Ideal facing direction is South. If your roof is facing East or West there is a slight loss of production but not enough to make an installation not worthwhile. North is more problematic as light levels are reduced on this aspect. More important than orientation is shading.
The panels have a 20 year warranty and a working life of about 40 years.
The usual install is 4kW which is 16 panels and a total panel area of 32㎡ if you do not have enough space you can choose a higher Watt panel which will allow you to use less in order to get up to the 4kW boundary. For example 12 BenQ solar panels will at 330W will get the total amount of kW up to 3.96kW. It is important to remember that if your roof is large enough then there is no need for higher Watt panels because they are more expensive.
This is very important as shade from chimneys and trees or adjacent structures can significantly reduce output. All potential installations are surveyed for shade to help produce estimates of returns.
The most common installs are panels linked together in string, the issue with this is that if there are any issues with shading when one panel is shading the remaining panels perform badly because the lowest performing panel dictates how the rest of the panels perform. The effects of shading can be minimalised by using optimisers, put simply this is a device which attaches to the back of each panel and allows each panel to operate independently, therefore when one or more panels are in shade the rest are unaffected and can perform to their maximum.
No, Not directly. Those types are called solar thermal panels. However, you can arrange for excess any electricity you make from your PV that you are not using for appliances and lights in the home to be diverted into heating your hot water cylinder via a heating element in your cylinder. This is a popular modification as it reduces the amount of excess electricity you sell at the lower rate and reduces the amount of electricity you buy at the higher rate if you needed to heat water.
One day is usually sufficient for 4kW.
Nothing, the panels are located onto a surveyed roof calculated to the appropriate loading with stainless steel German made hooks and bolts. They are clamped with the best quality fastenings away from the edges of the roof to minimise wind loading.
No, panels can be fitted onto flat roofs using special fittings to give the appropriate angle to the sky.
Roof angle is not that critical but according to the MCS irradiance tables 38 - 40 degrees will give marginally better results than lower or higher roof pitches.
You will always make electricity in daylight but not as much due to there being 16 hours of daylight in summer and 6 hours of daylight in the winter.
Yes, solar PV can be put on other surveyed roofs or even on the ground using frames designed for the job. See our installation page for more.
There is slightly more work needed for slate compared to concrete tiles as the slate requires lead flashing but ultimately, it is the roof timbers that take the load. (Link to slate fixing) - Do you mean the installation page?