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Cathryn

Solar panel query

We are having new slates on the roof and might have solar panels on top of them at a later date. We need to make sure that the timber is in the right place between the joists. I don't suppose there is a standard width for the solar panel fittings so that they fit onto the battens is there?

I found this but it doesn't answer the question or it does because it suggests that there are no standard fittings.

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/sites/default/files/reports/Solar%20pv%20fixings%20and%20wind%20loading.pdf
RichardW

Dont worry, they put the mounts where the timbers are & then use rails across all the mounts as a sub frame to put the panels on.
Falstaff

If I'd just had a brand new beautiful Welsh slate roof, There's not a way on this earth some ijut would be drilling holes through the slates to stick some panels (solar or otherwise on! ) Mad
alison

We have ours held with brackets that are an integral part of the hanging of the tiles. None of the tiles are drilled. All tiles are clipped and nailed.
Falstaff

Quite so Alison, but cathryn is having slates ! - The link provided clearly states that the slates will be drilled (Carefully) Rolling Eyes
Cathryn

Slates but not beautiful Welsh slates. No way could we afford them. Sad

We don't really want the mount and rail type unless we can have them from a company that's been in business for thirty odd years and can give us a thirty odd year guarantee. All the gales hit that side of the house so the frames have to withstand that as well as the corrosion effect of salt winds. Aluminium is not good at that. Nothings much good at that.

I might go on knock on doors of people with houses in similar positions and see how well theirs are lasting.
RichardW

They will all be mounted on rails. I dont think anyone will mount each panel individually with 4 mounts when the entire system can be mounted using rails & hence less mounts in total. Less mounts = less points that could leak.
Cathryn

Ah good point.
onemanband

Quite so Alison, but cathryn is having slates ! - The link provided clearly states that the slates will be drilled (Carefully) Rolling Eyes


No the link states that the slates MAY be drilled. It is poorly written tho and does imply how you read it.
Agree drilling straight through the slates is just wrong for several reasons. One being that if you crack a tile you're going to have to lift and replace tiles anyway - so why not just do the job properly in the first place.

A google image search throws up several types of fitting for slate tiles, aswell as some good examples of how to do it properly.
onemanband

Re: Solar panel query

We are having new slates on the roof and might have solar panels on top of them at a later date.


If you are 100% definitely going to fit solar panels I would suggest getting the mounting brackets fitted whilst the roof is being done. Your roofer will make a better job of it than a panel fitter. Also, although you can retro fit the brackets, either - the tiles will need stripping up to the ridge(and the ridge) in order to re-nail them - or there will have to be repair tangs to secure the removed tiles.

Have you considered solar tiles ? Such as MarleyEternit. Yeh they're not real slate but given your location it might be a better option (I can't answer that off-hand)
Cathryn

Good advice, thank you! I read about solar tiles as it did seem to make sense since we are replacing all the tiles but apparently they are less efficient? onemanband

Can't comment on efficiency.
I guess benefits would be .......

better wind resistance
zero chance of leaks as no bracket penetrations
smaller units might mean less expense from storm damage
decent artificial tile probably tougher and longer lifespan than slate

You'd also have to consider weight of different tiles. A lot of victorian houses round here with saggy roofs where concrete tiles have replaced slate.
Cathryn

Wind resistance and storm damage does worry me and would be a question for anyone supplying it. We don't necessarily need to put them on the roof either. Thank you, your suggestions have given us lots more questions to answer. Smile RichardW

Good advice, thank you! I read about solar tiles as it did seem to make sense since we are replacing all the tiles but apparently they are less efficient?

Efficiency is not important unless you have limited space.

A 1kW system will produce 1kW no matter if it is 10% or 20% efficient. The 10% one will just be twice as big.
Mistress Rose

They finally have solar tiles then! I remember this being suggested way back in the 1970s when we used to get a magazine about all things Green. Long defunct. wellington womble

Solar century do them, for about ten years I think. Uncle John (who works for them) was very impressed. Dee J

There are, or used to be systems which integrated standard large panels into the roof (without slates or tiles behind them) - don't know what's available in that line now... BUT then efficiency does come into the equation. Rail mounted panels cool better and produce higher output than the same panel mounted roof-integrated. So for x of panel the output will be higher for the conventional rail mounting.
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