about how much electricity you use and when.
The Forster Energy team would be happy to provide a quick estimate for you.
Solar is fully scalable and systems can range from just a few panels to many thousands so it’s difficult to give precise figures. Installed prices can range from a few thousand pounds (for domestic systems) to hundreds of thousands and even millions of pounds.
This can differ depending on your energy usage. However, Forster Energy will consider your current and future energy needs before tailoring the most cost-effective solar solution and where applicable, solar batteries.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a standard 3 kWp solar PV system in Scotland generates about 2,300 kWhours of electricity each year. This amounts to approximately 79% of a typical household's electricity usage.
Yes if you have suitable land available.
Solar carports or gazebo are also popular.
Although technically possible this is unlikely to be cost effective. This is because the system would need to be very big to cover your electricity use in the winter which would mean it would be hugely oversized for the summer.
Although it may be possible to sell that summer excess to your supplier, the amount paid is unlikely to justify the extra system cost.
No, not unless they have received additional training and signed off as competent.
Solar requires additional knowledge and skills not normally included in standard electrical training and assessment.
New innovative technology is currently being developed which can recycle very early solar panels into new solar panels efficiently. It is not available commercially at this point. The solar industry is one that never stops innovating.
Solar manufacturers are committed to manufacturing sustainably but there’s currently no easy way to verify this.
Forster Energy are members of Solar Energy UK which is introducing a scheme to ensure the sustainability of solar panels.
Current thinking is 30 years or more. The honest truth is we don’t know for sure as they are improving all the time and yet there are few panels older than around 15 years installed in the UK (and most of those will still be going strong).
Forster Energy will provide you with a prediction, based on established industry methods, of how much your system should generate each year. You can compare the amount the system has generated against that. Allowing for variations in the weather from year to year that should give you an idea.
Birds can, unfortunately, find the underside of panels a cosy place to nest. Their soiling above the panels would normally wash off in the rain but can build up in extreme cases.
Forster Energy now provide the option to install a system which prevents birds getting beneath your panels.
Yes. We’d be happy to discuss your needs and what this might cost.
This can vary. Systems where the panels in dusty environments or near the coast (where birds can be more of a problem) may need cleaning more often.
We always recommend a regular visual check and if soiling looks excessive arrange for a specialist cleaning contractor.
Most panels are manufactured in China but there are some manufacturers in the US and Europe.
They should always be MCS certified to IEC 61215.
To allow for design, planning and scheduling can take anywhere from a few weeks (for smaller simpler systems) to several months for larger systems where planning and DNO permissions are required.
Planning permission may be needed on larger systems. Few domestic systems require planning permission. If in doubt we’d always recommend checking with your local authority.
No but it may be possible to sell any of the solar electricity you don’t use and export to the “grid”.
Yes. Increasing numbers of customers are looking to utilise battery storage in order to store the energy they generate from solar panels.
Storage is a much more integrated solution with solar as people can control when they use the energy they have generated with their solar to maximise the savings.
The additional of a storage battery is relatively simple. Apart from the extra cost there are no obstacles for most systems.
Although we can never know what’s round the corner, your panels generate electricity which is the most versatile form of energy. So whatever new energy technology emerges we’ll be able to use solar electricity if it makes sense to do so.
The Smart Export Guarantee is a government scheme which allows you to be paid a fixed price for the electricity you generate and then export to the “grid”.
Forster Energy systems will be eligible and we can guide you through the process and requirements.
However, it is often more cost effective to try and use all the electricity the system generates. That is why it is important to employ the experienced team at Forster Energy to design the optimum system for you.
With Forster Group you get experience, knowledge and a long proud history.
Our commitment to invest in quality, innovation and training means that, by working with Forster Group, you’re helping to develop the Scottish Economy.
We would not necessarily recommend replacing your existing panels unless there are obvious faults with the existing system and replacement is more cost effective than repair.
However increasing the number might be worthwhile if your energy needs have increased. That way you will increase the benefits you’ve already been receiving.
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