How you install solar will depending on your project. Whether you are fitting to a building or to the ground. It is possible to retrospectively install onto an existing structure, semi-integrate into the roof or even full integrate; replacing the convention material such as slate or tile with that of bespoke solar-roofing.
The choices that you have available when installing will be determined by the how much space you have and what type of roofing fabric you are installing to.
Retrospective Installation (Retrofit)
A large number of domestic homes choose to retrofit solar panels to their properties, utilising their roof space to generate electricity for self-consumption. The most common UK residential roofing fabric is either slate, concrete or clay tiles. There are many fixing and framing solutions for each roofing types.
Agricultural, commercial or industrial companies choose to retro-fit as to contribute to the high energy costs of running a business. Most common roofing types found on commercialbuildings are metal trapezoidal and standing seam.
The best choice of mounting solutions available for fixing solar to a flat roof space is dictated by whether the project calls for a ballasted frame; will it sit, un attached onto the roof? or does it need to be anchored into the substructure of the building?
By choosing to ballast you avoid making any penetration to the roof covering. But depending on the wind load calculations of that particular development, to keep these safely on the roof, this can get very heavy and may require additional structural bracing to the building.
We will calculate the ballast weights required for you and give you a series of framing options.
By using a flat roof fixing, you negate the requirement of ballast and the additional loads this entails.
However, it can be more expensive and will require penetrating into the substructure of the building. There are some very clever fixings options available however, if you do choose to anchor.
When mounting panels at ground level you have a series of framing and fixing options available, the choice of mounting and how to anchor will be determined not only on the wind load but also of what ground is beneath the array. With numerous frames on the market, our team will work with you to bespoke design a configuration to best utilise your available space.
When fitting on top of concrete, most common in urban environments a ballasted option similar to that of a flat roof frame can be chosen. Alternatively if installed in an elevated position, such as at the top of a hill or in a place of high exposure to fast wind speeds you may need to fix directly into the ground.
When installing into a field, if the depth of the top soil is unknown it is wise to complete a geotechnical survey, this will provide details of what the undersoil comprises of; be it rock or clay.
Combining the data from a wind study and that of geotechnical our team will advise on whether it is best to pile drive framing to anchor your system into the ground.