A complex roof, and the desire for a low energy life Lower Brailes, Banbury


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The Brief

The client, Mr B, had a plan was to build a low energy eco home with the heating strategy of an air source system and solar panels. The task was to look at suitability and make well-founded recommendations.

How to Install Solar Panels

The Process

Our first meeting established exactly what Mr B wanted to achieve from a solar array, with his concerns about the orientation of the roof. We explored all the options with him.
The house had a series of different roof elevations, and because of the nature of the build, with South, West and East elevations, there was a degree of complexity to the site. We calculated the output of an array that we might attach to these elevations, and made some suggestions.

The system

Aspey Energy designed a roof system to take in all the appropriate orientations on which to add an in-roof set of trays. We worked closely with Solar Edge, who have an amazing system enabling us to work with different roof orientations. Basically, on a normal solar array, if you have any shading (Ssuch as by a chimney stack, other roofs, aerials or trees etc., you would lose solar yield greatly. This would reduce how much energy you would produce while the shading is in play, because the areas in sunlight send energy over to the panels in shade thereby losing energy across the panels. With Solar Edge, a ‘micro optimiser’ is installed behind each panel, doing exactly that. It optimises the energy that the system will produce so in essence each panel is working independently to

maximise yield of the whole system, minimising the reduction due to shading.
As a side note, Solar Edge can also benefit the home with the use of their solar plugs that allow you to turn on devices within the house when you have surplus energy.
We went through a range of different options with Mr B and agreed what the most suitable ones were. A system was then designed and a price submitted for the work. Once this was agreed we then contacted the DNO [District Network operator] for approval to connect to the grid.
With everything in place, we installed the system.  An in-roof system had been the chosen route, which basically means a solar panel tray is fitted to the roof battens, one for each panel. All trays are interlocked together carefully with a flashing kit installed to ensure the roof is protected.

The verdict

Well, the beauty of an in roof system is you don’t need to buy tiles where you have panels which saves a little money, and you’re producing plenty of solar energy which also saves you money and, of course, is better for the environment. Mr B is delighted on how the system is working out with the solar catering for his hot water and power through most of the year. The system came in on budget with 11 years to recover his initial costs. His savings have been seen from the outset.

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