Different Types of PV Systems
There are a multitude of PV systems, and to help you decide which is suitable for you, here is a breakdown of the different options that are available. Also, the downsides of each system are listed.
- On Roof Solar PV Systems: Good points regarding these include the fact they are welcoming on the eyes and it is very rare that they require planning permission to be installed. These are the most productive Solar PV units for buildings and are naturally ventilated. In this way, they provide good value for money and another plus is that they can retrofit onto any roof. However, in conservation areas it can be difficult to attain the required planning permission, and these do look like an add-on to the roof as opposed to a natural part of the scenery.
- In Roof Solar PV Systems: While not invisible, they are fairly aesthetically pleasing, and provide a cost effective way of Solar paneling your roof. While it's more costly than other PV systems, they lie completely flush with the roof and are less noticeable than their 'on roof' counterparts.
- PV Tile Systems: In the majority of areas, no planning permission is required for the installation of these, they are simple to install and the visual impact compared to other PV systems is lessened. However, these are relatively expensive and in conservation areas, planning permission is still required. These require a full reroof, and they are slightly more inefficient than the 'on roof' systems.
- Flat-roof Mounted Solar PV Systems: These can be aligned and adjusted to the optimum orientation and tilt, and do not require reroofing. Their efficiency is on a par with the 'On Roof' systems, and they are naturally ventilated. In every case, these require planning permission though, and due to the amount of time they take there is a knock on effect on price. These also put extra weight on the building due to the frame and ballast and must be carefully structured so the panels don't shade each other.
- Ground Mounted Solar PV Systems: These can be installed in the perfect way for light absorption, and are not limited by the size of your roof, meaning a larger Solar PV unit is possible. However, the case remains that planning permission is required for these, and electrical trenching is required also.