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Solar Panels - Frequently Asked Questions

How do solar panels work?

Its a complicated scientific process, Solar PV Panels are made up of thousands of small photovoltaic cells. Each cell is a sandwich of two layers of silicon, which have different positive and negative electrical charges.
When a photon of light hits the first layer, it knocks an electron from it into the sandwich and creates an electrical current. This current is directed by metal plates into wires and into an inverter, that turns the AC current into a DC current we can use in our homes.

This smart technology has been engineered over decades to create the better and more effective Solar Panels that we use today. 


How much do solar panels cost?

The cost of purchasing and installing solar panels has come down considerably over the last 10 years. The cost of a solar PV system depends on the size of the system and the accessibility of the roof or site. SEAI grants of up to €2400 are available to help with the cost of purchase and installation. Typical installations of Solar PV panels in a standard house will cost from upwards of €4500 net of grant, depending on your requirements at your property


How many solar panels do I need to power a house?

Most properties will need the maximum number of solar panels available to them based on roof area and planning permission. Of course, less than this will cost less and still make a difference to your electricity bills. While solar PV panels are very efficient, they are unlikely to provide all of your electricity requirements, particularly in the winter months. New legislation allowing householders to sell electricity back into the National grid means that even if you did have more electricity than your house needs or your Smart Battery can store, it can be sold back to the electricity grid to reduce your costs even further. 

With electric vehicles likely to be the only cars available to buy in the future, it is unlikely that you could buy too many solar PV panels. Our solar installation experts can help you decide the right number for you.


How long do solar panels last?

Solar PV panels are an extremely well-tried and tested technology that has been around for decades. While improvements have been made to increase their efficiency, their reliability is proven and that means Flogas suppliers offer a 25-year guarantee with your solar panels to give you peace of mind that any problems in the future are covered.


How efficient are solar panels?

Solar panels have become more and more efficient and are available at lower prices than in the past. This combination, along with rising electricity prices, has meant that solar is now a very efficient way of producing free, cheap energy with which to power your home and electric vehicle.


How much electricity do solar panels produce?

Our home energy experts can help you decide on the number of panels that are suitable for your home, and give you an estimate of the energy they will produce. The amount of electricity generated from month to month by an electric panel array will depend on a range of factors including the size of the system that’s been installed, the location of the house, and the direction in which the panels are facing to capture sunlight. 


Which direction should solar panels face in Ireland?

Solar panels in Ireland are best placed on a south-facing roof to maximise the amount of sunlight available. Changes in planning laws mean this no longer needs to be the rear of the house, as long as no more than 50% of the roof is covered with panels. Our free technical site assessment will be able to give you the best options for saving with solar at your home. The best rooftops for solar panels to generate electricity are those that are south-facing, and away from trees or adjacent structures that could cover them with shade. The roof should also be in good condition since solar panels do not provide a fix to existing issues! In some cases, where space permits, it may also be possible to mount the panels at ground level also.


Do solar panels work in Ireland?

While it’s true that solar panels in Ireland are unlikely to produce the same amounts of energy as solar panels in a sunnier country such as Spain, solar panels can still produce a significant portion of your home’s energy requirements, particularly from May to September. While heating is not required as much in these months, hot water, household electricity and the increasing use of electric vehicles mean solar can provide significant year-round savings to your energy bills. When combined with Smart batteries to power your house with off-peak energy, the savings increase significantly.


How many solar panels do I need to power an electric EV vehicle?

An average electric vehicle uses around half of the energy used to power the average house to travel 15,000km a year. How many solar panels are required to provide this kind of energy to your home would depend on the home’s location and the direction of the roof. It would be fair to say that most average solar systems can make a significant contribution to cover most, or if not all electricity used by an electric vehicle. By combining them with a Smart Battery you can also power your electric car with cheap electricity day or night.


Do I need planning permission to install solar PV panels?

Solar PV systems installed at a domestic house under 12 sq. metres (and representing less than 50% of the total roof area) are exempt from planning. That’s flexible enough to get a significant solar panel array installed on most medium to large properties in Ireland without planning permission.


Are Flogas Solar systems safe?

Yes of course.  We here at Flogas take safety very importantly and have only partnered with fully trained, accredited and insured experts, with thousands of installations completed to date.  They only use fully CE certified panels, invertors, divertors and switchgear, and are fully registered with Safe Electric for your absolute peace of mind.

What energy rating does my house need to be to install solar panels?

Any house of any age can instal solar panels, but SEAI grants are only available to homes with a BER (energy rating) or B3 or higher. This is because the SEAI wants to encourage homes with poor energy ratings to improve other elements first before investing in solar panels.


Get your free solar panel quote from Flogas