Can I Install Solar Panels On My Roof?24 November 2014


Most homes in the UK could benefit greatly from being fitted with a solar panel electricity system, harnessing the sun’s energy in special cells and using it to create power for everyday use.

You can even generate further income by selling any excess energy back to the National Grid.

Optimal Roofs

Homeowners can typically save around £800 per year, but your property must meet certain requirements in order to have the panels installed. Many types of building and roof will be considered, but if your home is not ideal, the amount of energy produced will not be as high as it would in optimal conditions.

The perfect roof for solar panel installation sits at a pitched angle of 30 to 44 degrees and faces south; this combination allows the panels to receive the most direct sunlight over the course of an entire year. When a roof is at a pitch that is unlikely to provide an adequate supply of energy, the panels can be fixed to a tilting mechanism which allows them to be adjusted.

Obstructions

Roofs that are subject to shade from trees or other buildings throughout the day, will never receive the maximum sunlight possible. You might choose to remove a number of trees, or to have them cut back sufficiently, but if this is not an option then solar panels may not be ideal for your property.

Material and Structural Limitations

Slate roofs tend to crack with very little pressure. Over the years installers have found them to be extremely brittle and, consequently, the work may be prolonged by up to three days. Therefore, to avoid the costs of any potential tile damage and the extended timescale required, some companies refuse to install on slate.

A roof’s structure can also present a challenge if there are no tiles, but with a few adjustments solar panels can successfully be fitted to a flat felt roof. An experienced workman will simply construct a supporting frame underneath the installation and angle it in the appropriate direction. However, if you have a number of obstacles to overcome, such as chimneys, aerials, or skylights, your installer may refuse the job, or need to charge you extra for the time it takes to work around these.

Practical Considerations

Most local authorities do not give their permission for solar panels to be installed on council houses, but if you are renting a property your landlord may give their permission for the work to proceed. In these cases most installation companies prefer the landlord to make the application instead of the tenant, to avoid any misunderstandings.

Similarly, if you have a flat that was purchased on a leasehold, the freeholder will need to agree with your plans before you can have solar panels installed. Mid floor flats and basement properties are unlikely to be considered, usually there is not a sufficient surface area for attaching the panels.

Listed buildings and homes which are located in conservation areas can pose a problem for solar installations, but some solutions are available. If you do not like the appearance of solar panels or planning constraints are an issue for your home, you might consider solar tiles or solar slates. These can be twice the price of conventional panels and not as efficient, however they are compatible with a huge range of existing roof tiles and are highly durable.

Morgan Asphalte are the premier providers of roofing services across the South East, carrying out repairs on all roof types, including slate, asphalt, felt, tiled, lead, aluminium and single ply systems.


Posted in Roofing.
 

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