How to specify Solar PV [CHECKLIST]

How to specify Solar PV [CHECKLIST]

Make sure you specify the right solar PV solution for you with our handy checklist:

Request a technical survey: a professional will be able to tell you what kind of system you need based on the location of the site, roof pitch, your energy usage, budget and the overall look of the development.

On the grid or off the grid?: You need to decide whether you want to be 100% self-sufficient or not. Obvious benefits for being off the grid include no electric bills and no local blackouts. However any repairs would be solely your responsibility. Solar can also be an unreliable, intermittent power source. Grid-tied solar PV systems give you more flexibility allowing you to benefit from your own solar energy and tap in to the grid when needed. You can also sell back any surplus electricity!

Check with your energy provider: Once know what system to use you must inform your energy provider who will supply you with a Feed-in Tariff application form. You will need to return this once your system is installed along with the MCS certificate.

Roof strength: Prior to installation you need to make sure your roof can withstand the weight of at least four panels and their anchors and rails for 25 years. Solar installations work best on new build properties or structures that have recently been re-roofed. If you time the installation of a solar system when the roof is being build you can also opt for recessed panels for a flush-fit.

Choose your panels: There are three types if solar panels: amorphous silicon, polycrystalline and monocrystalline.
•Amorphous silicon: inexpensive and unaffected by small shadows but are fairly large.
•Polycrystalline: efficient to manufacture and have a lower heat tolerance, still fairly large.
•Monocrystalline: most expensive but most efficient, 25 year lifespan.

Electrics: It is advised that you seek advice from a trained electrician, you also need to find out where the wires will enter your attack or roof space. A tile need to be removed and replaced with lead flashing which is then pierced and a watertight grommet is inserted. The wires should be fed through this and through an overlap in your roof felt and not through it. Wires are then connected to the inverter and a consumer unit should be installed.

Find more Solar PV resources on our Solar PV Hub

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