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Fitting PV on a commercial premises: STA guide

Posted by Helena Ripley on 25 August 2015 at 12:45 pm

The Solar Trade Association (STA) recently produced a guide to fitting solar PV on a large roof. This contains a checklist of actions needed in order to successfully install a solar PV array on a commercial building.

What are the benefits of solar PV on a commercial building?

Commercial buildings often have large roofs which are perfect for solar panels, these can help to decrease the carbon footprint of the company and reduce the cost of electricity. The extent of the benefit for both the environment and the running cost of the company will depend on the proportion of the energy that is provided from the solar panels.

Why is a checklist needed?

The checklist was introduced as most installers of solar PV work in domestic installations and can face some problems when working on a commercial scale project. The most concerning aspect of this is the dangerous working conditions which might arise when installing a solar array on a roof with an unusual layout. There might also be some difficulties in calculating the cost of an array for a large roof.  The positioning of solar arrays could be badly thought out which means that they don’t make the most of the exposure to the sun.

Are there similar guidance documents?  

Yes – the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) have published (or are about to publish) guides for installing a commercial solar array. An MCS Guide to the installation of photovoltaic systems was published in 2012. In September 2015 the IET Code of Practice for Grid Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems will be published.

Photo credit: Trevor Earl

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Comments

1 comments - read them below or add one

Fred1

Fred1Comment left on: 29 August 2015 at 10:38 am

One important point to check, is what is the current level of FIT subsidy.

I understand that from Jan next year it drops to 1 penny.

 

will solar panels be installed at this level of subsidy?

Fred

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