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Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that the questions below are very general, non-specific queries, and we are more than happy to have a chat with you about any aspects of Photo voltaics in order to answer your specific queries.

Please either email us on or call us on +44 (0) 207 6100 900, and we will gladly talk photovoltaics and offer all the advice you may want!

What is PV (PhotoVoltaics)?
Photo (meaning light) and Voltaic (meaning production of electricity) is electricity that is generated by converting sunlight into usable electricity by a process with no moving parts and which produces zero emissions and no noise.

What are PV Solar Panels?
These are actually often referred to as ‘solar modules’, to avoid confusion with the other type of solar panels – solar thermal, which are water heating devices.
Read More

How are PV solar modules different to other solar panels?
The other type of solar panel is ‘solar thermal’. These are panels (or collectors) which are connected into your plumbing and heat some of your water by solar radiation.

Why install a PV system?
The need for electricity is not going to go away anytime soon, neither is the sun. On the other hand, coal, gas, and oil are. These have become short-term solutions to a long-term need. Read More

How long will my system last and what maintenance or cleaning will it need?
Panels which we supply and fit will have warranties that guarantee >80% efficiency after 20 to 25 years, depending on the manufacturer.

The entire installation, materials and workmanship, is guaranteed for at least two years, but it should be noted that many of the earliest systems installed back in the 1970s are still working happily, albeit at slightly lower efficiency!

The panels are essentially maintenance-free, a wipe down once a year may be desirable but generally the angle they are installed at means they are self-cleaning. The electrical inspection and testing requirements are the same as for any other domestic electrical installation.

Will I need planning permission ?
Unless you live in a listed building, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or Special Scientific Interest, you will probably not need planning permission. If you live in a conservation area your council may ask you for details of the proposed system. We will, of course advise you of these factors at the first visit to your property, the assessment stage.

How much roof space will I need and which way should it face?
The space needed is dependent on lots of variables, including budget, aspect, tilt angle, and power required. The ideal situation is a south facing roof area clear of any shading by trees, other buildings, chimney stacks etc. For more information please see the ‘is my home or business suitable page.

What does "grid-connected" mean?
This means that your system will integrate seamlessly with your existing electricity supply. In times of high generation and low consumption (maybe when you are on holiday in the summer) the excess electricity flows automatically back to the national grid – for which you will be paid. When generation is low and demand is high, you will use all of the electricity generated by your system and any more you require will come from your supplier in the normal way. All of this happens automatically and silently.

Why should I choose Ecovolt?
We are one of the oldest, most experienced installers in the South-East with hundreds of residential and commercial installation under our belts.

We pride ourselves on our friendly, no nonsense approach. We are a small team which means you will be dealing with the same individuals right through the process. For more on the way we like to work with our clients please see ‘How We work with you’ page.

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