5kWp solar systems: Prices, output, and returns

5kwp solar systems

by James Martin II on October 2, 2012

5kWp solar systems are becoming an increasingly more common investment for residences and businesses across the UK. With prices falling, the attractiveness of solar PV technology as an investment has improved dramatically in just the past 2 years or so. This article provides an overview of typical pricing and power outputs that a customer might expect when considering an investment in a 5kWp solar system.

Pricing for 5kWp solar systems in the UK

Solar panel system prices have dropped dramatically in the UK in recent years. Reasons for this include significant growth in solar panel and inverter manufacturing in China, and steadily declining solar incentives in the UK, which has in turn resulted in stronger competition between solar installers.

Average prices for solar PV systems in the UK at the time of writing come in at around £1.40 per watt, meaning that the average cost of a 5kWp solar system of fair quality is less than £7,000. 

There are, however, of course a range of prices and quality when it comes to systems. Those that use high-end components will generally be dearer, whilst the cheaper systems will cost less. You can compare 5kWp solar system prices instantly and for free by requesting a Solar Quote Comparison from Solar Selections by filling out the form to the right of this page.

Output for a typical 5kWp solar system in the UK

The following factors influence solar system output:

-Geographical location of the system and the amount of sun that can be expected there.

-Orientation and tilt angle of the solar panels.

-Presence or absence of shade on the panels.

-Operating temperature of the panels (higher temperatures can negatively impact panel output).

-Whether the solar panel array is properly sized to match the inverter capacity.

-The quality of the components used in the installation–i.e. the panels and the inverter.

Depending again on the placement of the system on your property, it will receive a different amount of sunlight depending on the time of day, season, and even weather trends for the year in question. The amount of sunlight that lands on the system’s solar panels will directly affect the system’s power production. As a daily average, a solar system can be expected to produce approximately 2.35 kilowatt-hours (kWh, or ‘units’) for every kilowatt (kW) of installed capacity.

Therefore a 5kWp will yield approximately:
- 2.35kWh x 5 = 11.75kWh on an average day.
OR
- 11.75kWh x 365 = 4,288kWh per annum.

Having said this, even for systems in the north of England, a Solar Selections customer with a slightly smaller 4kWp system has managed to produce over 4,120kWh per annum.

Indicative return on investment (ROI) for 5kWp solar systems

The financial returns from a 5kWp solar PV installation are heavily dependent on the Solar Feed-in Tariff incentive that the system is eligible for. The UK’s Solar Feed-in Tariff scheme pays solar system owners a premium for each kWh (unit) of power that they generate. Financial payback therefore depends not only on total system yield, but also how that power is used–in particular how much is sent to the grid as opposed to how much is being used on the spot by the home or business.

Download a 5kWp solar power system ROI Calculator*

How to use the calculator:

1. Download the Solar Selections 5kWp solar system ROI calculator (Excel spreadsheet file)

2. Request a Solar Quote Comparison of the solar system installers in your area to obtain system prices,

3. Alter the variables in the light blue boxes in the spreadsheet (system size, system price, etc) in column B to reflect your situation and calculate system Return on Investment (ROI).

(You may also open the file in Google Docs if you have a Google account.)

*Calculator outputs are indicative only–please keep in mind that electricity rates and Feed-in Tariff rates may change over time.

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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