If your home or building is already connected to the national grid a Grid-Tied PV system is usually the most cost effective to install. An Off-Grid system is self contained and uses batteries to store and supply electricity when the solar panels aren’t producing energy e.g. at night.
This type of system is ideal for remote buildings or anywhere where mains electricity isn’t available. A Hybrid System uses a connection to the national grid to import and export electricity as well as batteries to protect against power cuts and store power for use locally. The majority of homes and businesses will have a Grid-Tied PV system.
There are also different types of PV modules and mounting systems. There are two main types of PV system: systems integrated into the roof surface and systems mounted over the top of the existing roof covering, generally known as stand-off systems. Integrated systems are usually installed in new buildings and stand-off systems are generally retro-fitted to existing roofs, although this is not always the case.
An on-roof solar PV system (also called a stand-off or bolt-on system) offers very good value for money and is a simple way to install PV panels onto an existing roof. It is the most common PV system installed on homes today.
This type of system comprises stainless steel or galvanised brackets which are attached to the roof battens or rafters and an aluminium mounting rail system specifically designed to fit the PV panels. The panels are fixed to the rails using special clamps and then connected together to form the working electrical PV array. Planning permission is not generally required but will probably be necessary if your property is listed or in a conservation area.
An in-roof PV system is integrated with the roof. The PV panels are installed flush with the roof and so this type of system is considered to have less of a visual impact than an on-roof one. They are more expensive than on-roof systems but still offer good value for money and are also suitable for existing roofs. Planning permission is not generally required unless your property is listed or in a conservation area.
Solar PV Tiles
Solar PV roof tiles and slates are the perfect choice for a new-build or if you are re-roofing your home or need to maintain the look of the roof . Solar PV tiles fit directly into the roof, replacing conventional roof tiles or slates. This means that the appearance of the roof line is not altered. Solar PV tiles are compatible with many existing conventional tile and slate products. This type of system is more expensive than the other two and can be slightly less efficient. Again, planning permission is not generally required.
Flat roof systems
A flat roof PV system can be fitted to an existing roof and can be aligned for optimum orientation to the sun and tilt. Their efficiency is comparable to on-roof PV systems. However, care must be taken to ensure that the roof structure can take the extra weight. The frames required can make them more expensive and planning permission is required.
Ground Mounted Systems
A ground mounted system does not require a roof and is ideal for larger systems if you have the space. The system can also be aligned for optimum orientation and tilt angle. In this type of system the PV panels are mounted on frames on the ground or can be raised above the ground on mounting poles. However, planning permission will be required and ground works e.g. trenches may also be required which can drive up costs.
Example of a Ground Mount
Why Solar Ground Mounts Work
How Ground Mounts Work
Pole Mount Solar Panels
When You Need a Pole Mount
What You Need For a Pole Mount
Utah And Nevada Rooftop Solar Arrays
When You Need Rooftop Solar
Why Rooftop Solar Makes Sense for Reno NV and Utah Homeowners
How Rooftop Solar Works
Is Your Roof Up for the Task? Make Sure You Have 1 of these 3 Roof Types
If you’re going solar, you’ll want to make sure your roof is in good condition. Another factor is making sure you have the kind of roof that can sustain the wait of the panels themselves. Below are 3 kinds of rooftops that consistently support solar panels installation.
Asphalt Shingle – The Most Common for Residential Solar
A Metal Roof with Solar Panels