Sofar inverter

Solar Equipment Guide All the parts of a domestic solar panel system explained

What are all the parts? What do they do? How does the electricity flow?

Here, we'll spin over all the main components, what they do, and how the whole system works both when the panels are generating in the daytime and when they are off at night.

Section 1: Main components of a domestic PV solar system

There are 5 main components to a home electric solar panel system:

  • Solar panels
  • Roof mounting system
  • Inverter
  • Storage battery (optional)
  • Hot water immersion diverter (optional)

Let's go through each one.

The Solar Panels

The main part! The solar panels produce DC (direct current) electricity at varying voltage (depending on the conditions and how they are connected together). They work both in direct sunshine and on cloudy days too.

Domestic solar panels in Ireland

More about Solar Panels

Roof Mounting System

The first part of the installation is fitting the roof mounting system. It's effectively a big frame that's attached to your roof, for the solar panels to be attached to. It can be attached to almost any type of roof, though some are easier than others. We'll always come and check out your roof in person before giving you a final system design, just to check the plan for the mounting system.

Solar panel roof mounting in Ireland

More about Solar Roof Mounting

Inverter

The DC electricity produced by the panels needs to be changed to AC (alternating current) for your house to use. That's the main role of the inverter. Your solar panels also produce a varying voltage depending on the sun's strength, and it's the inverter's job to convert that to a nice consistent 240V which your house runs at.

The inverter is also the brains of the system. It controls where the power flows to and from, and also logs all the data and sends that out to the various apps that you can monitor your system on.

Solar inverter on wall

More about Solar Inverters

Storage battery (optional)

An optional part of the system is a storage battery. South-facing panels will produce the largest amount of electricity during the middle of the day, whereas most households tend to use more electricity in the mornings and evenings. The idea of the storage battery is to store the excess power from the middle of the day to use during those peak consumption times later on.

You might hear the term "hybrid inverter". That's an inverter that can also connect to storage batteries, so you'll need a hybrid inverter if you have storage batteries. Again, the inverter is the brains of the operation, controlling when the battery is charged and discharged.

However, there are other options for the excess electricity, such as a hot water diverter, or selling the power back to the grid.

Solar panel battery

More about Solar Storage Batteries

Hot water immersion diverter (optional)

Another use of excess electricity is to heat your hot water tank through an immersion heater. We certainly can install one if you wish, but heads up that we generally don't recommend these anymore for most people. Since the advent of smart meter tariff plans they are poor value for money for most people

More about Hot Water Immersion Diverters

Section 2: Where the electricity from your panels goes

Domestic PV solar systems are very clever and divert electricity to make the best use of the power you are generating.

Domestic solar panel installation showing all components such as the solar panels, inverter, diverter and battery
Priority #1: running your home

Electricity from your solar panels is first used to run your home. The electricity always goes here before anything else like charging a storage battery or hot water diverters.

Priority #2: charging the battery (if installed)

If your solar panels are producing more electricity than your home currently needs, then any spare power will go to charge your storage battery if you have one.

Priority #3: hot water diverter (if installed)

If you still have spare power coming from your panels after all the above, then the hot water diverter will kick in (an optional part of a solar PV installation). If there is spare electricity that your house doesn't need, and your battery is already full, then the electricity will be diverted to an immersion heater in your hot water tank to create hot water for later.

Priority #4: responsive electric car charger (if installed)

Certain models of electric car charger (for example, the Zappi EV car charger) can be connected to your solar PV system, and set so that they take any overflow excess power. This is a great way to use any spare electricity, as the car charger will turn on and off automatically to soak up any unused electricity.

Priority #5: give / sell power back to the grid

The final use of unused electricity generated by your panels is to give it to the grid for other people to use.

Before 2022, excess electricity was given to the grid for free. A feed-in tariff has now been introduced in Ireland, which means you will get paid for any excess electricity you give back to the grid. The rates depend on your electricity supplier.

More about solar feed-in tariffs in Ireland

Section 3: What if my house needs more electricity than the solar panels are generating?

If your home needs more power than your panels are generating, then the system will top it up firstly by drawing from the battery, and then from the grid as well. The system can use all three sources of electricity at the same time.

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Pat MonahanJune 2024
Overall, great experience with PureVolt I had an overall great experience with PureVolt Solar in relation to a recent install of a PV system. From the initial consultation and site visit, to install and operation of the system, the entire team was efficient and excellent. Once install was completed the team also took care of all relevant forms required for the grant and NC6 making the whole process a simple, straight forward, hassle free experience.
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Borja Blanco IglesiasJune 2024
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Nathy O'ConnellMay 2024
Top class service from start to finish!Top class service from start to finish! 10.5kwh Peak Array, 5.2kwh Sungrow Hybrid inverter, 19.2 Kwh Battery Storage on DC side. The pure volt team had amazing communication from the consultation design stage , to the install team who were very professional and courteous when on site . The installation was very tidy and looked like people who took pride in their work . Would recommend to anyone.
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Declan RocheMay 2024
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Graeme PartridgeMay 2024
Professional, friendly and knowledgable teamSystem installed April 2024. Professional, friendly and knowledgable team. I have no problems recommending PueVolt Solar.
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Shane EganMay 2024
Competitive with no hidden extrasThis is a very simple review - if you need to find out some useful info about the benefits and return on investment details of solar you won't find a better website than purevolt.ie. From our own personal experience of then choosing them for our install it was entirely positive - We got 3 quotes and there's was the most competitive with no hidden extras. It was a tricky enough set up over two locations which was handled efficiently and on time over two days with no mess and no fuss. From the design guys to the installers/electricians and the background office staff everyone was a pleasure to deal with and they really know their stuff. We would have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending PureVolt to anyone considering solar power.
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John DalyMay 2024
Good value and exceptional serviceIf you're 'still thinking about' investing in solar panels and/or not sure who to go with, look no further than PureVolt Solar: good value and exceptional service from start to finish. And, as a bonus, they're lovely people! They've recently completed an installation for me and I couldn't be happier.
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Pierce KennedyApril 2024
Good price, fast, and high quality.Great service from Purevolt. Good price, fast and high quality install. Couldn’t fault them
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Emily ChurchApril 2024
Would highly recommend Purevolt!I’m so happy we went with Purevolt for our solar panels. Everyone we dealt with was extremely helpful and communication was brilliant, and we never felt like we were being pressured to buy a bigger or more complex system than what we wanted. The install itself was great, the guys arrived on time and were happy to answer all our questions, and did a great job cleaning up after too! Kelly was particularly helpful too with answering my questions and helping with the grant process. Would highly recommend purevolt for anyone considering solar!
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John BaylyApril 2024
The Purevolt team is a credit to the industryThe Purevolt team are a credit to an industry that is getting some bad rep. The initial enquiry was competently returned in an extremely professional and structured format with all equipment details. The visit by Ian was to the agreed minute and all required details taken onboard. The order information submitted by Kelly was very simply followed and all small queries answered very promptly and eloquently. The installation date was the installation date with details given of what turned out to be an exceptionally courteous, engaged and competent installation team who genuinely have pride and enthusiasm for what they do. They also have "dustpans ". I can't recommend the team at purevolt highly enough and am and will further recommend them to my friends and family and colleagues which is the ultimate recommendation I can give anyone. I hope the efforts of the team are appreciated by all levels at PureVolt solar. .
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Phil MooreApril 2024
Very professional and promptPureVolt were very professional and prompt throughout the entire process of getting my solar panels installed. Highly recommend.
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Helen DayFebruary 2024
Everything ran smoothlyFrom the start, Purevolt were very professional and explained everything to us and kept us updated. From the panels being fitted right through to the turning on of the connection everything ran smoothly. What I liked about Purevolt was, when they said they would be here, they were here, no waiting around for them. Also, they were very competitive with their pricing and they didn't try to sell extras that we didn't need. We would have absolutely no problem recommending this company.
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Andrew KellyFebruary 2024
Efficient and communicative - would certainly recommend.
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K O'DDecember 2023
We couldn't be happier with the service and system itselfFrom the initial site inspection with Dan and the emails back and forth with Kelly we couldn't be happier with the service and the system itself. Everything was communicated clearly and all completed in the timeframe given. The work was very neat and done well. I would be happy to recommend PureVolt Solar to anyone.
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Gordon Hamilton-JonesDecember 2023
The time and effort put in was fantasticI would like to give a big thank you to all of the team at PureVolt who were involved in the design and installation of my recently installed solar panel system. The time and effort put in to what was a complicated design, due to my roof layout, was fantastic (Big thanks to Dan). The two installation teams, the panel fitters on the roof, and the electricians who connected in the Inverter, battery and eddi, were also fantastic. On the back end of this, back in their office controlling all the scheduling and admin etc., answering my many questions about many things but specifically the Grants, Kelly was a star. If you are considering a Solar Panel installation, PureVolt are the company you should go to.
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James CurranDecember 2023
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GearoidDecember 2023
Very neat, very well explained, super service.I had a great experience with John & Kelly on the initial quote and planning of the installation. The installation was done over 2 days and was perfect. Very neat, very well explained, super service. I had an issue with my hot water cylinder constantly heating when there was enough power but that was sorted very quickly. I would highly recommend the PureVolt team.
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Brian GDecember 2023
All very seamless. System is working great.I got three quotes for a Solar PV system and decided to go with PureVolt. The quote was in line with the others and they managed to get more KW out of the space available. We got a 4.5kw system in the end. Communication all along was excellent. The system was installed about 5 weeks after we ordered it, and we received our SEAI grant 3 weeks after the BER assessment - all very seamless. System is working great.
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Terry StoreyNovember 2023
Professional, friendly, organised and very tidyThe PureVolt team have been a pleasure to deal with from start to finish. They were professional, friendly, organised and very tidy. We have no hesitation in recommending this company to anyone.
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Paul DoyleNovember 2023
Each member of staff I dealt was fantasticI did a lot of research and spoke to many Solar installers before settling on Purevolt. I found them not only knowledgeable but willing to discuss any concerns and ideas that I had. At no point did I find them trying to oversell what I didn't need. Their prices are very competitive and they show clear indicative examples on their site, which I think is very open. You have a fair idea of what you are getting into with them before even making contact. From the outset, each member of staff I dealt was fantastic. Their site visit was the most thorough of them all. Checking the roof, the attic where I was siting the equipment, the main fuse board and even where the earth was situated in the hotpress. This resulted in no surprises at installation. After sales service has been excellent, including a follow up visit from a technician to go through any queries I had and to verify all had been done correctly. Based on my experience there is nothing I could find fault with the company and I plan to recommend them highly if anyone asks (my first is already talking to them). As to the actual result from the installation, very pleased with the outcome so far. Even at this time of year my bills have been halved and will only improve as I get the system setup to my liking. As a user I get access and control over the system, enabling me to tweak and adjust as I need. You don't have to do this, I just like to :)
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sean meagherNovember 2023
The quality of the install was perfectI would highly recommend the Pure Volt team. Great customer service, very knowledgeable and helpful. The communications from the roofers and electricians during the install were excellent and the installation as a whole was completed on time and the quality of the install was perfect, very neat and tidy. The panels are in 4 months now and are performing even better than expected.
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Barak PearlmutterNovember 2023
10/10, would recommendWe got bids from a bunch of installers, PureVolt was best on all dimensions including price. The install was seamless. 10/10, would recommend.
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Philip LeeOctober 2023
Great workmanship, neat, quick and professional.Great workmanship, neat, quick and professional. 4Kw system is working perfectly and has made 3Kw since March 2023 installation.
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Iska EuropeOctober 2023
Excellent company to deal with from start to finishPureVolt Solar is an excellent company to deal with from start to finish. Following comprehensive discussion, the installation is professional and with minimal disruption. They also see to relevant paperwork, including SEAI grants. Also, our installation was subject to a random check by SEAI, who found every aspect was excellent. John, Westmeath.
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Anthony CondonOctober 2023
Very Good ServiceVery Good Service
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M HSeptember 2023
I was left with a professional and tidy installation.I started making enquiries to Solar installation companies in the autum of 2022. Most companies didnt bother to respond, some did but soon lost interest when they realised I had done my research and didnt want to just go with "what everyone else does" (whatever that means). PureVolt were the ONLY company that bothered to do a site visit and discuss what my requirements were and if they were feasable. Anything that was not possible was worked around with suggestions that were explained to me with no sales pressure to "Sign today for a special discount". As it turned out, they were wone of the more better priced quotes unlike some of the gougers out there. My install date had to be pushed back a few times due to supply issues (everyone wanted solar in Autum 2022), but i was kept well informed by John each time. Not once did i have to chase for an update. The guys who came to do the installation were complete proffesionals! They discussed everything with be before they started. I wanted cables routing in a certan way to a specific place and Ian the electrician explained where he could and could not do what i was asking and provided reasons why. The placement of panels on the roof was a tricky one (which is why many companies went silent upon seeing a photo of the house) but the lads stuck at it and I was left with a professional and tidy installation. (I think i called Ian the electrician "an artist"). After a month or so, I started getting error messages on the inverter. I contacted PureVolt and they raised a ticket with the support team for the inverter. After the support team checking the inverter remotely a few times, PureVolt organised a replacement inverter and came to fit it. I think after sales support is sometimes overlooked by people comparing prices only. Many companies install, take your money and you never hear from them again when there is a problem. I am confident that 9 months on, I could contact PureVolt and receive support. Highly recommended!
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kevin donovanSeptember 2023
I have highly recommend PureVolt to anyoneVery happy. I have highly recommend PureVolt to anyone that enquired about our Solar system.
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Dan CatanaseSeptember 2023
I would choose them again.My system was installed approximately one year ago. My overall experience with PureVolt Solar has been extremely positive. From the initial contact, site survey to customising the technical solution to suit my particular case and needs, I must say they were very responsive to all my questions, prompt in addressing any concerns, quick and tidy installation and great after sales customer experience. If I were to install another system I would choose them again.
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Charles McCarthySeptember 2023
Very neat workVery pleased no messing very neat work no cleaning up afterwards
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Catalin CucuSeptember 2023
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Eamonn EverardSeptember 2023
Good efficient serviceGood efficient service
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Paweł PomianekSeptember 2023
All goodAll good
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Michael FarragherAugust 2023
A pleasure to deal withInstalled 21 panels in Feb 2023 which have operated successfully todate. Their responsiveness and knowledge when compiling the quote to proccessing the paperwork required resulting in a efficient install in 2 days, has resulted in PureVolt Ltd being a pleasure to deal with and who l would return to again.
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Enda DonnellanAugust 2023
Top company.Top company..Any issues are always solved
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Martin TreacyAugust 2023
I can see results alreadyI found pure volt solar to be very professional and great to deal with. I can see results already, very pleased so far.
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Enda and Helene DooleyJuly 2023
...superior to competitors.From the outset our experience with PureVolt has been positive. We had a rapid response to our initial enquiry and the specification and costing was superior to competitors. The estimated time to complete the project was accurate. At all times our queries were answered rapidly. The on-site work was completed within two days and the team left the site tidier than before arrival (not everyone will hoover a tarmacadam drive!). Early days yet but the system is operating to our satisfaction. We would be very happy to work with PureVolt again.
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Seamus MorrisseyJune 2023
Easy to deal with and had great advice, no hard sellTop class from beginning to end, John was easy to deal with and had great advice, no hard sell, roofers and electricians top class and Kelly sorted out the paperwork with great effeciency, highly recommend Purevolt.
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adrian barryJune 2023
PureVolt going the extra mile for my tricky roof!I had a complicated setup and the very quickly found me a good solution and made sure it was at the most competitive price it could be. The installation was done very well, neatly and with PureVolt going the extra mile for my tricky roof!! We've been producing 65% of our electricity from the roof since they installed it and are on track to exceed our savings. I highly recommend them.
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Raymond CarrickJune 2023
PUREVOLT is a great company to work with...PUREVOLT is a great company to work with from first contacting them. I found their website has great information and worth going through before you decide what system you want. Very happy with the price. They did everything, except I needed to set up information for SEAI about the grant which the customer must do themselves. Had panels installed less than 2 months after first contacting them and everything was installed in one day.
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Darren McJune 2023
...can't compliment them enoughEverything went perfect from the work that was done on roof so tidy and neat can’t see cable all secured perfectly, to the electricians Tadhg and Jessica I can’t compliment them enough there work is first class nice neat, on wall ran cable down along the stud work cleaned up after themselves,a world of information went through everything all questions answered great information and told we’re only a phone call away if any problems, and kelly with all information and forms filled ahead of time Esb forms sent in ,ran very smoothly cant praise the lads enough thanks Purvolt
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Daniel FitzgeraldJune 2023
Highly Recommend.Excellent service and personnel from start to finish. Highly recommend.
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Rob ByrneJune 2023
Great service... and total professionals!Can’t recommend PureVolt highly enough. Great service from start to finish and total professionals! Delighted with my new Solar install.
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Michael JamisonJune 2023
Would highly recommend them.Ian, Kelly and the team in pure volt were excellent from start to finish. Very professional company. Any questions I had they got back to me straight away. The work of installing the solar panel system is neat and tidy. would highly recommend them. I will definitely be back to them if I need to add anything else to the system.
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Karen HammondApril 2023
Excellent workmanship and neat installationPurevolt were excellent to deal with from the quote all the way through to the installation. Extremely professional, excellent workmanship and neat installation. Purevolt completed all the paperwork for grants as soon as the installation was complete. Highly recommend them!
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Manish KheterpalApril 2023
Professional from start to finishGood planning and professional from start to finish.
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Ken CooganApril 2023
Professional InstallPleasure to deal with and professional install.
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Mathies Eduard RasmussenApril 2023
...installed just the way we wanted itWe had our solar & battery system installed by PureVolt in April 2023. Very short lead in time of just 13 days from booking to install for us. They were able to accomodate all of our requests, and everything was installed just the way we wanted it.
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Bryan ScullyApril 2023
We are delighted we proceeded with PureVoltCould not speak more highly for PureVolt . From start to finish, it was excellent and stress free. Very competitively priced and provided good, honest advice without trying to sell anything which wasn't needed. The PV system was installed on time and tidy by a very professional team to which they answered any queries we had regarding the installation. The PV panels themselves are performing brilliantly so far. We are delighted we proceeded with PureVolt and would highly recommend them.
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John KilroyApril 2023
...delighted with the resultsDelighted with service from beginning to end in dealing with Purevolt solar. They were very competitively priced, had an incredibly fast turnaround time and fitted top quality equipment. I found John very straight talking and honest in his appraisal of the systems and options available - he is an electrician by trade and has worked in solar for years - he is not a salesman just interested in maximising sales and felt he was genuinely interested in providing the best system to suit our needs. The standard of work carried out by the installers was excellent and the electrician Daniel has a real pride in his work and helped me understand the system and the apps to monitor/ control. We now have solar panels installed and are delighted with the results whereby we can monitor our live solar generation and adjust our usage accordingly and heat our water (using my eddi) and sell the excess electricity back to the grid. As well as going green we are seeing a significant drop in our electricity bills so its a Win Win!
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Adrian InsleyMarch 2023
Great serviceGreat service. Great support from all PureVolt staff. Would highly recommended this company.
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Stefan BinkFebruary 2023
A pleasure to deal withOnce I decided to go with solar panels- the competence, professionalism and delivery of project was top class. The technician that put panels on roof, and the electrical technician that put in the battery and electric press and connected all to house fuse box, were very knowledgeable, experienced and a pleasure to deal with. From the initial contact with the Project Manager to the final installation- the full journey was well explained and I was confident and assured that the installation was delivered to the highest standard.
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Martha SFebruary 2023
...so grateful to have found PurevoltMy husband and I can't provide enough superlative praise to John and his team. We had a system of ten photovoltaic panels installed on our roof this past autumn and found the entire experience a very positive one, from Kelly overseeing logistics from the office to our installation team, who didn't leave until they were certain that all of our questions had been answered. We thought long and hard about the initial expense of installing such a system, but we have absolutely no regrets and have found the panels to be producing at a level in excess of our expectations. To do something good for the environment and our grandchildren, as well as something that has already begun to reap financial benefits is a win win. We are so grateful to have found Purevolt.
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John HudsonJanuary 2023
I'm delighted with PureVoltOnce you have managed to make contact and get a quote (which, as with other solar installers, can take some time) the installation and service from PureVolt was excellent. Very competitively priced and gave good, honest advice without trying to sell anything which I didn't need. The solar panels were installed on time by very professional and friendly roofers and electrician who answered any questions regarding the installation. Following the installation SEAI inspected the works and found nothing to be concerned about. PureVolt's John Egan attended the inspection to in order that he could rectify any problems should they arise. For the first couple of days after the installation I had some minor issues with the inverter app which PureVolt resolved by liaising with the inverter manufacturer. I'm delighted with PureVolt and I highly recommend them.
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Tim HynesNovember 2022
Highly recommendOnce I decided to go with solar panels- the competence, professionalism and delivery of project was top class. The technician that put panels on roof, and the electrical technician that put in the battery and electric press and connected all to house fuse box, were very knowledgeable, experienced and a pleasure to deal with. From the initial contact with the Project Manager to the final installation- the full journey was well explained and I was confident and assured that the installation was delivered to the highest standard.
Reviewed on Google
Alan DeacyNovember 2022
Extremely happy with the serviceEnquired about a new PV system. John phoned me back shortly after my enquiry and went into great detail about the different systems and tailored one that would suit my needs. I received a very competitive price. Extremely happy with the service this company provided. Very professional and knowledgeable in the solar industry.
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Aidan BerginNovember 2022
Would highly recommend this companyWould highly recommend this company for your solar installation, efficient, tidy and the lads keep you well informed as the installation proceeds.
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