What's the best mounting for solar panels?
Posted by Chris Rudge on 10 February 2010 at 9:07 am
Flush fitting of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system to generate electricity has both benefits and downsides over the more popular 'on roof' mounting.
The benefit is a PV array that is more integrated-looking, although to keep that essential cooling airflow to ensure the system works at maximum efficiency, the modules still need to be mounted with an airflow space. There are some integrated systems around that look great, but lose efficiency over hot summer days simply due to lack of airflow. PV needs to be kept cool, not heated up by your loft!
If you need to have your roof tiles replaced, or have a new house built with PV, then this would be a great time to consider an integrated solution as there will be big cost savings. Otherwise stick with the far less expensive 'on roof' solution which will give you a quick effective way of having a PV array at ever deceasing costs.
Another bonus from having PV installed on your house is that it increases the value of your property. If you sell it, your buyers would benefit from all that free electricity and the income from feed-in tariffs.
Photo: iStock/Gene Chutka
About the author: Chris Rudge is a qualified electrician who specialises in renewable energy.
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