Solar Panels 101: Everything that you need to know

Solar panels or heat pumps? What is the difference between a solar panel and a photovoltaic panel? Quotation for a solar panel?

For all your questions, here is your succinct guide for the essential information that you need to know before you consider your solar panel project.

Difference between solar panels and photovoltaic panels

When deciding on installing panels for your home, you need to first decide for what purpose you need the panels to identify what kind of panel you need:

  1. Solar panels: convert solar radiation into heat 
  2. Photovoltaic panels: convert thermal energy into electricity 

Once you identify the objective of your installation, you can proceed further with the identification of the certified installer for solar panels. Through the Abilect platform, you will be able to access the network of providers certified for the job and local to your neighborhood.

How do solar / photovoltaic panels work

While the purpose of use of the panels may be different, they work in the exact same way:

  1. Sunlight is received by the cells of the panels
  2. The light excites electrons in the cells of the panels creating a direct current
  3. The direct current enters an inverter (installed with your solar panels) and is converted to alternating current
  4. The alternating current is used to either power the electricity of your house or provide a source of heat energy

Process of installation for solar/photovoltaic panels

The installation of the panels follows a standard process:

  1. Installation of scaffolding
  2. Installation of panel mounts
  3. Installation of panels
  4. Cabling / wiring of panels
  5. Installations of inverter
  6. Connection of inverter and battery
  7. Connection of inverter to consumer unit
  8. Start and testing of panels

Factors influencing efficiency of panel functionality

The main factors influencing the efficiency of your installation is as follows:

  1. Degree of sun exposure – given that the panels work on converting sunlight into electricity / heat, before deciding on a solar / photovoltaic panel installation, it is important to ensure that your house has a strong degree of sun exposure without any obvious blockages to incoming sunlight. You can use Abilect’s Green Energy Budget Calculator to determine whether your house is suitable for such an installation.
  2. Orientation of your roof – for optimal energy production, you need a south facing roof
  3. Roof angle – for optimal sunlight reception, your roof should have an inclination of between 22 and 75 degrees, but this also depends on the location of your house
  4. State of the roof – does it need repairs, or does it need to be renovated in order to allow for a solar panels installation?
  5. Weather – do the weather conditions in your region create situations where there might potentially be accumulation of material on the panels that blocks sunlight from reaching them?

Approximate costs for a solar panel quotation or a photovoltaic panel quotation/expected subsidy

The average cost of a solar/photovoltaic panel installation (inclusive of material) is on average 26,000 CHF + VAT. The expected subsidies are around 4,000 CHF.

You can use Abilect’s Green Energy Calculator in order to get an estimate for your home.

Enhance the energy efficiency of your home:

If you are looking to increase the energy efficiency of your home, beyond the installation of panels, you can consider the following work:

  1. Insulation work – insulation of façades, windows, doors
  2. Replacement of windows/replacement of doors
  3. Combined renewable energy sources – e.g. solar panels with a heat pump installation
  4. Installation of smart home devices to monitor and optimize your consumption – consciousness inspires action 

Next steps

If you are interested in installing solar panels or photovoltaic panels for your home, please contact Abilect at or 052 643 13 00.

With Abilect you can receive a quotation for your solar panels or photovoltaic panels, free of charge, without engagement. The Abilect team will help you with your project from the initial consultation to the recommendation and provision of material, the execution of all required administrative procedures, as well as the final installation. Additionally, Abilect also offers maintenance packages following the 3rd year from the date of installation.

Request a quotation for solar panels or request a quotation for photovoltaic panels from Abilect today.

Abilect is active in all cities and cantons in Switzerland