Choosing the right solution
What to look for
The are many considerations in choosing the right Solar PV system with criteria broken down into 4 main categories:
- The Solar PV Modules or Panels
- The Inverter
- The Mounting System
- The Design, Installation, Service & Support
Understandably the majority of people spend the highest proportion of their time considering the panels. There are literally hundreds to choose from and like it or not the highest percentage is manufactured in China; even many of the European brands are made in China. At 2020SolarPV we will offer you choice. Although we keep a limited range in stock our business model is not about selling you a panel that we have bought in bulk and gives us the best margin. We listen to our customers and will offer the best balance between performance, aesthetics and price in any given design. We source panels from many countries of origin and generally, for most domestic installations, we install all black 250w modules. There is a wide price spectrum; with well-known brands commanding the highest prices, often with only small increments in performance gains.
The heart of the system is the inverter, inverting (converting) direct current (DC) produced by the Solar PV panels in alternating current (AC) for use in the home and at the grid. This is the single most important and expensive item. This needs to be right; the wrong inverter can have a catastrophic performance impact if not specified correctly. At 2020SolarPV we favour the top branded European inverters even though some of the Asian competitive inverters offer longer warranties. Again we can offer you choice balanced with the best overall design characteristics.
We will look carefully for the best location to install the inverter in your home considering space, airflow, accessibility and operating environment. Attics are the most common location but they are far from the ideal place for an inverter. An integral garage or even a cellar can often be preferable. There are three main types of inverter; a standard inverter to handle panels on one elevation, an inverter with dual trackers for handling split or two separate elevations and thirdly individual micro inverters that sit behind the panels, which are ideal for complex multiple roof elevations or those impacted by difficult shade scenarios. Again the choice is about designing the right product for your home and optimising the output from your system.
Few people consider the hidden part of your system; the components that hold everything together and fixes your panels to the roof. Do not assume that all fixings are the same; you will never know how well your system is fixed to the roof until it goes wrong. At 2020SolarPV we pay attention to detail. We not only use the best quality German roof fixings but even the stainless steel screws, that fix the main brackets to your roof timbers, are the only ones tested and approved by the British Research Establishment (BRE) as fit for purpose; even they are twice the price of a standard screw found in most other solar installations. We also take care to use mounting brackets designed for the type of roof you have; be they slates, small clay tiles, big flat concrete tiles or Roman tiles. A one size fits all approach; regardless of tile type used by less meticulous installers, can create roof damage and potentially leaks. Flat roof and ground based systems also need great care, particularly when designing the system to consider ballast and structural loadings, wind lift and the effects of shade.
All of our components comply with their respective UK electrical or MCS requirements.
“Seamless operation, I couldn’t
believe it was done so quickly
and so efficiently.”
Design, Installation, Service & Support
Getting the design right from the off can make a huge difference in how much electricity you will generate and the income and savings you will earn. Often spending a little more on getting things right can yield great rewards with the overall output. Choosing the right Solar PV company goes without saying but remember a high price is not always a guide to high quality, similarly it is unwise to spend too little as John Ruskin below says. Talk with our customers; watch our online videos and you will quickly learn that our design and installation service is second to none.
At 2020SolarPV we aim to offer the best balance between price and quality
For the majority of our customers our recommended offering achieves this. But we recognise that some will prefer to upgrade to an alternative solution for which we can offer a breadth of alternatives. For others price is the key driver and we offer a means of addressing budget constraints by using lower cost product alternatives without compromising the installation quality.
Example customer product selection matrix
* This is standard on some of our packages.