Wherever you want to stick them, we’ve got a solution. On a pitched roof, flat roof, garden shed, on the ground or even on a pole… Naked have seen it all before.
We’ve all seen Solar PV panels mounted on people’s roofs and on the roofs of businesses, so here’s a rundown of the options to get them up there.
By far the most common method for fixing Solar PV panels to a roof. Normally the lowest price it also gives the best performance as there is maximum ventilation, allowing the panels to keep cooler. See our ‘Compare Solar Panels’ page for information on how heat affects solar pv performance.
Strong hooks are attached to the rafters and a weather proof seal is applied. Rails are attached to the hooks and the solar PV panels are then clamped to the rails.
Ideal for new builds or re-roofs where the slightly higher price of the mounting system is off-set by the savings in roof material where panels are placed instead. The Solar PV becomes your roof fabric with panel sized flashing trays attached to the roof first and solar PV panels then clamped to the flashing trays. It gives a much neater feel to the installation. However you are likely to loose about 3%-5% in performance due to decreased ventilation.
Many commercial buildings have metal trapezoidal roof structures. Here the rails are secured to the ridges of a metal roof using self-tapping screws. The base of the rails has a waterproof membrane to ensure a secure weather seal. The Solar PV panels are then clamped to the rails, keeping the panels very close to the roof to minimize wind loading.
Though unusual, this type of roof occasionally appears on homes and businesses. We attach clamps to the standing seam of the roof, then either a rail is attached to the clamps or the solar PV panels are fixed directly to the standing seam clamps.
Why not make use of the whole of your roof? these systems mean that your solar PV panels become the actual fabric of your roof, serving two purposes, weather proofing and energy supply. The solar PV panels frames need to be bespoked for the mounting system so there is a limited choice of panels with these set ups. Luckily there are still good quality panels to choose from.
There are some tile or slate shaped solar panels available on the market today. Tesla Tiles are also going to be available late in 2017. This is where you can mix your choice of roof fabric with solar PV slates or tiles. They fit to the roof in the same way as slates or tiles do.
There are many solutions for flat roofs. The main concern is usually how much weight the roof will hold.
Practical for ground mount and flat roofs, these are plastic bins that are ballasted to ensure the wind can’t move your panels. You may need quite a lot of ballast so a strong roof structure is essential. This picture shows them on a sedum roof, for which they are the ideal solution.
Becoming very popular over the last few years. Having an East/West system means that the ballast required is very low because we can mount the panels back to back, reducing wind resistance. It also means you can get much more power in a limited space. Many people are surprised as they think Solar PV panels must be south facing. These systems will still generate at least 90% of their south-facing counterparts. Using them means you can fit more panels into the same space which makes a lot of sense.
Screwed to the trapezoidal roof in the same way as pitched trapezoidal roofs, these frames allow you to pitch your solar PV panels for optimum performance.
As many people are nervous about roof penetrations on a flat roof, these south-facing ballasted systems can increase your yield if you’ve got plenty of roof space, without penetrating your weather proofing.
Who said you had to put panels anywhere near your roof? You can always mount them on the ground.
Often used by commercial solar farm arrays. Metal frames come in a variety of layouts, two panels high in landscape, single panels in portrait etc etc, pretty much any set up you like is available. Usually set on concrete bases, these frames can help you make use of some dead ground.
Another choice with metal frames, the upright posts are pile driven into the ground, saving on concrete and reducing the footprint of the array.
A heavily ballasted plastic bin is the best way we’ve found of describing these. They allow very flexible placement of solar PV panels and if you ever need to move them you can just unplug the panels and move the bins.
Lots of customers have decided to make their own roof on the ground. These have taken the shape of log stores, chicken sheds, part of a gazebo or simply a wooden structure instead of a metal frame.
As anyone with Solar will tell you, there’s more energy than you can shake a stick at in the summer, but getting through the winter is the trick. With a seasonally adjustable mounting system, you can change the pitch of your panels to maximise the yield in the winter. This can increase your winter yield by up to 40% and considering these mounting systems are slightly lower priced than the metal ground mounted frames… why wouldn’t you?
These look great and are a fantastic way to make use of space if you want to increase your solar potential. Create a place to shade from the sun while making the most of it’s energy.