How do solar PV systems work?
Solar PV systems convert daylight into electricity. The energy produced by your solar panels will be the first source of energy for your home. Electricity from the supplier will only be used at night time or when more electricity is needed than your solar panels are producing at that time.
Solar electricity panels convert light energy from the sun into electricity. Although they work best in full sunlight, they still work if it’s cloudy.
The system then converts the direct current (DC) power from the panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that allows the energy you don’t use back to the national grid. The electricity generated by the solar PV system is automatically used to power your house (lights, TV, appliances, etc).
How do I know the panels are working?
You will find a digital solar meter installed in your property. This will show how much electricity you’re generating. The small red LED lights will flash. The light on the left will indicate the rate at which your electricity is being produced. The faster the light flashes, the more you’re producing. At night time, this will not flash as you are not producing electricity; it will be a solid red light.
- Solar PV systems generate electricity during the day, so to save maximum money use your appliances during this time.
- Solar PV systems do not need direct sunlight to work – they will still generate electricity on a cloudy day.
- Solar PV systems operate automatically – you do not need to turn them on or off.
- Solar PV systems are self-cleaning, so you do not need to do anything to maintain them.
- Try not to use large appliances such as electric cookers, microwaves, washing machines and tumble dryers at the same time. To get the best saving from your solar PV system, use these appliances one after the other.
- Electricity from your supplier will only be used when you are using more electricity than your panels are producing at that point in time, or at low light times.
Energy saving tips
There are many simple ways to save energy in the home, here are just a few:
In the kitchen
- Boil a kettle with only as much water as you need
- Cover pots and pans when cooking – they will boil quicker
- Match the size of the saucepan to the size of the cooking ring to avoid heating air
- Cook several different foods on one ring with a steamer
- There is research that claims using a microwave rather than a conventional oven to heat up a small amount of food may save you energy
- Avoid putting hot food in the fridge or freezer
- Try not to leave your fridge door open, as it takes energy to cool down again
- Washing clothes at 30°C can be just as effective for a normally soiled load
- Run your washing machine or dishwasher with full loads
Heating and hot water
- Turn down your heating thermostat by 1°C – this could save you around £50 a year on your heating bills
- Set your immersion heater or hot water tank to 60°C
- Try to remember to switch the lights off every time you leave a room
- Replacing all the remaining traditional light bulbs in your home with energy saving ones could save you around £25 a year and last up to 10 times longer.
- When replacing household appliances buy A rated where possible as they use significantly less electricity than B-G rated appliances
- Switch off TV’s, stereos and laptops rather than leaving them on standby. These appliances use 60% as much energy as they do when they are switched on
Safety and maintenance tips
If electrical work is being carried out at your home and the system needs to be isolated, we need to be informed as this will log on our system as a fault. Please call us on 01453 796790 to advise us when this will be happening to ensure that our advisors are aware.
If you have any queries about your system or you need to get in touch with us at all please call us on 01453 796790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget that we monitor your system remotely every day so if there is ever a problem with your system we will need to get in touch with you. Please ensure you advise us if/when you change your telephone number so as we can rectify any issues as quickly as possible.
Making the most of your solar panel system
Try to use your electrical appliances during the daylight hours when your system is generating electricity.
Most modern appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers have built in timers so you can set up to operate during the day even if you aren’t at home. Slow cookers are also ideal to use as you can set them up to cook during the daytime whilst your system is producing electricity.
If your appliances don’t have timers built in, you can buy inexpensive electrical timers from most DIY shops and many supermarkets.
Your solar panel system is fully automatic. Please do not switch it on or off. In the unlikely event that you need to turn your system off call us immediately on 01453 796790.