Shining a Light on Leicester: Solar Panel Installation Essentials

Beyond the Panels – Crucial Insights into Solar Energy

Solar energy isn’t just about slapping some panels on your roof and hoping for the best. It’s a complex puzzle with numerous pieces, and tackling it successfully requires more than a DIY spirit. That’s why our solar expert, fully qualified with MCS, NICEIC and RECC approved ensures every piece fits together seamlessly on a installation.


In this guide, we’ll delve deep into solar energy, shedding light on lesser-known yet vital considerations that can significantly impact your solar journey.

1. Location Matters: The Sunshine Sweet Spot – Why an On-Site Survey is Vital

When it comes to harnessing solar power, location matters more than you might think. The amount of sunlight your property receives directly impacts your energy production and we all know we cant expect Leicester to be sunny everyday! Online calculators may provide estimates, but they can’t account for real-world obstacles like shading from nearby buildings or trees, roof size, and orientation – factors that can significantly affect your solar panel performance.

Imagine relying solely on an online calculation that doesn’t consider the towering oak tree in your neighbour’s garden or the high-rise building casting shadows over your roof. These real-world elements can create “solar sweet spots” and “solar shadows” on your property.

Shading from Buildings and Trees: Tall structures and trees can cast shadows that change throughout the day and the seasons. An on-site survey allows solar experts to assess how these shadows move and affect your panels’ exposure to sunlight.

Roof Size and Orientation: Your roof’s size and orientation play a critical role. An on-site survey reveals whether your roof has the adequate space and ideal positioning for solar panels. South-facing roofs in the Northern Hemisphere are generally the most productive, but your roof’s specific orientation matters, and an expert’s evaluation ensures optimal placement (did we mention – Solar is our expertise?).

By investing in an on-site survey, you gain a comprehensive understanding of your property’s solar potential. This personalised assessment considers the unique features of your location, allowing you to make informed decisions and maximise your energy production. It’s the first step toward unlocking the full power of solar energy for your home.

2. On-Roof vs. In-Roof Panels: The Aesthetics vs. Efficiency Dilemma

Choosing between on-roof and in-roof panels involves striking a balance between aesthetics and efficiency. On-roof panels, the more traditional choice, sit above your roof tiles and enjoy excellent airflow. This prevents them from overheating, which can harm their performance. In-roof panels, on the other hand, are integrated into your roof, offering a sleek appearance but potentially causing overheating issues. Be sure to consider both the look and efficiency of your solar panels before making a decision.

3. Battery Backup: Power to the People

When it comes to storing excess solar energy, batteries are the unsung heroes of the renewable energy world. However, it’s worth noting that most standard batteries won’t work in a power cut. Instead of relying on them for backup power, consider them great for energy-saving purposes. As new technology emerges, this may change. They still remain a valuable addition to any solar energy system.

4. Efficient Energy Tariffs: Nighttime Savings

Save money while you sleep! The type of energy tariff you choose can significantly impact your energy bills, particularly during the winter months when solar energy production may dip. To optimise your savings, opt for an overnight tariff combined with solar battery storage. Charge your battery during off-peak hours when electricity prices are lower, so you can use it during peak times. This strategy can help you make the most of your solar energy and reduce your overall energy costs.

5. Smart Export Guarantee (SEG): The Last Resort

While the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) offers the opportunity to sell excess energy back to the grid, it’s often the least financially rewarding option for solar panel owners. Imagine selling your vintage comic collection for a fraction of its value – not the best deal, right? SEG rates are typically lower than the cost of buying electricity from the grid.

So, instead of relying solely on SEG, consider maximising your solar energy consumption. It’s like having a buffet and opting to pack the leftovers for lunch tomorrow – a smart choice! While selling excess energy can contribute to reducing your break-even point, it’s usually more financially beneficial to consume the energy your solar panels generate directly, especially if you can take advantage of overnight tariffs and efficient battery storage.

6. Microinverters vs. String Inverters: Winning the AC-DC Battle

Inverters are vital for converting the direct current (DC) generated by your solar panels into the alternating current (AC) that powers your home. Microinverters are a newer innovation in the solar industry. They offer several advantages over traditional string inverters. Microinverters work on a per-panel basis, ensuring that each panel operates at its peak performance, even in partially shaded conditions. String inverters, on the other hand, connect multiple panels in a series, which can lead to a drop in performance if one panel is shaded or underperforming.

7. Depth of Discharge: Don’t Overdo It

The depth of discharge (DoD) is a critical factor when it comes to your battery’s lifespan and performance. DoD refers to the amount of energy you can safely withdraw from your battery compared to its rated capacity, expressed as a percentage. For example, if your battery has a capacity of 50 kWh and a 90% DoD, you can use up to 45 kWh before reaching the limit. However, exceeding the DoD can lead to shorter battery life and higher expenses as you draw additional energy from the grid. Be mindful of your energy demands and your battery’s limitations to optimise its performance.

8. Pigeon-Proofing: Birds Behaving Badly

When birds decide to make themselves at home under your solar panels, it’s not all fun and games. Their presence can lead to more than just a chirpy nuisance – it can create what’s known as “hot spots,” areas where the solar cells overheat due to debris buildup. With fouling, feathers, food scraps, and even nests, these feathered friends bring a whole lot of mess to the table. But fear not! By taking proactive steps to bird-proof your panels from day one, you can steer clear of costly clean-ups and disruptions to your energy production. So, don’t let those avian intruders ruffle your feathers – invest in bird-proofing and keep your solar setup running smoothly!

Shining Bright with Solar

Employ the Best for Peace of Mind

When it comes to your solar panel installation, nothing beats peace of mind. By choosing installers with the right qualifications and accreditations, like us, you can rest assured that your project is in expert hands. With certifications from trusted organisations such as NICEIC, MCS, and RECC, our team ensures top-quality service and results every time. So, why settle for less when you can have the best?

Now that you’re armed with these essential insights into solar panel installation, you’re ready to embark on your solar journey with confidence. From maximising your solar potential to navigating energy tariffs and optimising battery performance, you’re fully informed and equipped to make the most of renewable energy. So, why wait? Let’s move to the Brightside together! Contact us today to explore how solar energy can transform your home.

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