It is no secret that the world is becoming more environmentally conscious. Countries and populations around the world are understanding the value of looking after the environment – and as part of this, solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular investment.
Even in countries like the UK, where it is not always particularly sunny, solar panels can be a very worthwhile investment. But what about if you have a flat roof? Can you still install solar panels then?
Our blog below gives you clear information about solar panels, and whether you can put them on a flat roof.
What are Solar Panels?
A solar panel is a frame commonly found on the roof of a property, which is designed to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Solar panels enable households to develop their own renewable form of electricity.
Solar panels are not only used by single households keen to top-up their electricity. Throughout the world, there are enormous ‘solar farms’ where millions of solar panels are located, providing electricity to huge populations in nations across the planet.
Pros and cons of getting Solar Panels
There are many advantages to solar panels which make them attractive to eco-conscious homeowners.
Firstly, solar panels are versatile in that they can be installed in a variety of places. There are many buildings in both rural countryside areas, and in major cities, which have solar panels.
Solar panels are positive for the environment, as they do not contribute any harmful substances to the atmosphere and are therefore a renewable source of generating electricity. Solar panels also do not create any noise pollution.
Implementing solar panels can help to reduce the electricity bills of your household, which is valuable when considering the energy costs in the UK.
On the other hand, solar panels can be expensive to purchase and install on a building – and it can also be unrealistic to achieve this without sufficient amounts of space. The average system size is around 3.5kWp and this will typically take up around 20m2 roof area. The direction that your roof is facing (i.e. North, South, East or West) also makes a difference to the effectiveness of the panels.
While solar panels work all year round in all conditions where it is bright enough to see, they are most effective when there is direct sunlight. This means that in countries where there is lots of cloud all-year-round, such as the UK, they are not as effective at generating electricity as they might be in other countries.
Can You Put Solar Panels on a Flat Roof?
Yes, you can install solar panels on a flat roof. Some solar panel installation experts even report that it is easier for them to place solar panels on a flat roof.
The price of installing solar panels will vary according to many different factors, such as the number of PV panels and the mounting method you choose.
Your solar panel installer will be able to provide expert input on how to maximise the value of solar panels on a flat roof. For example, mounting solar panels so that they are tilted at an angle is a common way of increasing their exposure to direct sunlight.
If you are considering placing solar panels on a flat roof, you should ensure that the roof receives sufficient amounts of sunlight to make this a worthwhile investment. As long as the roof receives enough direct sunlight, there is no reason why a flat roof should stop you from investing in solar panels.
How much do Solar Panels cost?
The price of a solar panel system can vary significantly, depending on how many Watts/Kilowatts is in the system, which company you use for the installation, and how difficult they are to place on your property.
For residential installations, you can expect the installation of a solar panel network (i.e. multiple solar panels all side-by-side) to cost between £3,500 and £7,300, according to the Energy Saving Trust. This investment in solar panels is considered worthwhile by some homeowners, because it enables them to save money on electricity costs continually throughout the year.
For a single solar panel, or only a few, the cost may be much lower than the price range mentioned above. However, the more solar panels you install, the more electricity it will generate, and the more it will therefore save your household on bills.
If you unsure about whether installing solar panels is a worthwhile investment, there are some free solar energy calculators online which can help you to understand the benefits you will receive from installing them. You can also speak to any independent expert in this area.
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