Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular addition to domestic and commercial buildings across the UK. With roughly 1.23 million homes in the UK benefitting from their own solar panel system, and the cost of solar panels dropping by 80% in the last 10 years, there’s never been a better time to consider solar energy for your property!
Of course, not everyone is sold on the idea yet, and one of the most common reasons putting people off getting solar panels is fear over damaging the aesthetics of their home or property. Fortunately, integrated solar panels offer a solution; they are more a “part of the building” than traditional panels, whilst still offering the same functional benefits.
What are integrated solar panels?
Integrated solar panels, also known as in-roof solar panels, are solar panels that are designed to be integrated into your building’s structure.
Unlike traditional solar panels that are mounted on top of your roof or installed as separate units, integrated solar panels are designed to blend in with the architectural elements of your roof, lying flush with surrounding tiling.
Benefits of integrated solar panels
These are the main advantages of choosing integrated solar panels over a traditional roof system:
Integrated solar panels are designed to become a part of your building’s structure. This makes them an excellent option for those who want to incorporate solar power into their homes or buildings without sacrificing aesthetics.
With regular solar panels, there is the potential risk of birds nesting beneath them unless additional precautions are taken. In contrast, in-roof solar panels are designed to lie completely flush against your roof, eliminating this risk entirely.
Integrated solar panels optimise the use of available space by integrating them into existing building elements. This eliminates the need for additional mounting structures or dedicated space for solar panel installations, helping you get the most from your available space.
Integrated solar panels are designed to withstand various weather conditions and are typically more durable than regular solar panels. The integration process often involves robust materials and protective coatings, ensuring long-term performance and resilience.
Disadvantages of integrated solar panels
In-roof solar panels are the ideal choice for people who are conscious about how traditional panels may look on their property. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Retrofitting is more challenging
Installing integrated solar panels is typically more complex and expensive when retrofitting to an existing property compared to on-roof panels. The ideal scenario for installing in-roof solar panels is during the construction of a new home or when re-roofing. This explains why many new builds incorporate integrated solar panels, as it offers a convenient and cost-effective solution. That said, installation on an existing building is far from impossible.
Potentially lower efficiency
Integrated solar panels may have slightly lower efficiency compared to regular solar panels (roughly 5-10% less efficient). The integration process can limit the optimal positioning and orientation of the panels, which can affect their exposure to sunlight and, consequently, their energy production efficiency.
How are integrated solar panels installed?
Integrated solar panels require minimal alterations to the underlying roof structure during installation. The process involves removing the roof tiles to expose the existing felt and batten roof, then fitting plastic trays onto this structure. Conventional framed solar PV modules are mounted into these trays, and slates or roof tiles are used to fill in the surrounding areas, resulting in a seamless and aesthetically pleasing finish.
Upgrade your property with in-roof solar panels
If you’ve been reluctant to fit solar panels onto your home or commercial property due to fears over altering the building’s appearance, integrated solar panels offer an ideal solution.
Our team specialise in installing bespoke solar systems – finding the best solution for your home and requirements. Whether you’re looking for traditional or integrated panels, we’ve got a range of solutions and upgrades available, including solar batteries. Plus, we also carry out solar panel repair and maintenance to ensure ongoing efficiency!
For a free quote, or to find out more about how integrated solar panels could work for your property, give us a call on 0330 124 2941 or send us a message. We look forward to finding you an efficient, renewable energy solution for your home!
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