Is my roof suitable for solar panels?
Are you ready to harness the power of the sun and make your home more sustainable? Solar panels are a fantastic way of generating clean energy and reducing your electric bills. Before you dive into the world of solar, we have put together a quick guide so you can check to see if your roof is up to the task. You’ll be happy to know that the majority of UK homes have a roof suitable for solar panels but when considering if your home is eligible, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself:
– Is my roof in good condition?
– Is my roof big enough to fit solar panels?
– Is there a lot of shading on my roof?
– What type of roof do I have?
Solar panels have a lifespan of 25-30 years so it is crucial to have a sturdy and well maintained roof that can support their weight. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan or has significant damage it is recommended to address those issues before installing solar panels, this will prevent potential problems down the line and ensures that your investment lasts. Signs of a damaged roof can include loose or missing tiles, mould and moss growth, water damage and rotting roof trusses, battens or purlins.
Solar Panels require a certain amount of surface area to generate sufficient energy, and a larger roof area means more space for panels. But how much space do you really need? The average 3-bed UK home will need at least 10x 400W panels in order to fit the recommended 4kw Solar PV system. This will vary depending on the size of the house and the amount of electricity you consume per annum. For example if you have an electric car charger or heat your home with an Air Source Heat Pump you may require a larger system to satisfy your consumption. However even if you have a smaller roof, there are still options available such as using higher-efficiency panels or ground-mounted systems.
When it comes to solar panel installation, shading is a crucial factor to consider. Even a small amount of shade can greatly reduce their performance. Shading can come from various sources such as nearby trees, buildings or even chimneys. Although the shading may only appear on one panel, because solar panels are wired together on a string, the entire system’s performance is affected. There is of course technology to reduce the impact of shading, for example optimisers, however this will add to the cost of the installation. A well planned and properly installed system can still be beneficial even with some shading, which is why it is important to talk with a knowledgeable installer such as ourselves to optimise your solar setup.
Although solar panels can be installed on the majority of UK roofs, there are some roof types which it may not be feasible to install solar on. For example it is impossible to install solar on thatched roofs as there is an increased risk of fire. Additionally roofs containing asbestos can cause a safety hazard for installation teams to work with and often we would advise on getting specialists to remove the asbestos. Nevertheless if your roof isn’t suitable for solar panels you may be able to install ground-mounted solar panels to take advantage of any shade-free land you own.
If you would like professional advice as to whether or not your home is suitable for solar panels then simply enquire on our website and our installation team will get in contact with you to offer a free remote survey.