I’ve been meaning to write this since May when I had solar panels fitted to my roof to contribute to my electricity requirements, and to cut down on my carbon footprint. My panels were fitted by Prolite energy systems and it only took two days for the guys to fit them plus two days when the scaffolding was put up and taken down. The three-man team fitting the panels were friendly and helpful (it always helps if you make them tea every so often!).

I now have free electricity during the day, a real bonus when I am working from my home office and have to run computers/printers/scanners etc plus charge all those electrical devices like mobile phones and DAB radios. See below for some informative shots – not necessarily very creative but they tell you what is involved if you’re interested in having the same kind of system. If you would like to contact Prolite regarding their systems then please quote my installation number: SC934 (this helps me as any appointment they get through my recommendation earns me £25 and any installation resulting from this results in a £500 bonus which I really could do with!). You can phone them (in the UK) on 0800 1956610 or visit their website on www.proliteenergy.co.uk

The panels aren’t actually fixed to the roof so there is no damage or drilling to my roof – they are pretty heavy and are laid onto metal frames weighed down by concrete. We’ve had some really high winds in the last few days – and they haven’t shifted so I feel reassured!

Here’s a photo of two of the team from Prolite who fitted my solar panels on a blistering hot couple of days in late May.

I have the maximum number of panels allowed – 16 250w monocrystaline panels. These are guaranteed for 25 years with an estimated annual yield of 3286.40 Kwh.

Here is the boring bit (unless you’re an electrician). The panels are photovoltaic – the solar cells generate electrical energy (DC current) which is conducted away to an inverter to create mains electricity (AC current). You don’t need bright sunlight to generate electricity – just a bit of daylight. I have a converter fixed in my garage (you can also have this in the loft space for example) next to my electricity board. The inverter is the new white Aurora box you can see on the left. (My electricity board is the older looking thing to the right with all the wires coming out the top). The whole thing takes up little room and can be moved if I need to do so at any point in the future.

I also have a GEO (Green energy options) Solos PV display inside my house which remotely reads the converter so I know how much energy I am using without having to go to the garage and stand on a ladder to read the converter reading. This is really handy as the big tick on it shows me when the panels are generating so much energy that I can run any major electrical devices, washing machine, dishwasher etc. from the system without drawing any current from my energy supplier (Ecotricity). This photo was taken early in the day in low sun conditions and I already am generating enough electricity to run appliances in my house.