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See how Home Solar Panels can save you money on your energy bill whilst reducing your carbon foot print.

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Solar PV Photovoltaic – the seven major myths

For the last 2-3 years the media has had a field day with renewable technologies such as solar PV photovoltaic panels. One day it’s the best thing since sliced bread, the next day in the same paper or on the same website it’s a dreadful invention that’s ripping people off. Most of the time this is fuelled by myth and misinformation. For example a well known newspaper published information about wind turbine technology that suggested it was too difficult to effectively generate power because of the conditions that were needed – namely wind travelling at six miles per second.


Something that travels at six miles per second  - or 21,600 miles per hour – is likely to destroy anything in its path, so we can assume that the author mean to write six miles per hour, a light breeze which is easy to generate power from. As amusing at that is, it highlights a very important point – incorrect information is being used to write articles that feed misinformation to you.


Below are some of the myths and misinformation that regularly appear in the media, and why they are wrong.


Myth 1: Solar PV photovoltaic panels are too expensive

Solar panels expensive if you look only at the upfront costs, but they are not designed to be considered like that. Per square meter, solar PV photovoltaic panels are one of the cheapest alterations that you can make to a property.

  • They can add value to a property – a housing development in the Peak District sold new homes with solar panels for 8.6% more than equivalent properties without them in the same area.
  • They can generate an ongoing income, unlike many home improvements which cost you money and do not put any back in your pocket. You can expect around 7-8% return over a 25 year period
  • They bring down the cost of your electricity
  • They can pay back within 10-15 years if installed properly by accredited installers
  • The costs of solar panel manufacturing decreases every year as technology and production methods improve


Myth 2: Solar PV photovoltaic panels are inflexible and ugly

Solar PV photovoltaic panel technology has come a long way since they first hit the scene a few decades ago, and now is anything but.


You no longer have to have large rigid panels mounted on your roof. Designers and architects have worked together to produce thin film technology which can be adhered to a vast number of surfaces. Creations like solar louvers and solar roof tiles, which can be made to blend in with traditional slate tiles, are gaining popularity and are being snatched up by those who like innovative low carbon products that make a statement, generate income and save the planet.


Myth 3: Why pay so much for something that can’t even produce all of my electricity?

This is a sweeping generalisation because each solar PV photovoltaic panel installation is different. Some households in the UK have proved it is perfectly possible to generate more power annually than they consume using their solar PV photovoltaic panels, effectively giving them their electricity for free and selling their surplus back to the National Grid.


Myth 4: You have a to have a south facing house to have solar PV photovoltaic panels
Definitely not true this one! You can fit solar panels up to 90% from the south, which means if you house faces east or west you can still have them. You will have a reduction of up to 20% in power generation depending on how far away from south it is positioned to take account of the amount of time the panels will be slightly shaded as the sun moves across the sky.


Myth 5: Solar PV photovoltaic panels are not worthwhile because the UK doesn’t get enough sun

A lot of people get this one wrong. They assume that solar panels work exclusively on sunlight, when in fact it is the amount of daylight and its intensity that is important. The amount of daylight that falls on the UK annually is between 800 and 1000 watts per square meter, which is a similar level to the Netherlands and Germany. And the latter has already proved it has an established, strong and thriving demand for solar PV photovoltaic panels.


Myth 6: The planning departments don’t like solar PV photovoltaic panels
Nothing could be further from the truth. Too many people assume that planning departments won’t like the solar panels because of aesthetics, when actually this is more likely to only be an issue in conservation areas or with listed buildings. In these cases, there are solar products on the market which look like normal flush-fitting roof tiles and come in different colours to blend in, and in these cases planning permission has been granted.


Myth 7: The reliability and effectiveness of solar PV photovoltaic panels diminishes over time.
When they were first launched, solar PV photovoltaic panels were believed to have a finite lifespan of only a few years and this is still believed today. Odd then considering some of the first solar panels manufactured 40 years ago are going strong in Japan! Solar panels are actually guaranteed to maintain a minimum of 80% optimal production of energy for 20-25 years depending on the model. The only thing that will need replacing in the whole system is the inverter, which takes the current from the panel and turns it into usable current in the property – and that will need replacing about 15 years after installation.


Compared to the rest of the world, the UK lags well behind when it comes to Solar PV photovoltaic panels yet it is considered one of the simplest systems to fit for the best return. If every UK single household and business were to install a solar PV photovoltaic panel system of just 1kW, the government’s targets for 2020 could be achieved in a year.


To find out more about how you could financially benefit from having solar PV photovoltaic panels fitted to your property – even if you think you can’t afford to have it done – call one of our solar PV photovoltaic experts now on 0800 043 ****.