Yesterday we installed our solar PV panels on the roof!
But let's start at the beginning... Our friend Rich came to help us do the work, as he's had past experience doing roofing work. We did a work swap, I helped him in his wood back in January, in return for his help yesterday. He also brought a lot of useful kit with him, like this scaffold tower:
The process started by removing some tiles to find where the rafters were under the batons, as the brackets needed to screw onto these for strength.
Having located these, we decided to grind a slot in the tiles so that they'd fit neatly round the brackets:
Then the brackets could be screwed down (with a small wooden spacer underneath to help them fit better):
and the tiles slotted back in:
Of course, it wasn't all that simple, as soon as you put any weight on the bracket it put pressure onto the tiles at a single point, and some broke...
To resolve this we used more spacers underneath, bent the brackets slightly and also used the grinder to thin the tile a bit at that point, giving more clearance for the bracket:
Here's the detail of how the rails fix onto the brackets:
And here's an interlocking piece of aluminium to join two rails together (we had two 2m rails). There's a couple of allen key bolts to lock it in place.
Then it was time to clamp down the panels. Here's a clamp with one panel in, and space for the next:
and here's one with both panels in and tightened up:
The first three panels in place:
And here's the finished set, with the solar thermal tubes higher up the roof:
The wires from the panels are zip-tied in place under the panels:
Then they all come down in a bundle to connect into a junction box:
That'll come in Part 2 though, where I'll explain the wiring system.
- Insulating the cavity walls
- Insulating the loft
- Flat roof insulation
- Insulating the dormer roof
- Sweeping the chimney
- Installing the wood stove
- Plumbing and testing the wood stove
- Installing solar water heating
- Installing off-grid solar PV (part 2)
- Off-grid solar PV upgrade to 750W
- Off-grid solar PV upgrade to 1250W