Fitting the solar panels

Bruce and Brian on the roofAfter a couple of weeks of mainly internal work, a small army of folk descended on the house this Monday. Joiners, bricklayers and roofers, but what I wanted most to see going in were the solar panels.

Because we’re building the roof from scratch, we had a choice when it came to installing solar panels. We could either have the roof completely slated and then attach the panels by drilling through the slates, or we could leave the slates off and attach the panels more directly to the roof – the “in roof” system.

What we wanted to avoid was a set of panels that looked like they were hovering over the roof so we opted for the slightly more expensive in-roof approach. Bruce and Brian set to work opening all the various packages the Renusol kit came in.

You may recall from the story of our roofing that we have a traditional Scottish roof where a layer of sarking boards (planks to you and me) are nailed onto the roof trusses, then the slates are nailed straight onto the sarking boards. (Unlike south of the border where the slates are hooked onto wooden battens laid across the roof.) So a Scottish roof ends up with the slates laid very close to the roofline.

We had to find a way of attaching the PV panel mounting system designed for an English roof with battens to a Scottish roof that doesn’t have battens, and in the end that’s what Brian and Bruce did.

Starting with the felt covered sarking boards. The panels were to cover most of this area.

Starting with the felt covered sarking boards. The panels were to cover most of this area.

First, attach the plastic undersheeting to make the roof weather proof.

First, attach the plastic undersheeting to make the roof weatherproof.
It has channels to direct rainwater down the roof and is laid so the panels overlap each other.

Next attach alumninium battens across the roof to hang the panels on

Next attach aluminium battens across the roof to hang the panels on. You can see the way Bruce carefully finished off the slates round the plastic sheeting to make the roof watertight.

Then manhandle the suprisingly light panels onto the roof and clip them into position.

Then manhandle the surprisingly light panels onto the roof and clip them into position.

Screwing the panels down

Screwing the panels down

They must be generating electricity already in this weather!

They must be generating electricity already in this weather!

Brian tightening the allen bolts

Brian tightening the allen bolts

Bruce fastening the panel down

Bruce fastening the panel down

The finished panels - just need to plug them into the mains

The finished panels – just need to plug them into the mains

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