Building integrated solar PV systems are, for many people, considered a more aesthetically acceptable option for installing solar.
We have long recognised this and are able to offer a wide range of either ‘in roof’ or ‘integrated’ solar pv systems to meet these concerns.
‘In roof’ and ‘integrated’ solar PV systems are those in which the solar PV array itself forms the weatherproofing barrier of the roof, and as such, they replace the conventional tiles or slates. Such systems are aesthetically more sensitive and are often specified in locations where planning restrictions precluded the use of traditional framed modules installed ‘above’ the roof.
In Roof Systems
In roof systems use conventional framed modules, mounted in a tray or flashing, usually in a rectangular slab with conventional slates or tiles used to ‘fill in’ around the sides.
Once the roof has been felted and battened, the plastic trays are fitted then the conventional framed panels installed. Once the array has been installed the roofers complete the slating / tiling. This example here shows an in roof system installed in Twickenham with slates being installed around the array.
Click here to watch a short video of this installation.
This approach can also be used where velux windows are required such as in this loft conversion in Twickenham. Here the velux windows have also been ‘integrated’ into the design to provide a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result. Click here for more information on this installation.
Such installations are generally considered to be much less visually intrusive than conventional ‘on roof’ systems. They are a little more expensive, costing approx. £40 / panel installed however as these systems used conventional panels no additional roof space is required.
Aside from the improved aesthetics, another major benefit of selecting an ‘in roof’ system comes from the fact that such systems impose far less load on a roof than conventional roofing materials.
The combined loading of a solar panel together with the ‘tray’ is approximately 13kg/m2 compared with 33kg/m2 for natural slate and up to 70kg/m2 for plain tiles.
Integrated systems are solar PV products designed to replace existing roofing materials and they come in three forms:
a) Solar tiles
b) Solar slates
Solar tiles and slates are of similar dimensions to traditional slates or tiles and as such can easily be integrated into a slate or tile roof to provide a solar PV array. These products tend to be less efficient than conventional framed solar panels and as such require a greater roof area /kWp installed. They are also more expensive than conventional panels /kWp.
Examples of solar tiles include the following:
Solar Century C21 solar tile
Redland Solar Tile
Roof Integrated Systems
Roof Integrated Systems are a third alternative for those looking for a ‘complete’ roof solution comprising solar cells.
Here an aluminium framework is installed over ply or battens. This framework has a rebate, into which the 4mm solar pv laminates are placed. The laminates are secured using capping strips. Such systems can be used to provide a ‘whole’ roof solution from gable end to gable end such that no additional tile or slate is required to complete the roof. In addition awkward roof sections can be accommodated using ‘blanks’ aesthetically match the solar laminates but are not electrically active.