Here are some points of interest that may help you in your decision making:

  • A typical solar PV panel is about 1.65 metres x 1 metre. You could estimate how many could be fitted onto your roof space.
  • The amount of power one panel produces will be in the range 170W to 220W. The exact amount depends on the type of panel (see below). This is being improved all the time.
  • Suppliers quote a peak output. This is the maximum amount of power that would be produced by the panel under standard test conditions. In shady and low light conditions the amount of power will be less. How much less depends on the type of panel. Better, more efficient panels cost more.
  • The cost of PV panels ranges alarmingly. So we recommend getting quotes from more than one supplier for comparable systems with the same peak output.
  • Always ensure the supplier you decide on is MSC accredited and has signed up to the REAL assurance code of conduct.

 

PV type
Hybrid System
MonocrystallinePolycrystalineThin-film Technology

What is it?
Made up of monocrystalline and thin-film amorphous silicon
Made from a single large cell of silicon. Difficult to grow

Made up of many small individual silicon cells

Thin and very flexible

Comparitive CostMost expensiveExpensiveCheaper than monocrystallineGenerally cheaper than panels.EfficiencyMost efficient system

Good efficiency
Less efficient
Least efficient type
Notes

Suitable in low light and shady areas. The thin-film layer boosts its efficiency above monocrystallineGood in low light and shady areas

 
In full sunlight efficiency nearly equals that of monocrystalline. Efficiency goes down when shaded and in low light conditions
Good in low light and shady areas.
 
Can come in the form of roof tiles for conservation areas not keen on a panel on the roof.