Solar panels in Spain are a fantastic way of cutting your electricity or gas bills plus to do your bit towards a cleaner environment - find out whether your home is suitable and how solar panels work.
Solar panels are made of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which turn sunlight into electricity. This electricity can then be fed into your home's mains electricity supply.
The technology behind solar is relatively old, despite their futuristic appeal, but while the basics are the same the efficiency of solar panels has improved greatly in recent years.
It’s worth noting that solar panel suppliers often have two types of solar panels on offer: thermal panels and photovoltaic (PV) panels. The former are used only to heat water.
Solar panels are an environmentally friendly way of producing electricity for your home. As mentioned above, the technology relies on photovoltaic (PV) cells to turn sunlight into electricity.
The electricity produced by your solar panels will be used to power any appliances currently in use within your home. Any electricity which is not used will be sent to the grid.
So, in essence, solar panels work by producing extra energy which either gets used by you, or gets sent to the grid. Any electricity you consume which is in excess of what your panels are producing will be sourced from the grid.
Yes. It is. Solar panels, despite their name, don't need direct sunlight - they also work in cloudy or overcast weather.
Although. cloudy weather diminishes the generating capacity of panels by approximately 50% in comparison to direct sunlight, solar panels in the winter are still a valid means of producing electricity
No. You won't notice any difference. If the panels aren't producing much electricity, you'll just use electricity from the Grid instead. Solar panels don't replace the energy you currently use, they simply supplement them with power from a greener source when possible.
No. They're always on.
Solar panels usually have a 25-year manufacturers' performance guarantee and you should get another 10 to 15 years of use beyond this.
The inverter - the piece of equipment that converts the Direct Current produced by the panels to Alternating Current on which the grid runs - needs replacing after about 12 to 15 years.
You generally don't need planning consent for solar panels. However, if you live on an urbinisation you should check first. Also, if your solar panels would be visible from the roadside of the property you may need to apply for planning permission. Our team of experts will advise you of this and it is advisable to check with your ayuntamiento if you're not sure.
You won't notice the difference between using your free electricity and using electricity from the Grid, and you won't even notice the transition. If your panels are correctly installed your system should automatically switch over when stored solar power is available to you.
To make sure you use as much of the free electricity from your solar panels as possible you need to try and use more electricity during the day, when your panels are producing electricity.
You could try:
• Putting the washing machine etc on during the day.
• Charging mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets during the day and using their battery power at night.
• Using an electric slow cooker to cook your food during the day.
Alternatively you may be able to store some of the energy produced by your panels with a little help from your installer. Having an immersion heater connected to your panels for example is a good way to store your energy for when you need it.
Nothing will change, except that you'll pay less for your bills. You can stay with your existing energy supplier, who will take readings from your meter as normal and bill you as usual.