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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Some of our most frequently asked questions about solar and energy storage...

Solar PV...

HOW DOES SOLAR PV WORK?

Sunlight when it reaches the Photo Voltaic (PV) surface, reacts with the panels chemical properties leading to a reaction which forces electrons to move into the electrical circuit producing energy.

WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?

Studies have found that the amount of CO2 required to build and transport solar panels equates to approximately 4 years of energy production from the solar panels. As solar panels can produce energy for around 50 years that means carbon free energy is being generated for around 46 years.

IS MY HOME SUITABLE?

Most homes do have roofs that are suitable for some kind of solar PV installation. There are reasons some roofs are more suitable than others.

Roof Direction 

South facing roofs benefit from the most amount of exposure to the sunlight. East and West both produce enough solar electricity to be a good investment. North is not a good direction for solar as the sun rises in the east and moves to the west via the south so the north isn’t facing the sun at all. However most homes which have a north facing roof also benefit from a south facing roof which is the best.

Shading

Homes with large trees or other obstructions casting shadows over the solar PV will block the sunlight and diminish the potential returns.

Our advisors will do a thorough analysis of your homes suitability for solar PV before we sell you a solar system.

HOW MUCH DOES SOLAR PV COST?

We have found the most popular sizes of solar array in the UK are 3kW, 4kW and 5kW systems. That is why we have used these on our offers to illustrate our pricing.

Our prices include: Solar Panels, Inverter, Roof Mounting Kit and Installation.

 

To give you an idea;

3kW is 12 x 250W solar panels and these can quite often fit on a terraced house size property. The complete system cost with installation is around £3,595

4kW is 16 x 250W solar panels and can be seen on many semi detached homes. The complete system cost with installation is around £4,595

5kW is 20 x 250W solar panels and need more space so a detached property may be required. The complete system cost with installation is around £5,595

 

This is just a guide to give you an idea of pricing and will not be appropriate in every case. That is why before every purchase and installation we do a survey to make sure everything has been specified correctly.

HOW MUCH WILL SOLAR PV SAVE ME?

These figures are a guideline only. There are many variables such as your own energy usage and whether you are at home during the day using the energy you are producing. We would provide an MCS approved estimate based on your properties unique configuration and location.

 

Saving on Electricity, on an average 4kW system you could expect to save £70 a year on electricity usage.

 

The Feed in Tariff (FiT), which is the government incentive scheme that pays a set fee for every unit of energy you produce. On average the FiT pays £150 a year on a 4kW system, this is index-linked so rises with inflation and is tax free. The FiT is guaranteed for twenty years.

 

The Export Tariff, this is the money you receive for the energy you don’t use. This could be when your panels are producing throughout the day when no one is home and nothing in the house is drawing power. On a 4kW system this could pay around £80 per year and is measured though an export meter.

 

So if we work it out over twenty years which is what the government guarantee the FiT payment over the total savings and earnings amount up to around £6000. Take away the initial costs of £3,995 for a 4kW system and you are making a healthy profit of over £2,000.

 

These figures are based on the data from The Energy Savings Trust.

 

With better planning of your electricity usage, for example using more appliances during daylight hours, you can save significantly more.

Add energy storage to the mix and savings increase again, you will require less grid power during the evening as you will be using the free electricity you generated but didn’t need during the day.

DO YOU USE QUALITY PRODUCTS?

Cellnexx Energy only use quality Tier 1 products from well known brands. All our components are MCS approved and are eligible for the FiT payment. Our procurement team have worked hard on relationships with manufactures and are proud of our efforts to source great products at even better prices. This allows us to pass the savings on to you, so you can get the best system at the best price.

HOW LONG DOES THE INSTALLATION TAKE?

Our MCS approved, fully qualified installers can have the panels installed within a single day on a standard roof. There is very little disturbance to the occupier as the majority of the work is undertaken on the outside of the property.

WHAT ABOUT MAINTENANCE?

Once installed there is very little maintenance. Cellnexx Energy will monitor the system remotely to make sure all the components are working correctly and we will usually know if you have an issue before you do.

We recommend cleaning the panels either yearly or twice a year depending on where you are located, some areas of the UK suffer from greater air pollution or agricultural debris than others. In some cases installations can suffer from higher than average bird fowling which can dry solid so rain wont remove it.

Due to the angle of the panels on most installations in the UK rain water can do a good job at keeping them clean to a certain extent. Cellnexx believe a periodic clean by our professional cleaning team can keep your panels working to their optimum level and is thoroughly worth the investment.

Home Energy Storage...

WHAT IS HOME ENERGY STORAGE?

Home energy storage is the latest addition to your green energy management system. In layman’s terms it is a rechargeable battery that is connected to your electricity circuit and can make use of your unused solar generation.

WHAT DOES IT CONSIST OF?

It consists of a device that can be placed in your home or garage and in some cases outside.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

It is the perfect partner for renewable generators like solar as it allows you to store the generated power when you don’t need it and call on it when you do.

 

Many homes are unocupied during the day due to work or school so when your panels are gennerating the most power the majority is exported back in to the grid. In the evening, after the sun has set, you then have to switch back to buying the more expensive electricity from the grid. Home energy storage gives you better energy independence and in some cases can mean you can go off-grid completely.

 

It was for a long time very expensive to install and battery capacity made the price outweigh the benefit, now with technological advancements and lower prices home energy storage should definitely be considered when looking at the complete solar package.

CAN I STILL CLAIM THE FIT?

YES. The FiT is paid for every unit of energy your solar PV produces, used or not. You will not receive the export tariff to the same extent, as you will be storing rather than exporting (until the battery is full, then you will continue to export).

HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I SAVE?

The money you will save by using energy from your battery far outweighs the money you will lose by exporting less to the grid.

 

You will be paying on average 12 pence per kWh for energy from the grid.

You will be paid around 4-5 pence per kWh exporting energy to the grid.

 

So to use your own stored generation you can be saving an average of 8 pence per kWh.

WHICH TYPE OF ENERGY STORAGE DO I NEED?

There are various types of energy storage technology. Many have been in development for years. Lithium Ion, lead acid, and Zinc Bromide are just some of the chemistry’s being put in to production, each have their own advantages.

 

Lithium Ion is similar technology to what is in your mobile phone or laptop, so are compact and can produce high performance over short bursts. It is also the technology used in Tesla cars and is going through regular performance improvements.

Zinc Bromide is a type of flow battery which has a zinc bromide electrolyte solution which flows over electrodes and generates current. This technology has great longevity and capacity. A real work horse for regular charging and discharging with no fade in performance.

Lead Acid is similar technology to what is inside your vehicle. We don’t think this heavy dirty technology is appropriate for domestic energy storage systems in its current state of development.

 

Our advisers will specify which battery best suits your system size, energy requirements and budget to give you the best possible energy storage solution.

WILL I BE ABLE TO GO OFF GRID?

Though your dependence on the grid will become much reduced it is always better to remain on grid if possible. It can act as a backup in case your battery system requires maintenance or repair. It also acts as an outlet and potential money earner if you are still producing unwanted energy when the battery is full.

I ALREADY HAVE SOLAR, CAN I ADD ENERGY STORAGE?

YES. Cellnexx Energy can retrofit battery storage to any existing solar configuration.

CAN I TRADE IN FOR A BETTER SYSTEM?

We offer a trade in scheme if you want to upgrade to the latest high performance panels and benefit even more from solar and energy storage.

Your traded in panels will be processed by our sister company recyclesolar.co.uk we are currently the only UK choice for solar panel recycling.

faq

If you have any other questions please get in touch...