Solar Panels Scotland
Our Guide To Solar Panels in Scotland
Contact Us
Solar Panels Scotland
Our Guide To Solar Panels in Scotland
Contact Us
Solar Panels Scotland
Our Guide To Solar Panels in Scotland
Contact Us
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On all solar panel installations South Scotland Solar Ltd completes, our team are sure to have a chat with you about your homes energy usage. On every job we will always explain how best to use your solar PV system, including advice on what energy tariff is most suited to your needs and system.

If its worth charging your solar battery in a cheap night rate, discussing what percent you should charge and if its worth discharging your battery to the grid to receive extra export payments. Factors such as the best time in the day to do this for higher export payments will all be covered. 

We will also demonstrate how you can do this and more through the app, which will change with the seasons depending if there is more or less sunshine.

South Scotland Solar Ltd offers full after care advice and support on charging / discharging, as well as anything else relating to the you getting optimum results from your solar PV system.

Really pleased we went with Callum, professional, friendly, and excellent service, which he delivered on time, with no interruptions to us (as we work from home). His quote was the most competitive, and spent the most time assessing our needs. He then explained the different options and which one he thought was best for our energy consumption. Callum gives ongoing support to help guide us through the app and work out the best ways to maximise our energy and when to sell back to the grid, a complicated system made easy by having his knowledge and support.. I would highly recommend.
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Marie Gibson, Scottish Borders
5* Google Review, September 2023

Solar Panels Scotland

Our Comprehensive Guide To Solar Panels in Scotland

What Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels also known as photovoltaic panels or “PV panels”, are solar technology used to convert sunlight into electricity that can be stored or used as as a power source. Solar panels are comprised from numerous solar cells made from silicon, a semiconductor material. When solar panels are exposed to sunlight it is absorbed by the solar cells, which excites the electrons and allows them to flow, generating an electric current. 

It wasn’t until the 1970’s that solar panels as we know them today became a viable option, initially still expensive and not producing a strong return. These days solar has come a long way, with the development of modern technology being a major focus to help combat climate change and rising energy prices due to fossil fuel resources running low. 

The increase in energy prices since around 2020 has saw the demand for solar panels in Scotland increase drastically, as they provide an economically friendly solution to reducing your home electricity bills. Paired with solar battery storage, solar panels can reduce your energy bills by a large percentage which varies depending on what time of day you and your family are home using the electricity. South Scotland Solar Ltd will provide the best equipment and bespoke solar package, including advice on how to setup your system to sell your stored energy to the grid at certain times to get the best rates. 

Solar panels are a key component of solar energy systems or solar PV systems, which harness renewable energy from the sun. They are more commonly used in Scotland than people would expect, helping generate electricity for both residential homes and commercial properties. Scotland has one of the highest percentage ratios of homes with solar panels installed in Europe based on the population.

Solar panels are environmentally friendly and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing sustainable renewable energy. This is likely one of the reasons they are so popular in Scotland despite of the poor weather, with incentives from the Scottish government, including funding via grants as part of their Net Zero Campaign and climate friendly home energy.

In addition to traditional solar panels, there are also emerging technologies such as floating solar farms like the one installed this year in Leith, Edinburgh or the large array of panels found on Edinburgh Castle installed in 2022. Solar power is a significant part of the global shift toward renewable energy sources and Scotland plays its role in mitigating climate change.

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Scotland's first "floating solar panels" to be installed in Leith, Edinburgh
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Solar panel installation on Edinburgh Castle Estate

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels work through the process known as photovoltaic or PV for short, which is where certain components create electric currents when daylight hits. Below is a list of the main factors of how solar panels work:

  1. Sunlight Absorption: Solar panels consist of numerous solar cells typically crafted from silicon, a semiconductor material. When sunlight, comprised of minuscule particles known as photons, strikes these panels, they absorb these photons.
  2. Excitation of Electrons: As photons are absorbed by the solar cells, they impart their energy to electrons within the semiconductor material. This energy excites the electrons, enabling them to detach from their atoms.
  3. Generation of Electric Current: The movement of these excited, or “free,” electrons generate electric currents. This flow of electrons is what we know as electricity. By placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the solar cells, the current can be drawn off as usable electricity.
  4. Inverter Conversion: The electricity your solar panels create initially is DC (direct current), however, household appliances and the electricity grid us on (AC) alternating current. Therefore, the DC electricity produced by solar panels is passed into your inverter, converting it into AC electricity.
  5. Utilisation or Storage: The converted AC electricity used to power homes, businesses, and various electrical devices. Excess electricity can be stored in solar batteries for use at a later date, especially in off-grid or hybrid solar systems. In grid-tied systems, surplus electricity can be fed back into the grid, and the owner may receive credits or payments for the excess power generated through a process called net metering.

It’s important to note that solar panels require direct daylight to generate electricity efficiently. Factors to consider are shading, orientation, and tilt angle can affect their performance. Researchers and engineers continue to work on improving the efficiency and affordability of solar panels to make solar energy more accessible to people around the world. 

Are Solar Panels Worth it in Scotland?

Yes! Despite the country’s climate, solar panels work perfectly and are highly efficient in Scotland. It’s a common misconception that if you don’t get sunny weather, a solar panel system won’t work. The fact is you don’t need bright sunshine to get great generation from your system. We recently installed a 5.8kWp system in the Scottish Borders, that had a daily generation of 12.5kWh in early January, this is a higher output than a typical households daily energy use.

While it’s true that countries with sunnier climates generally have more solar potential, solar panels can still be a viable and cost-effective energy solution in Scotland. They produce energy in daylight, so it doesn’t have to be direct sunlight on a warm summers day in California, although this will of course produce a better return!

For maximum performance, professional well planned installation of the most suitable solar panel array ideally with a battery storage system is crucial! Installing your panels in the best location such as south facing roof with no obstructions and ensuring the inverter and battery storage integrate well with your panels and PV system.

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Solar Panels are still worth it in Scotland, even in winter time they can produce energy

Advantages Of Solar Panels

Solar panels offer numerous advantages, making them an increasingly popular choice for generating electricity for homes in Scotland. Listed below are some of the key benefits of solar panels:

By generating your own electricity, you can significantly reduce your monthly electricity bills, leading to long-term savings.

Although not providing high risk high reward returns like bitcoin or other new digital currencies. Solar panels are a safe bet to provide a return on your investment over the years and reduce your monthly outgoings.

Again professional installation using the best equipment and superior knowledge from an experienced installer is paramount to maximise on your returns.

Solar energy is a renewable resource, meaning it is inexhaustible and can be harnessed as long as the sun exists, providing a sustainable source of electricity.

Solar panels provide energy independence, reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources and the volatile energy markets.

Solar power is a clean energy source that produces no greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants, contributing to reduced carbon footprint and mitigating climate change.

The Scottish government offers incentives and subsidies to promote the adoption of solar energy, making it more affordable for consumers and businesses.

Solar panels have a long lifespan, typically around 25 to 30 years, and continue to operate with reduced efficiency even after their warranty period, ensuring a reliable energy source for decades.

Once installed, solar panels have low operating and maintenance costs, requiring minimal maintenance and providing free electricity for many years.

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Disdvantages Of Solar Panels

While solar panels offer many advantages, there are also some disadvantages and challenges associated with their use including:

  1. High Initial Costs: The initial investment for installing solar panels, along with necessary equipment like inverters and batteries, can be relatively high.
  2. Aesthetic Impact: Some people find solar panels unattractive, especially on residential properties, which can lead to resistance from homeowners’ associations and local communities. Modern technology has improved in this area with slick solar panel designs such as built in roof solar panels.
  3. Space Requirements: Solar panels require a significant amount of space for installation, especially for larger solar arrays. This can be a limitation in densely populated urban areas where space is limited.

3 Tips Before Solar Panel Installation

There are many things to consider when having solar panels installed, and as previously stated sound installation is essential. Here are 3 things to make sure you have checked before your solar panel installation goes ahead:

  1. You are using a certified MCS solar panel installer, otherwise your solar panels can’t be properly commissioned and this will effect your warranty.
  2. Be sure to get at least three different quotes! Too often we have visited customers for solar maintenance and repair work or to install battery storage and have found out they paid way over the odds.
  3. Ensure your installer has discussed with you in some detail the best type of solar panels and battery storage kit for your homes needs, as well as the best position to install your panels. This part of the process deserves maximum attention to detail.

Best Solar Panels Scotland

South Scotland Solar Ltd prefers to install Jinko Tiger N type solar panels. They provide the longest warranty on the market with a 25 year product warranty and 30 year performance warranty.
 
Jinko Tiger solar panels are made with the latest silicon technology, named “N type” which only a handful of panels are being made from. It ensures each solar panel has a longer lifespan, as it degrades far slower than a standard solar panel hence the 30 performance warranty they provide.
 
This durability makes it one of the best solar panels to install in Scotland, meaning it will withstand whatever our harsh climate decides to throw at it!
 
Jinko Tiger N Type solar panels are also come in very slick stylish black design. 
 
If you are looking to install panels with as much power as possible, say on small roof for example, we recommend you go with JA Solar Deep Blue 500 watt panels, purely for the higher power output the provide.
 
If you have a specific type of solar panel that you want to install, we will always do our utmost to source it for you.
 
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Jinko Tiger N Type, ideal for Scotland
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JA Solar Deep Blue 500watt, packing plenty of power!

Ground Mounted Solar Panels

Given South Scotland Solar Ltd are based in The Scottish Borders, we are no strangers to installing ground mounted solar panels that are popular in rural areas with extra space such as farms and cottages. 

Click here to read about ground mounted solar panels and their benefits. 

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Ground Mounted Solar Panels installed in Scotland

In Roof Solar Panels

In roof solar panels as the name suggests are built into your roof, also known as roof integrated panels, popular on new build housing developments throughout Scotland. 

Click here for more information on in roof solar panels.

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In Roof Solar Panels installed in Scotland

Solar Panels For Flat Roofs

Flat roof solar panels are growing in popularity, mainly due to the fact they provide a perfect unobstructed location to install your solar panels. They are also a feasible option for people looking to upgrade their existing solar PV system who have less space on their main roof. 

Click here for more information on solar panels mounted on flat roofs.

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Flat Roof Solar Panels installed in Scotland

Solar Panels For New Builds

South Scotland Solar Ltd can design, supply and install solar panel arrays to meet any specific requirements you may have for a self managed new build project, multiple new builds for local councils, construction companies and property developers. We are happy to quote around your blueprints and set criteria, however, as always we will make recommendations on the best panels, battery storage, inverter and overall PV system design to provide the best performance within the budget of your project.

Click here for more information on our solar panels perfect for new builds in Scotland.

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Solar Panels For New Builds in Scotland

Commercial Solar Installers

South Scotland Solar Ltd have only installed a small handful of commercial solar panel projects, we are keen to work with other small businesses, property developers and the likes to expand our portfolio and expertise in this area. We can offer fantastic value and attention to detail some other installers will struggle to match.

Although the company have not completed many commercial solar jobs and are limited by being a smaller independent installer, we can showcase these jobs and allow you to speak to the companies who hired us who are all delighted with the level of service.

If your job is beyond our limitations, we will be upfront about this straight away. If your project is located on the East Coast of Scotland, there are other competent local installers who we can bring on board and collaborate with.

For commercial solar projects it is best to send detailed information via email to enquiries@southscotlandsolarltd.co.uk

Best Solar Battery Storage Scotland

Customers tend to ask the price and features of the Tesla Powerwall first due to its brand name and it being so well recognised. There is no doubt the Tesla Powerwall range is one of the best solar battery storage options available in Scotland and worldwide. 
 
Regardless of the popularity of Tesla, we mainly install Growatt batteries, Growatt is the largest solar inverter and battery manufacturer on the globe and are the best solar battery in terms of overall value. With long warranties as standard at 10 years, where others only tend to offer 5 years upselling to 10.
 
Growatt solar battery storage is easy to install, easier to use and has a great monitoring app which allows charging and discharging to and from the national grid if required for a smart tariff.
 
Another solar battery storage option we provide is Givenergy, generally if the site restrictions require it or a customer specifically requests it.
Givenergy solar batteries are a popular choice, it’s known as the “smartest” inverter on the market, it is a little bit more expensive as its more difficult to to install and more complex in for consumer use.
 
Givenergy battery storage has just increased their warranty to 12 years, which is the longest on the market. They also have great UK based customer support.
 
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Growatt, best solar battery in terms of value
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Givenergy solar battery comes with 12 years warranty

Best Solar Inverter Scotland

The best solar inverters are the same as the battery storage options above. We stick with hybrid inverters which use their own battery, this guarantees there won’t be any communication issues between the inverter and the battery that you will often come across if you mix and match the brands of each system.

Click here for more information on solar inverters in Scotland.

Best Solar Panel Installers Scotland

South Scotland Solar Ltd, Galashiels, Scotland

Now of course with the fact we have skin in the game, we would say South Scotland Solar Ltd are amongst the best solar panel installers in Scotland. South Scotland Solar Ltd have been established for over 2 years and our aim is to become one of the best solar installers in Scotland, however, here is a list of established installers (in no particular order) with a strong reputation that we are looking to emulate:

  1. AES Solar based in Forres, Moray are a well established solar panel installer initially launching in 1979, AES Solar have worked on various large scale commercial projects some of which are shown on their website.
  2. Alba Heat and Power from Glenrothes, Fife have a fantastic reputation as one of Scotland’s leading solar panel installers with strong customer reviews to back it up.
  3. John McIntosh Electrical Ltd up in Brechin, Angus are a small independent solar installer like ourselves, who again like ourselves have a background in all aspects of electrical work and amazing customer reviews shown on the likes of Angus Trusted Trader.

Click here for more information on solar panel installers in Scotland.

I cannot speak highly enough about the work Callum did for us with our solar panels. He provided an exceptional service and his knowledge and advice through the whole process was first class. Callum is totally trustworthy, turns up when he says he will, and is a true professional. I would recommend South Scotland Solar to anyone.
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Stephen Green, Near Edinburgh
5* Google Review, October 2023

Solar Panels Scotland Prices

Many people are online searching for an accurate cost of solar panel installation in Scotland. Often they have had an estimate and are looking to compare the price they have been quoted from other solar companies. South Scotland Solar Ltd always aims to be as transparent with our solar panel prices as possible.

The cost for solar panel supply and installation is more than what you will find online when just looking at the cost price of solar panels without them being installed by an accredited installer who can commission them.

We can install solar panels on your home from £4,000.

A 4Kw system starts from around £5,100 for full design, supply and installation.

Click here for more information on solar panel prices in Scotland.

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Solar Panels Scotland Grants

As mentioned above, Home Energy Scotland provide funding towards solar panels including grants and interest free loans. In some cases, free solar panels are available, however, this is limited to people who receive some form of income related benefits and the funding awarded often only covers the full cost of smaller PV systems.

At one point grants for solar panels and battery storage where available up to £7,500, however, the incentive has shifted to reward people purchasing renewable heating as well as solar and not just solar products on their own. 

Grants for solar panels are currently on hold, we will be sure to provide an update as soon as there is any news of this changing.

South Scotland Solar Ltd, Galashiels, Scotland
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Quote From A MCS Solar Installer, NOT A SALESMEN!

Other F.A.Q About Solar Panels in Scotland

Please contact us if you have anymore questions about solar panels in Scotland.

All of our systems come with state of the art monitoring systems, easily downloadable to your smart phone. You’ll get live performance updates, and trended graphs to show how your system is preforming.

Solar panels do not necessarily need direct sunlight to generate electricity; they can produce energy from daylight, even on cloudy or overcast days. While solar panels are most efficient in direct sunlight, they can still generate power when the sky is cloudy because they can absorb diffused sunlight, which is sunlight that has been scattered by the atmosphere.

The efficiency of solar panels can be reduced on cloudy days because less sunlight reaches the panels. However, they will still produce some electricity as long as there is daylight. Even on a cloudy day, solar panels can generate a significant portion of their maximum capacity, making them a viable source of renewable energy in areas with frequent cloud cover.

It’s important to note that the amount of electricity generated by solar panels is directly proportional to the intensity of light they receive. Therefore, while solar panels can produce some power on cloudy days, their output will be lower compared to sunny days with direct sunlight.

Yes, solar panels can still generate electricity in the rain, although their efficiency is reduced. Raindrops can scatter sunlight, and some of the diffused light can reach the solar panels, allowing them to produce a small amount of electricity even during rainy weather. However, the amount of electricity generated in rainy conditions is significantly lower compared to sunny or even cloudy days.

Actually, rain can have a cleaning effect on solar panels, washing away dust and debris that might have accumulated on the surface, which can actually improve their performance afterward.

Yes, solar panels do work during winter in Scotland, but their efficiency is reduced due to shorter days, lower sun angles, and often overcast or cloudy weather. Winter in Scotland typically brings reduced sunlight hours and more diffuse sunlight, which can affect the amount of electricity generated by solar panels.

However, it’s important to note that solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to function – they can still generate electricity from daylight, albeit at a lower efficiency. Even on cloudy or overcast days, solar panels can produce some power. Additionally, modern solar panel technologies are designed to be efficient in low-light conditions, although their output is not as high as during sunny days.

To compensate for the reduced sunlight during winter months, solar energy systems in regions like Scotland can be designed with larger capacities or combined with energy storage solutions such as batteries. These batteries can store excess energy generated during sunnier periods for use during the darker, winter months, making the system more reliable and ensuring a continuous power supply.

Despite the reduced efficiency during winter, solar panels can still contribute to a portion of a household’s or business’s electricity needs in Scotland and other regions with similar weather patterns. When considering installing solar panels in such areas, it’s essential to work with solar experts who can design a system tailored to the specific location and energy requirements, taking into account the seasonal variations in sunlight.

The average lifespan of a solar panel is typically around 25 to 30 years. However, this does not mean that solar panels stop working after three decades. Instead, it indicates the period during which they can reliably produce electricity at a certain efficiency level.

Most solar panel manufacturers offer warranties that guarantee their panels will still produce at least 80% of their rated power output after 25 years. In many cases, solar panels continue to generate electricity well beyond their warranty period, although at a slightly reduced efficiency due to wear and tear over time.

Solar panels are generally low-maintenance, which is one of their significant advantages. However, they do require some attention to ensure they operate efficiently over the long term.

Solar panel bird proofing has been a bit of a new craze in recent years, and we always suggest you have this installed from the get go. We also offer installation on solar panel arrays already in place.

It’s a great match! Not only can you charge your car with green energy you have generated yourself, we can programme your battery system to charge throughout the night on cheaper EV tariffs, reducing your energy bill by up to 3 times!
Yes, there a a few different options here. Get in touch to have a chat around your options.

This is dependent on how and when you use your energy. If you are out most of the day, a battery storage system is without doubt worth it. Your battery system will store all of that great solar generated energy throughout the day for use later when your home is typically using high levels of energy.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

CONTACT SOUTH SCOTLAND SOLAR LTD

With 15 years of experience within the electrical industry under his belt, Callum decided in the autumn of 2021 the time was right to start his own business. He passionately believes in the power of solar energy and helping his customers enjoy the many benefits it has to offer. If you are thinking about converting your home or business to solar and would like more information South Scotland Solar would love to hear from you.

Hours

Mon 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Tue 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Wed 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Thu 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Fri 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Sat 09:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sun Closed

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