Specialists in Solar Panel installation

Installation and Maintenance

In most cases, fitting Solar PV can deliver a return on investment of around 10%.

Regardless of all the environmental benefits, this makes fitting such a system one of the best investments for your money, both in terms of return and safety.

Solar power is a great way to upgrade our existing building stock. The benefits are not only environmental, but also economic, with subsidies in the form of FiT payments. If you have tenants, this will reduce their energy costs.

New buildings installation expenditure can be subsumed into overall construction costs with minimal impact on overall budget. We feel sure that solar panels will become standard in time.

Solar PV can assist with meeting various UK building regulations and key factors driving demand, such as:

  • SAP - Standard Assessment Procedure for energy rating of dwellings adopted by government as part of the UK national methodology for calculation of the energy performance of buildings. It is used to demonstrate compliance with building regulations.
  • Code for Sustainable Homes - introduced to drive a measured change in sustainable home building practice. It is a standard for key elements of design and construction affecting the sustainability of a new home; it will become a single national standard, a mandatory requirement for all newly built homes to meet sustainability ratings, including ratings for energy and carbon dioxide emissions.

A new-build project can often be easier to fit with Solar PV than a retro-fit.

A PV installation company is often appointed through a main contractor and should provide guidance through the design and installation process.

There are many challenges facing a main contractor with respect to solar energy. Firstly knowledge - not having sufficient knowledge about PV; possible conflicts of interests, as architects must integrate PV on a roof. Secondly, programming - the logistics of getting the panels onto a roof. Thirdly, interfacing between councils, architects, English Heritage (for listed buildings). Fourthly, balancing risks - quality versus value-for-money.

We can ensure that the entire project team is briefed on PV throughout. We can assist with the design, with risk and quality assurance, and with defining the scope and specifications of the PV project, and keeping costs down. After the system is installed, it is commissioned.

Very roughly, in-roof costs are 20% costs more than on-roof, on a particular project, however integrated PV is part of the building.

There are financing options for particularly complex solar assignments, and we can recommend clients to relevant companies.

Profiting from Solar

  • Commercial solar increases the value of buildings.
  • FiT payments.
  • Highly visible PR.
  • Flexible integration - on-roof or fully integrated.
  • No moving parts.
  • Low operational costs - can include maintenance contract for annual checks and cleaning.
  • System performance can be calculated with high degree of confidence - there is a lot of relevant software.
  • Easily removable future-proofing roof, for example for air conditioning installation.
  • Likely 40-60 year PV module lifetime.
  • 25 year warranty (by comparison a new home is legally guaranteed for 10 years. See www.nhbc.co.uk/Warrantiesandcover).
  • Economy - offsetting one product for PV is an obvious cost saving.

"With no moving parts, photovoltaic systems provide one of the simplest, most reliable and cost effective ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and future-proof businesses against rising energy costs. Solar is a proven and predictable technology, which provides a visual statement of corporate responsibility and has been proven to attract tenants, encourage wider energy savings and improve employee retention" (Source - Jones Lang LaSalle).

Solar PV for Residential Blocks

First Greentech guide for residential blocks

Monitoring your Solar System

Once a system is installed, there are various options for checking and monitoring it:

  • All systems come with a standard generating metre which is installed next to the inverter. This is the lowest cost solution possible, and is maintenance-free. Tariffs are collected against the standard metre that comes with the system. Simply submit the reading to the utility company.
  • Wireless display. This permits monitoring the inverter in greater detail from the comfort of your living room. This method gives historical data. However you cannot submit the FiT reading from this metre.
  • Web Monitoring. A GPSR monitoring system, read for example directly from the generating metre. This can give a FiT reading.
  • Full Web Monitoring. This is ideal for large-scale solar installations. It allows for inverter diagnostics and FiT metre reading. This saves time and any costs of going to the site. A lot of functionality can be built into the system with this solution. Remote sensors can be added.

Solution (a) is free. Solution (b) is typically in the range of £300 - £500. The data logger is the expensive part for residential (a) and (b) systems.

First Greentech provides guidance throughout the design and installation process
Solar power is a great way to upgrade our existing building stock