Solar PV panels, often referred to as a module, use multiple cells joined together to convert solar radiation into electricity. A PV cell consists of one or two layers of a semiconducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers causing electricity to flow. Therefore, the greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity.

SBS has an excellent range of Solar PV products offering an average of around 14% return on investment. This average of around 14% return on investment is based on an example use of multiple Enhance Photovoltaics XM Black Edition 250WP modules. If you would like to know more about the return on investment click here to read the report.

Suitable for:

  • New builds

  • Retrofit projects

  • South facing properties

  • Roof with a pitch of 25º to 40º

Technical information

PV panels, often referred to as a module, use multiple cells joined together to convert solar radiation into electricity. A PV cell consists of one or two layers of a semiconducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers causing electricity to flow. Therefore, the greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity. PV cells are either classified as crystalline or thin film. An array of panels is known as a string. The number of strings used depends on roof space and the capacity of the inverter. Most inverters can handle 2 strings and the panels should be divided equally between both strings. The inverter must be placed as close to the panels as possible to avoid loss of efficiency.

PV systems are sized in kilowatt peak, which is a measure of their maximum output in test conditions. Ideal conditions are a south facing roof with a pitch of 25º to 40º with little to no shade. If your system is on a South-West or South-East facing roof, then performance drops by about 5%. On a east or west facing roof it drops by up to 10%. PV panels should be sited away from trees or shaded areas. If any of the panels on a string are in the shade, only the panels after the shaded panel will generate to their maximum capacity, since every panel on a string is joined together. The panels can be fitted both portrait and landscape or a combination of the two and are either fitted In Roof, On Roof or on a Flat Roof.

PV modules (panels) generate DC (Direct Current) electricity. Our National Grid cannot accept DC electricity so we need to convert it before we can use it. A DC isolator switch is used to shut off the supply of electricity from the panels into the house in the event that any work has to be carried out on the house’s electric supply. The Inverter (the brain of the system) converts the DC electricity into grid-ready AC (Alternating Current) electricity. Next in line is the AC Isolator switch, which is used to turn off all PV generated electricity entering the house’s main fuse board. After passing through the AC Isolator the AC electricity is then sent via an Ofgem meter (where you record how much electricity you have generated) to your fuse board where the connection to the grid is made.



Hints & Tips

  • For optimum performance from the PV panel the roof should face due south at a pitch of 30-50 degrees.
  • Check for any buildings or trees that could cause shading across the panels.
  • In England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland you don't need planning permission for most home solar electricity systems, as long as they are below a certain size. You should however check with your local planning officer if your home is a Listed Building, or is in a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site.
  • Both the product and installer must be MCS accredited in order to receive the Feed in Tariff.
  • Photovoltaic Panels require little maintenance, although care should be taken to make sure dust, debris and snow is removed, to get the best out of the unit.