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Last edited 30 Oct 2020
Installation of photovoltaic panels on existing flat roofs - some lessons learned IP 8 14
Installation of photovoltaic panels on existing flat roofs - some lessons learned (IP 8/14) was written by Roger Sadgrove and Steve Pester and published by BRE on 10 July 2014. BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.
In the UK, most of the photovoltaic (PV) installations on existing buildings are installed on roofs. Although roof mounting of PV systems can create access and load-bearing issues, a roof mounted system is likely to be secure from vandalism and less likely to be overshadowed than one sited at ground level.
Apart from establishing whether equipment and materials can be delivered safely to the roof area in question, electrical safety and performance, and security of the mechanical support system must be considered at all stages.
This 8-page information paper is intended to help make clients and consultants aware of issues involved in the installation of PV systems on traditional asphalt flat roofs of existing buildings. It sets out insights gained in carrying out the whole process from planning through to commissioning, operation and maintenance.
Its contents are:
- Installing PV systems on existing roofs.
- Securing a PV system to an asphalt roof.
- Load calculations and wind forces.
- Access limitations.
- Working at height considerations.
- Inadvertent shadowing.
- The need for a comprehensive method statement.
- Monitoring of post-installation performance.
- Government policy.
- The BRE PV installation project.
- Specification considerations.
- Assessing the robustness of the roof.
- Assessing the roof construction.
- Operational considerations.
- Working at height procedures.
- References and notes.
- Further reading.
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