If you have roof that gets a fair proportion of sun through the day and a desire to deflect rising energy prices, generate an income and run your home on clean energy then solar PV is what you are looking for.
A great range of products are available to help us design systems that work on more homes than ever. The best orientation for roofs for solar PV installations is due south, but systems can be designed to work very well on east or west facing roofs. Using the SolarEdge power optimisers systems or microinverters we are less restricted by technology and can instead design for maximum energy yield. Depending on your requirements this can mean considering arrays over multiple roofs, at different orientations, partially-shaded etc. – making the most of all usable space.
The ideal pitch for a PV roof is 35°, but panels can work well at anything between flat roof or façade mounting.
The regulations for the Feed-In Tariff changed on 8th February 2016. In order to obtain the highest tariff rate for a PV system, your home needs an EPC rated D or higher prior to the commissioning of the solar PV system. Most homes already have EPCs and the majority would reach this efficiency level when assessed.FREE: Download your EPC now
If you don’t have an EPC or are concerned that your house will not make the D rating, we can help you arrange to have an assessment carried out. As well as the EPC produced your assessor may even be able to suggest some cheap (and worthwhile) smaller measures to consider to to increase your rating further. Sunlight Future have a database of trusted assessors throughout the south west who we have used before and whose service we can recommend. For all domestic customers who require a new EPC, we will discount the cost of the assessment and certification when you book with your installation with us.
Technology has improved greatly and we are now reaching a point where even very small roofs have cost-effective solar potential. A 2kW system, consisting of 6-8 panels, can produce significant savings on your electricity bill. With high efficiency panels such as the SunPower E20 and X21 series you need less than 5m² of roof space per kilowatt.
Even on a roof with a suitable orientation it may be that structures such as chimneys, dormers, surrounding buildings or overhanging trees could all make some areas of your roof unsuitable. We use advanced software modelling to design all of our systems and it really pays off, allowing us model realistic simulations of possible solar PV systems under the precise patterns, duration and density of shade they will experience throughout an entire year (based on localised weather data). We do this to ensure that our designs are as effective as possible, using the right components for you and put together as logically and simply as possible; no scrimping on quality, no unnecessary over-complication.
Sadly, time and again we have see installations where the shading issues have been poorly considered and where either laziness or greed have meant that profit and speed has taken higher priority than design and workmanship. A solar installation will be on your roof for decades – it makes no sense to make such mistakes when quality design work and installation take only a few hours extra.