Solar Photovoltaic

Atlantic Contracting North West Ltd specialise in the installation and service of renewable energy, electrical, plumbing and gas. We are well established and respected within both the private & public sectors, working on domestic and commercial buildings.

Photovoltaic Array

Atlantic Contracting North West Ltd will install your solar package. We will assess your needs and requirements and carefully calculate a cost to provide you with solar, this will include the design, build and after install project manage your system helping you understand the true benefit solar has to offer.

ACNWL are accredited installers under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), which is a fundamental requirement for a solar installation to qualify for a grant or for the Clean Energy Cashback initiatives. We also hold membership with RECC Assurance Scheme and so you are assured by their Code and observation that its members (us) practice high standards when it comes to customer service.

In short this means; when we advise you about renewable ways of creating heat & electricity as well as the financial savings gained we follow a strict code of conduct. When we visit a client's property we follow special safety standards that apply to our installation and operation of Energy generators at your site. An Atlantic advisor can visit your home or business (subject to distance) and give you a free site survey and discuss your requirements without obligation. We strongly believe our complete care approach ensures that our customers' needs are met in an efficient and personal way, which provides confidence in the services we offer.

Atlantic Solar Pv division is dedicated to making the complete solar experience - from booking a survey to commissioning and servicing the system - as simple and hassle free as possible. We are leading installers in the Northwest for renewable energy installations also including Air source, Groundsource and Rain/Grey water harvesting and recycling.

The solar division at ACNWL set their mission out to bring solar power (photovoltaics) to your roof space so that we can make a difference, be it at a personal/family level, or at corporate level. We will roll out installations covering these sectors:

  • Residential developments and domestic properties
  • Commercial buildings
  • Schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, fire stations and prisons
  • Supermarkets, bookmakers, call centres, Public brewery houses

ACNWL recognizes that renewable technology has to be delivered to high standards of service, customer satisfaction and quality. To this end, we have attained high levels of training, accreditation and assessment under government and industry standards to provide all of our clients with the reassurance of a fully professional and quality approach during, whilst and after your install from our business.

For more information please call us on 01942 214 900 or complete our contact form

Photovoltaic Energy Panels (Solar PV)

Solar energy is energy from the sun. We often take the sun for granted, but the sun's energy is an abundant resource that can be harnessed for many valuable applications. The two technologies associated with solar energy are, photovoltaics or solar electricity and Solar Thermal. Applications of Solar Thermal include air and water heating.

The sun supplies energy in the form of radiation, without which life on Earth could not exist. The energy is generated in the sun's core through the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium. Part of the mass of the hydrogen is converted into energy. In other words, the sun is an enormous nuclear fusion reactor. Because the sun is such a long way from the Earth (150,000,000 miles), only a tiny proportion (around two-millionths) of the sun's radiation reaches the Earth's surface.

The energy sources that we primarily use in our industrial age are exhaustible. A supply shortage in easily extractable oil and natural gas reserves is anticipated in the first third of this century. Even if large new reserves were discovered, fossil fuels would still only last for a few more years.

The amount of energy in the sunlight reaching the Earth's surface is equivalent to around 10,000 times the world's energy requirements. Consequently, only 0.01 per cent of the energy in sunlight would need to be harnessed to cover mankinds total energy needs.

Here are some questions about photovoltaic arrays you may have pondered on, and answers to them.

Q. Is my home suitable for PV Solar?

A. Solar panels can be installed on E/S/W facing roof and convert sunlight into electricity that can either be used in your property or sold back to the grid. The ideal roof orientation is South for the best results. Solar panels do not require direct sunlight to work. As long as you have a sufficient amount of unshaded roof space on either South, East or West orientation (South orientating produce the best results), you can generate your own electricity.

Q. Is solar electricity suitable for my home?

A. Ideally a solar PV system should face between south east and south west, and be free of shade. For best performance they should be angled at 30 to 40 degrees - although you will still catch a reasonable level of sunlight at angles of 20 - 50 degrees.

Q. What if my roof gets partly shaded in the afternoon?

A. Shade falling on the roof will reduce the performance. How much it affects it by depends on type of shading: close structures such as gable windows or chimney stacks (hard shading) can reduce output significantly as they will tend to throw shade on the panels for most of the day. Further away objects such as trees or a neighbouring house (soft shading) may not block the sun during summer, but create shade when the sun is lower in winter.

Q. What size / cost for solar PV panels?

A. Most solar PV panels are around 1.6 meters high and 0.8-1m wide, each producing 175-250W of electricity (depending on the type and efficiency). Therefore to produce 1kW from solar panels you will require between 8 and 10 square meters of roof space for 4-6 panels. When estimating the size of your solar panel system we allow 10m2 per 1kW, because the installer needs to leave around 200mm of space at the side edges and below the panels and 300mm from guttering.

Q. How to calculate the size of your solar panel system from your roof area?

A. You will need to measure the size of your roof in order to calculate the available area in square meters. You can either get out the tape measure or use Google Earth to get an idea of the roof size. For example if your roof is 5 meters wide and you estimate that it is 4 meters to the ridge, then your roof will be approximately 20 square meters. Once you have calculated your approximate roof area then you need to divide this by 10, to calculate the size of your solar panel system in kW. If you have 20 square meters then you will be able to have a 2.0kW system. We can do all these calculations for you.

Q. FiT (Feed In Tariff)

A. Fit (Feed In Tariff) Please contact us to discuss the latest feed in tariff available

Returns 2012 - 2013

Energy efficiency requirements (EPC rating of D or above) In the government's words: "We have decided to proceed with an energy efficiency requirement for new solar PV installations with an eligibility date on or after 1 April 2012, as a pre-requisite of eligibility for the standard solar PV tariff rates. This will mean that new FITs applications for solar PV will need to demonstrate that the building to which the solar PV installation is attached or wired to provide electricity has an Energy Performance Certificate rating of Level D or above.

Q. Which solar PV panels work best?

A. All types of solar PV system are measured according to their peak power rating which is measured in kWp (Kilowatt peak). This is a guide to how much power the module produces under standard test conditions: it measures the power produced under 1kW per m2 of light. The more efficient the module, the smaller the array needed.

Crystalline silicon technology is the most commonly used in the UK and the most efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. It consists of thin slices of silicon cut from a single crystal (monocrystalline) or from a block of crystals (polycrystalline). However, it is expensive to manufacture which is why solar panels can be a costly investment.

Q. What is a kWh?

A. A kilowatt-hour is a specific amount of electricity. 1 KWh is identical to 1 unit of electricity that is shown on your electricity bill. An electrical item having a rating of 1kW will consume 1kWh for every hour it is on at full power.

Q. What does the inverter do?

A. The PV panels generate direct current (DC), this is not directly compatible with the 240V alternating current (AC) used in your property. The inverter converts the DC power to AC power that can be used in your property, and sold back to the grid.

Q. Whose panels do you use?

A. we will always use panels that are best matched for your installation. All products used are MCS approved.

Q. What guarantees will I receive?

A. Panels generally have an output guarantee of between 25 and 30 years and a manufacturer's warranty of around 12 years depending on manufacturer. Inverters also normally carry a warranty for 5/10 years. All products used are MCS approved in order to meet the government requirements for incentives. Full details of the 'Microgeneration Certification Scheme', which is linked to financial incentives which include Feed in Tariffs can be seen here:

Under the RECC Scheme Membership we will guarantee against any faults as a result of the installation process and workmanship carried out on properties. We will guarantee output should be no less than 80% of the predicted output over a year for our solar install excluding natural environmental unpredictable events meaning; 'no fault of ours'. In the event of a system needing attention once settled we will carry out remedial repairs with no extra fee if the fault is by our company install. A copy of our member's code can be found here:

Q. How long will the installation take?

A. Installation normally takes 2-3 days. (Scaffolding 1 day before install and removed the day after the completion) Domestic and 1-2 weeks to complete a commercial install.

Q. How do I manage my panels after a snow fall?

A. Just leave the snow on the panel and go make a snowman with friends and family. There is no point in attempting to clear this as it will naturally and quickly melt away within a day or so. There is no point in putting yourself or anybody else at risk.

Q. How well do solar panels work in cloudy conditions?

A. A cloudy day provides sufficient diffuse light by which the panel will produce electricity. Optimum electrical production occurs with bright and sunny weather conditions. Under a light overcast, the modules might produce about half as much as under full sun, ranging down to as little as five to ten percent under a dark overcast day.

If you would like to discuss any project work you may be considering or have any questions about our Solar Array installs please use the contact us and get in touch.