Frequently Asked Questions
In nearly all cases we will arrange to have scaffolding installed about a week ahead of fitting solar panels on your roof, and then we will arrange to have it removed a week or so afterwards once we know everything is working as expected.
Where the roof is single storey the scaffolding cost may be lower. Conversely there may be additional costs for higher and wider buildings, or for difficult arrangements (such as spanning across a conservatory).
Solar panels can be installed on most types of roofs:
- Pitched roofs with concrete tiles: These are the most straightforward installs.
- Pitched roofs with clay tiles: Because clay tiles can be fragile these installs need the addition of rubber tile replacements (known as ‘Hookstops’) to keep the roof secure and watertight.
- Pitched roofs with slate tiles: It is difficult to move slate tiles without causing damage so slate tiles are a challenge. There are various products on the market that can help with this but they add to the cost and are not always fully certified. We will discuss your particular circumstances with you but in some cases we may have to reluctantly advise that we cannot install on your roof.
- Flat roofs: We have multiple options to install on flat roofs, including using ballast or fixed bolts and are happy to discuss the various options with you. Note, though, that you may need to get a structural survey done by a third party to confirm that the roof is strong enough for the extra load.
The good news is that for the vast majority of domestic installations, no planning permission is required.
The main exception may be if you are in a conservation area. Read our Blog here for more information.
As an option you can set up an emergency power system (EPS) to help you cope with power cuts. There are three main options:
- A single socket on the storage system to allow you to plug in whatever is most useful such as to keep your smart phones and LED torches charged. Keep your router plugged in so you keep internet connectivity.
- A specific ring main could be kept powered. This could protect your fridge and freezer, or allow you to use your gas cooker and central heating, and power some lights. This option would require some additional wiring work.
- ou want to power your whole house. In this case we would design a system with sufficient power and storage for this to be a realistic option.
For more details see our Blog here.
Imagine a bath full of water. The volume of water is like the amount of stored energy (the kWh). Now imagine a tap is opened and the water flows out. The speed that it flows out is like the power (kW). The water (energy) will pour out of a big tap, but only trickle out of a tiny tap.
For your home system, you want power sufficient to run real world equipment (a big enough ‘tap’). For example, a kettle typically uses 2 kW for a few minutes. If your battery can deliver a power output at 2kW or above then it will all come from your cheap stored energy (the PowerBanx X range can output up to 3 kW).
Batteries are usually warranted for a certain number of cycles over their lifetime. A ‘cycle’ means a full discharge / recharge cycle. If you only partially drain the battery before recharging it this would count as a partial cycle. The number of cycles multiplied by the usable capacity gives the total energy that will be available to you over the life of the battery and that is warranted by the manufacturer. Good quality batteries will keep working well beyond their warranty.
To avoid damage, most batteries are never drained completely (there are exceptions to this). Our systems allow the drain level to be set to ensure your battery life is maximised. The usable capacity is how much of your total battery capacity is available to use when the battery is fully charged.
Usable capacity is typically 80% of total capacity.
Batteries store energy measured as kWh (this is the ‘kiloWatt hour’ – exactly the same as the ‘unit’ of electricity in your electricity bill). To imagine what it means, consider a typical electric fan heater rated at 1 kW. If you have a 5 kWh battery, it could run that 1 kW heater for 5 hours.
The most versatile is an electrical battery that stores surplus or cheap electricity and makes it available to you when it is most needed.
A lower cost alternative to an electrical battery is a thermal battery. This uses a solar diverter to send excess Solar to your immersion heater to give you free hot water.
Not long. Typically within 2 weeks of receiving your deposit, but we will always make sure it is at a time to suit you.,
For some systems we must get approval from your DNO (Distribution Network Operator) who need to understand if high energy sources are being added to the grid. This typically takes from 4 to 8 weeks, but as soon as approval is achieved, we install within two weeks.
This doesn’t affect any of your normal consumer protections, including the 14 day cooling off period.
Update 2022: Due to market conditions and supply issues an installation may currently take a couple of months to be completed.
This is a win-win for you. We connect our battery systems after the generation meter, in compliance with OFGEM rules, so your FIT readings and payments are unaffected, even though you keep the energy for yourself.