1. What components make a solar system?

- You will need solar modules, a regulator, an inverter, batteries, array frames and cabling.

2. How much will it cost to set up a solar system?

- Between £1300 and £2500, dependent upon Panel & Inverter choice, and the size of the installation (Prices correct as of Oct 2012)

3. Can I just run selected items on solar and other household appliances on the mains national grid?

- Yes but it is not recommended due to pricing.

4. How do batteries work?

- If used, batteries store the energy from the sun for later use.

5. Who can install a system for me?

- If you wish to take advantage of the Feed-In Tarrif, then your system must be installed by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered and accredited installer. Solar Matters are such an Installer.

6. How many solar modules / panels will I need?

- First we would need to complete survey and discuss your budgets, so we can get an understanding of your power consumption. We can then design a system for you.

7. What is grid connect?

- Grid connect allows you to plug into the sun and convert sunlight into standard household electricity. When the solar system generates more power than your household uses, any excess electricity flows into the grid effectively spinning your electric meter backwards and building a credit against your electricity bill.

8. Can I incorporate solar and wind power together?

- Yes, solar, wind and hydro power can be combined, and Solar Matters are well placed to provide all of the information and assistance that you need.

9. How long will the solar modules / panels last?

- Most modules have an output warranty of 25 years, although modules can last longer than this timeframe.

10. Doesn't PV technology need bright sunshine to work properly?

- The electrical output of PV solar panels is dependent upon the intensity of the light to which it is exposed. So PV cells will tend to generate more electricity on bright days than when skies are overcast. However, photovoltaics do not need to be in direct sunlight to work, so even on overcast days PV solar cells will be generating some electricity.

11. Is PV suitable for use in cooler climates, for example, the UK?

- In the UK, we get 60% of the sunlight received at the equator - so there is still a lot of potential solar photovoltaic energy available! PV has been used in the UK over the last 20 years or more for many applications, particularly in remote areas where grid connection is impractical, such as weather monitoring stations, marine navigation aids, etc. A modest sized domestic grid connect system will provide a substantial portion of a households electricity needs for over 6 months of the year and installations on commercial buildings are particularly suitable, meeting the daytime demands of an office. Over 1.5 MW of building integrated PV is already installed in the UK.