How are solar panels installed?

How are solar panels installed

If you are thinking about moving to solar energy one of the first questions that you will want an answer to is How are solar panels installed? You’ll also want to know how they are fixed to the roof and you’ll definitely what to know about their cost!

The aim of this post is to explain the step by step process from quotation through to installation. We’ll also describe all the bits in between so you are left in no doubt as to how it all happens.

How are solar panels installed on tile roofs?

Before solar panels are installed on a roof, tile or otherwise, we send one of our solar surveyors. Their job is to assess the roof rafters, structure, and the overall integrity of the roof. This crucial step in the process ensures that the structure can support the necessary weight of solar panels required to generate energy.

SolarGain is MCS certified. You can be sure that all our installations are carried out to the highest of standards and that your property will not be damaged in the process.

It’s essential to verify that the company you select holds MCS accreditation and provides an insurance-backed guarantee.

Step one – Scaffolding for your roof

Scaffolding is necessary for most properties during the installation of solar panels to provide a safe and stable platform for our installation team to access the roof of the building.

It allows installers to work at heights comfortably and securely, ensuring the panels are positioned correctly and securely attached to the roof structure.

Additionally, the scaffolding also makes it easier and quicker to get the solar panels and materials to the roof for installation.

Step two – Roof anchors

Roof anchors are fitted by securing them directly to the roof rafters using long wood screws. They are an important part in the process of how solar panels are installed. You will see our installation team lifting a tile here and there to give them access to the rafters.

Roof anchors provide stability. This ensures that the panels remain firmly in place. Mounts are designed for adverse weather conditions such as strong winds or storms.

Additionally, roof anchors help distribute the weight of the solar panels evenly across the roof. This is important to prevent any damage or strain on the roof structure.

Effectively they play a vital role in ensuring the safety, stability, and longevity of the solar panel system. The below image shows a roof anchor attached to a rafter.

Step three – Solar panel mounts

Solar Panel Mounts are attached to the roof anchors. These hold the solar panels firmly in place. The mounts are long rails that support the bottom of the panels. They provide a secure and stable framework for the panels and hold them in the optimum position.

Mounts are typically made of aluminium or steel and are made strong enough to withstand the weather conditions we experience in the UK.

They help answer the question “How are solar panels installed?” as they keep the panels slightly above the roof to enable airflow.

This enhances the efficiency of solar panels by reducing heat build-up. The mounts also facilitate installation and maintenance of solar panels.

How are solar panels secured to slate roofs?

Slate tiles are a little more delicate that roof tiles. Our installation team will first remove the nail from the tile using a slate ripper roof saw.

Then the tile is removed and a roof anchor fixed to the rafter before the slate is replaced again . We always carry spare slate tiles just in case of fragile slates.

Step four – Solar panel installation

Once the anchors and rails are installed the roof is ready for our installation team to fit the solar panels.

Our team will fit them one at a time. They will position them optimally before tightening the bolts to ensure each solar panel is securely fixed in place.

Below you can see our team securing a panel on one of our recent installations in Plymouth.

Step five – Installing an inverter

The inverter is the brain of the solar panel system. There are two varieties of inverters and numerous kinds of solar panels. In this article, we’ll focus on the Hybrid Inverter. The Hybrid inverter operates in conjunction with solar batteries, enabling you to harness more of the energy you produce.

Inverters transform the direct current (DC) energy produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC).

Our engineers will install the inverter in your preferred location, whether indoors in the loft, garage, or outdoors on a wall. The electrician will then connect your solar panels to the inverter.

Since most solar panels come pre-wired, the process is relatively straightforward.

We are answering the question “How are solar panels installed?” and specifically installing inverters. It’s crucial to emphasise that this task should be exclusively undertaken by a certified Electrician.

Our team of qualified Electricians hold NAPIT accreditation. It is important to note that improper installation of an inverter could potentially lead to fire hazards or fatal electric shocks.

Step six – Connecting the inverter to the fuse box

Next, the inverter is linked to a circuit-breaker within your fuse box. Our team will refer to this as the consumer unit. If required, our installer will integrate a generation meter into the system to monitor the electricity generated by your solar panels.

Some of the inverters that we install have this capability built-in they enable you to monitor your solar system’s performance a smartphone app or on your PC.

Step seven – Connecting solar batteries to the solar system

For most households incorporating solar batteries in a solar system will mean greater money savings. It is important to note that our solar engineers will be able to go through this with you so you can make an informed decision. Solar Batteries can be installed indoors and outdoors.

We should add that some manufacturers have inverters and batteries in one unit, such as the GivEnergy All-in-One. If you select this sort of unit then the solar battery step will not be included in your installation!

Many households choose to put them in the loft or in a garage. They are heavy so our team will help you identify the most suitable location for them.

Step Eight – System testing and explanation

One your system has been installed our installation team will go through a list of checks to check the system is fully working before signing it off. They will also take you through your installation and explain how everything works.

We also have a team in the office who will answer any questions that arise once our team have left your property.

How long does a solar panel installation take to complete?

As you’d expect solar panel installation times vary. A 10-12 panel installation with batteries but without an EV charger can be completed in a day. The solar panel installation in the photo below was completed in a day. This has the inverter and battery storage positioned close to the solar panels in the loft.

When the location of the inverter and batteries is further from the panels or the array is larger then the installation can take a couple of days. Accessories such as an EV charger can also increase the time it takes to install solar panels.

How do I get a solar quotation?

We thought you’d never ask!

Contact SolarGain for a free no obligation and, more importantly, no pressure survey and quotation on 0800 001 6258 or click the button below.

Don't hesitate to contact us

We are happy to answer any Solar questions you may have and also offer a free, no-obligation, solar quotation service.

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