There’s good news you ought to know if you are considering a solar panel installation: most roofs in the UK are suitable for it, and it doesn’t take much effort to have a system put up on most UK roofs. But there are still some key considerations you would have to think about to determine how suitable your roof is for a solar panel system, and it has to do with its angle, material, and more. Here, then, is how you can adequately determine your roof’s suitability for a solar panel installation.
If you already have a solar installer in mind, ask them for an assessment. Good installers should be able to assess your roof so they can decide on its suitability for installation. Even if your roof is not entirely suitable, good installers can give you recommendations on which technologies you can utilize so you can enhance your energy supply. Your installer should be able to conduct a survey and present you with a projection on the amount of energy you will be able to produce in a year, and from this, you can figure out how long it will take before you can get your investment back.
Whilst you may already know that a south-facing roof is best, it doesn’t mean that a north-, east-, or west-facing roof couldn’t produce the energy for your needs, either. But there’s another aspect that can influence your installation’s energy output, and it’s the roof’s pitch. The ideal pitch for roofs is from 30 to 40 degrees, but if your roof’s angle and the pitch don’t come within this range, it can still effectively produce electricity. This is because even if your solar panels are horizontally placed, they can still absorb the sun’s energy. Still, if the panels are below 12 degrees from a horizontal placement, they will not have a self-cleaning capacity and may not be as effective when dirt and grime build up on the surface.
The cost of your solar panel array may be influenced by the material which comprises your roof, and whilst most roof materials go well with a solar panel system, one of your most crucial considerations would be the strength of your roof. Your installer can perform a structural assessment, and they may recommend additional support if required. One thing you can opt for if your roof isn’t strong enough, for example, is a roof-integrated solar panel system, which is more lightweight and will replace a portion of your roof and become your solar panel roof since there will not be any roof tiles beneath the panels.
In general, if your roof is made from asphalt shingles, it is the best material for an installation because it’s reliable and durable. A metal seam roof can also be a suitable material, as it’s easy to fit panels onto the roof. Tar is another common roofing material, although it is often flat, as are gravel roofs. For this, your solar installer may recommend the installation of brackets so the panels can tilt. If you have a wooden roof, it is not one of the ideal materials for solar installations due to concerns about fire safety, but your installer may be able to find a solution for this as well.
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