Part 2 of “Guide to Solar PV”
Solar Photovoltaic panels can be mounted in various ways. The three main ways are:
- Standard Frame Mounting
- Integrated Mounting
- Solar Tile Mounting
1. Standard Frame Mounting consists of profile bars that sit on top of your existing roof tile (slate etc) and are anchored in. This is most common and by far the cheapest method of mounting the panels they are very safe, reliable and quick. As for manufacturers of these frame mounting systems there is no ‘market leader’ or one brand that sticks out as exceptional, they are all the same as all they do is mount the panels to your roof safely and securely.
2. Integrated Mounting Systems are a way of incorporating the solar panels in alongside the tiles instead of on the top. They do look nice however there are some underlying issues with them. Firstly if your roof already has tiles on it removing all the tiles and placing the mounting system in will cost you a good half to a days labour extra costs, this is very expensive. Furthermore because there isn’t a constant air flow the panels get very hot and become less efficient which means you generate less electricity which in turn gets you less feed-in tariff income. Finally because of the heat the panels can get to, having a boiling hot solar panel within your roof is a potential fire hazard.
3. Solar Tiles are a clever little way of replacing the actual tile with a solar tile that acts as a tiny solar panel, you obviously need quite a lot of these to get the same level of output as the standard solar panel but it can be done. Unfortunately there are two main issues with them. Firstly the cost, they are very very expensive and can add an extra £3,000 to your materials cost, also they take a lot longer to set up so it will cost more in labour too. Finally they are quite inefficient at the moment, you wont be able to generate as much electricity as you would with standard panels so that also means less feed-in tariff income.
Our recommendation is that you stick to the standard mounting system, its cheaper, more efficient and quicker to install. Again the mounting system manufacturer doesn’t really matter at all, we just go for the cheapest we could find that mounts the panels securely and safely so it lowers the cost to our customer without comprising the safety of the panels.
Hope this helped and these are the links to the other parts of the guide