Contractor Blog

George Riley

Recent Posts

High Power Solar Panels

George Riley · 18 May 2022

In the space of just a few years, the average panel we install on domestic projects has shot up from around 315W to at least 375W, with more and more residential modules breaking the 400W barrier.

This is down to a few factors, such as the widespread adoption of new, more efficient technologies, bigger cells and bigger modules:

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Topics: Solar PV

Tier 1 Solar Panels: Are They Worth It?

George Riley · 07 Apr 2022

When researching solar PV, you may have come across the phrase ‘tier 1 solar panels’. It’s used as a selling point by some manufacturers and installers to demonstrate the reliability of their products. But is that really the case?

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Topics: Solar PV

New Build Solar Panels: Tips for Installing PV on New Houses

George Riley · 10 Mar 2022

Why aren’t new houses built with solar panels? It’s a common question whenever we chat to people about PV. And we share the frustration - solar panels can be more cost effective and visually appealing when built in from the outset, not to mention cutting operational carbon emissions and future owners’ bills from the moment they move in.

So let’s try to uncover why new build solar panels aren’t standard, along with the reasons why they ought to be and best practices for doing so.

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Topics: In roof solar panels, Solar PV

SunPower's 40 Year Warranty is a Game Changer

George Riley · 09 Feb 2022

Last week we tuned into a SunPower webinar, which promised a vague ‘big reveal’. We expected a new product or partnership, but what we got was a bombshell - Maxeon Solar Technologies (the company that makes SunPower panels) is extending its warranties to an epic 40 years for new installations.

Not only does this blow competitors’ 25 years warranties out of the water, it fundamentally changes the perception of solar power. We’ve long expected that panels will outlast their first 25 years, but for the first time a manufacturer is guaranteeing four decades of performance. You’re now buying 40 years’ worth of clean electricity upfront and that changes everything about your payback period and return on investment.

You’re buying products for life.

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Topics: Maintenance, Solar PV

SolarEdge Smart Modules Launch with Integrated Optimisers

George Riley · 27 Jan 2022

We’ve long discussed SolarEdge optimisers and inverters for their innovative, shade-busting abilities. Now the company has launched SolarEdge Smart Modules, solar panels with incorporated power optimisers. They are the first SolarEdge solar panels (though technically manufactured by a third party), with the main advantage being they are quicker - and therefore cheaper - to install than separate modules and optimisers.

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Topics: Solar PV

Spirit’s Year in Review 2021

George Riley · 15 Dec 2021

Once again we’re taking a look back at a year that’s been anything but ordinary. Changes have come thick and fast, in our daily lives, the renewables industry, environmental legislation and Spirit itself.

Read on for a roundup of all that’s happened in 2021...

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Topics: Spirit Energy news, Financing, EV charging, Solar PV, Environment

Half Cell Solar Panels: More Power, Better Shade Tolerance

George Riley · 13 Dec 2021

The solar manufacturing industry is devoted to trends - from bifacial to PERC - always seeking ways to maximise energy generation. One technology that’s seen a meteoric rise in the last few years is half cell solar panels (or half cut solar cells), on track to become near ubiquitous across PV modules.

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Topics: Solar PV

Carbon Intensity of Electricity Plummeting due to Renewables

George Riley · 03 Nov 2021

This week sees the opening of COP26, the Covid-delayed climate conference where world leaders are supposed to agree plans to meet the Paris Agreement and limit global heating to between 1.5-2°C. Governments have been scrambling to come up with commitments and pledges in the run up to the Glasgow gathering, with ‘net zero’ the phrase du jour.

One such announcement is that the UK will run on carbon-free electricity by 2035. So we decided to dig a little deeper into the carbon intensity of electricity to see how it’s changing, and what the future of renewable energy holds.

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Topics: Solar PV, Environment

Van der Valk Ground Mounted Solar Panels: A Cost Efficient Alternative

George Riley · 13 Oct 2021

We’ve written before about the possibilities of domestic ground mounted solar panels, and now there is an exciting development that could make these types of installation even more affordable. By essentially using the same mounting systems we use for flat roof PV, we can install Van der Valk ground mounted solar panels to cut time and costs for our clients.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

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Topics: Solar PV

Spirit Energy Wins Tesla Installer Award

George Riley · 07 Oct 2021

We’re thrilled to announce some exciting Tesla news (and it’s not Elon Musk’s new robot). Spirit has won Tesla’s Performance Excellence Award!

This recognises our work installing hundreds of Powerwalls to the exacting standards that enable us to be a Tesla Certified Installer. Much to our delight, the company also highlighted the value of our informative, impartial content in educating people about renewables and energy storage.

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Topics: Battery storage, Spirit Energy news, Tesla Powerwall, Environment