Flat Roof 3 Van Der Valk Bracknell Campbell - Tethys Energy

Can I fit solar PV on a flat roof with skylights?

JasonMounting Systems Leave a Comment

Many of our customers would like to put solar PV on their flat roof extensions. Most come with large skylights or can be awkward in shape. When designing a flat roof PV system, what do you need to make it work well?

You can install solar panels around the skylights or any “roof furniture” such as vents, chimneys or aerials, but it worth considering that generally speaking, the less small areas – the lower the cost .

One mounting system we work with is Van der Valk which is a ‘ballasted system’ and this is really flexible for space. ‘Ballasted’ means that the system is ‘weighed’ down onto the roof using slabs or lintels typically made out of concrete. The benefit of this system is that there are no penetrations through the roof membrane thereby eliminating the risk of leaks. A structural survey is undertaken prior to installation to ensure that the roof is string enough to take the weight of the PV system.

Solar panel manufacturers will recommend that panels do not go right up to the edge of the roof, this is for a few reasons. Firstly for safety. Wind uplift is stronger at the edge of roofs where the eddy currents generated by the wind are more powerful. In addition access for maintenance and cleaning may be required. Most manufacturers will recommend not installing their panels right up to a flat roof edge.

Solar panels on a flat roof tend to be installed at a shallower angle than solar panels on a pitched roof. This is primarily to limit the amount of force from wind uplift that can affect the array. In addition, to comply with permitted development, solar panels must not protrude more then 500mm above the surface of a flat roof. With the mounting systems that we use, we are always well below this maximum limit.

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Flat roof systems may require more regular cleaning than panels that are installed on the pitch of a roof due to their shallower angle. However due to their location they are usually easier to access.

Flat roofs systems can be either a great alternative to, or as a complementary addition to a pitched roof system. This allows customers to make much better use of their available roof space.

Get in touch if you are thinking about a flat roof solar PV system for your property.

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