Feature your business on SpotDif
Learn more
Spotdif Logo
language-icon

Want your Solar Panels for free? Buy from a SpotDif Partner today and get entered in our prize draw.

Comparing Solar Panels in Ireland

Understand your solar panel options so that you can compare top-rated providers from across Ireland.

featuredIcon
100% Free
and no obligations
featuredIcon
Match with
local accredited installers
featuredIcon
Reduce
your monthly energy bills

Solar panels in Ireland: The 2024 guide

Thousands of homeowners in Ireland are embracing solar energy, drawn by the allure of tapping into the sun's abundant, free power with photovoltaic (PV) panels. These solar panels transform sunlight into clean, green energy, offering a win-win for both the environment and your finances.


If you're keen to contribute positively to the planet while securing your energy expenses against future hikes, SpotDif is your go-to resource. We're here to guide you through the vast array of solar panel options available in Ireland, covering everything from the types available to the installation process. Plus, our handy comparison tool lets you put this knowledge into action. All you need to do is fill out our solar panel comparison form and we’ll do the hard part for you, collating an array of quotes for you to compare.


15s
Get your quote

What is your current roof type?

Solar panel installation aerial video

What are solar panels?

Before we look at the types of solar panels available, let’s run over the basics of what a solar panel is. 


A solar panel is a device that captures sunlight and turns it into electricity. It's made up of many smaller units called solar cells — usually made from silicon — which work together to convert light from the sun into power we can use in our homes or businesses.


When sunlight hits a solar cell, it generates an electric current. This current is then harnessed and can be used to power anything from a small gadget to an entire house. The beauty of solar panels lies in their ability to provide clean, renewable energy — they don't produce harmful emissions or rely on finite resources like coal or gas.


Solar panels come in different shapes and sizes, designed to suit various needs and spaces. You can install them on roofs, in open fields, or even on water. Plus, they're built to last, often working for 25 years or more with little maintenance needed. So, understanding what a solar panel is and how it works is the first step towards embracing solar energy.

Comparing the types of solar panels available in Ireland

In Ireland, those looking to harness solar energy have three main types of solar panels to consider: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.


Each type has its unique features, benefits, and best use cases. Understanding the features of each solar panel type can help you compare your options and work out the most suitable for your property.


Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline solar panels are known for their high efficiency and sleek appearance. Made from single-crystal silicon, they have a distinctive black colour and are more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity compared with other solar panel types. 

Best for

sms-icon

The efficiency of monocrystalline solar panels makes them ideal for residential properties with limited roof space, as you'll need fewer panels to generate the same amount of power. They're perfect for homeowners aiming to maximise their energy production without compromising on aesthetics.

Polycrystalline

Polycrystalline solar panels are crafted from fragments of silicon crystals melted together. They have a blue, speckled look and offer a slightly lower efficiency at a more affordable price point than monocrystalline panels. 

Best for

sms-icon

Polycrystalline solar panels are a great option for larger roofs or spaces where the number of panels isn't a limiting factor. They strike a balance between cost and efficiency, making them suited for both residential and commercial properties looking to reduce energy costs without a large initial investment.

Thin-film

Thin-film solar panels stand out for their flexibility and lightweight design. They are made by layering photovoltaic material on a solid surface. Due to their manufacturing process, they can be made lighter and are more adaptable to different surfaces, including curved ones.

Best for

sms-icon

Thin-film panels work well in large commercial projects or on buildings where weight and aesthetics are significant considerations. They are best for situations where traditional panels might not be suitable, offering a versatile solution that can be applied to a variety of surfaces.

Get a solar panel quote today

On-roof vs. integrated solar panels

After exploring the differences between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels, deciding between on-roof and integrated solar panel installations is another important consideration in your solar energy journey. 


  • On-roof panels are mounted on top of your existing roof, offering ease of installation and flexibility for most homes. They can be easily adjusted or expanded, making them a versatile option. 
  • Integrated solar panels, on the other hand, are part of the roof itself, creating a sleek and aesthetic appeal. Perfect for new constructions or when renovating a roof, they blend in seamlessly but might come with a higher upfront cost. Despite this, their modern look can enhance your property's value, providing a clean and integrated energy solution.

Exploring solar panels in more depth

Taking a closer look at solar panels opens up a world of renewable energy wonders. Getting to know how these nifty devices work helps clear up how they supply our homes with green energy.


How do solar panels work?


Solar panels turn sunlight into electricity. Inside each panel are solar cells made mostly of silicon, which soaks up light. When sunlight hits these cells, it creates an electric current. This is called direct current (DC) electricity.


However, our homes need an alternating current (AC), which is where an inverter comes into play. It changes DC into AC, making the electricity usable in our homes. The power can light up our rooms, keep our fridges cold, or even be stored in solar batteries for a rainy day. If there’s extra electricity, you can send it back to the grid, sometimes getting a credit from your energy provider. 

A small square solar panel

The pros and cons of solar panel installation in Ireland

Many people wonder if installing solar panels in Ireland is worth it. And the truth is that, regardless of where you are in the world, solar panels come with pros and cons — but do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Let’s take a balanced look to help you work out if solar panels are a wise investment for your property.


Benefits of solar panels


So, why consider solar panels for your home in Ireland?


  • Self-sufficient energy supply: One of the biggest benefits is generating your own energy. As the sun shines on your property, your panels convert it into electricity. Isn't it great to produce power right at home?


  • Affordable energy generation: Initially, the installation is the main cost you'll face. After that, you might only need to spend on occasional maintenance or cleaning, which won’t break the bank.


  • Return on investment: By reducing reliance on grid electricity, solar panels can lower your monthly bills. With energy costs on the rise, who wouldn’t want to save money each month? You could also consider options to sell back excess electricity, such as through the Government Microgeneration Scheme.


  • Eco-friendly choice: Choosing solar panels means opting for a cleaner energy source. Solar power is renewable, so it’s kinder to our planet than burning fossil fuels.


Drawbacks of solar panels


What are the potential downsides?


  • Cost: There’s no denying that solar panels come with a substantial upfront cost. However, technology is always advancing, and starting to bring those prices down. Not only that, but various financing options are also available to help manage these expenses.


  • Daylight dependency: Solar panels need sunlight to work, meaning they don’t produce electricity at night. To manage this, why not look into solar batteries? They store energy during the day for use at night. Adjusting when you use electricity to peak sunlight hours can also help maximise your panels' efficiency.

Strengths
Positive Icon

Self-sufficient Energy Supply

Positive Icon

Affordable Energy Generation

Positive Icon

Return on Investment

Positive Icon

Eco-Friendly Choice

Weaknesses
Negative Icon

Cost

Negative Icon

Daylight Dependancy

Compare solar panels in Ireland

15s
Get your quote

What is your current roof type?

What do solar panel batteries do?

We mentioned that solar panel batteries can offer a way to get around the fact solar panels require daylight to generate electricity — but how? A solar panel battery provides the chance to store electricity for later. If you choose not to sell excess power back to Ireland’s electricity grid, you can store it in your solar panel battery to help power your home during the evening and night.

Construction workers installing solar panels

What maintenance do solar panels need?

Your solar PV panels will likely have a lifespan of 25-30 years. Solar panels are generally low maintenance, and Ireland’s tendency to rain means you shouldn’t need to clean your solar panels very often! However, we recommend giving them an annual wipe-down to ensure no dirt or debris stops them from working properly. 


It’s possible to do this yourself using a soft cloth or sponge with an extended handle to wipe the panels without climbing a ladder. Remember to turn the whole solar panel system off before you start cleaning, and hire a professional if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself.

Are solar panels the best choice for your home in Ireland?

Solar panels are a great choice if you want to reduce your bills and carbon footprint. And because the best solar PV panels don’t require direct sunlight to generate electricity, they’re a helpful investment whether you live in the South of France or Sligo.


In fact, solar panels have been known to overheat in warm countries. So the cooler temperatures in Ireland are ideal for efficient operation. Solar panels can even be efficient in the depths of winter because of the albedo effect, which reflects sunlight off the snow.


The energy efficiency of your solar panels in Ireland is affected by four main factors:


       

1. The efficiency of your solar panels: The more efficient your solar PV panels, the more electricity you can generate. Monocrystalline panels are significantly more efficient than polycrystalline panels, although they cost more to install.


       

2. Panel orientation: A south-facing installation maximises the amount of power you can generate in Ireland. However, west and east-facing panels will generate significant energy throughout the day.

       


3. Panel tilt: Aim for an ideal tilt of 30 degrees from horizontal, using brackets if necessary. Most pitched roofs have an angle of 30 degrees. However, a shallow slope may be better in summer. 4. Weather conditions: As you might imagine, the sunnier it is, the more energy you generate. However, placing your panels to face both east and west allows them to capture sunlight from the moment the sun rises until it sets. This setup helps you maximise the energy your panels can produce throughout the day.

categoryImage

Find the best solar panel suppliers in Ireland

It takes time and effort to trawl through a manufacturer’s website, comparing prices and reviews. At SpotDif, we’ll match you with the best solar PV panels in Ireland, so making the right decision is a breeze. To save you time and money, we’ll ask you a few questions about your solar panel requirements. It only takes a minute to find quotes from major solar panel providers, so you can start saving the planet and reducing your bills in seconds.


Fill out our simple solar panel form and start comparing options from top solar providers across Ireland.

Frequently Asked Questions
author
Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.
Get Free Comparison
No Obligation
It's Free
Results Local To You

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

I saved hundreds of pounds!
By using SpotDif, I saved hundreds of pounds on my new doors.
Jennifer Dunk
371 days ago