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Have solar panels, considering a new roof

I had my 3.52kW system installed in 2011 on the South side of our main house (detached property) and I am very happy with it.

However, we may have need to replace many of the tiles not under the solar panels in the near future (not expecting major structural work on the trusses but may have some batten issues) which we would also take as an opportunity to increase the level of insulation in the loft (which was converted into an additional room in 2006) because it gets thoroughly cold in there in the winter and exceptionally hot in the summer.

Does the presence of the solar panels limit the extent of the work I can have done?

Am I correct in thinking the panels could not be disconnected (or does this depend on the roofer in question e.g. if MCS accredited)?

Fortunately, the we had the relevant part of the roof properly surveyed when we had the panels installed and because we had a stock of spare tiles available we got the solar installers to replace any and all tiles under and around the panels that looked cracked or damaged when the panels were installed. So the tiling and structure of the roof under the panels themselves is less of an issue to elsewhere on the roof.

Any comments or views would be appreciated.

Replies

  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    It should be possible to disconnect the cables at the inverter. However, the solar panels will be generating several hundred volts all the time that the sun is shining on them. They will keep doing this however much you try to turn them off at the isolator, or unplug them from the inverter.

    It's therefore essential that anyone working on the panels knows what they are doing.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • edited 29 June 2014 at 10:35PM
    mac2008mac2008 Forumite
    266 Posts
    edited 29 June 2014 at 10:35PM
    It is not a great problem to remove and refit them actually. Probably half a day's work to remove once scaffolding is up? Ectophile is quite right about someone suitably qualified doing this part of it though. Is your original installer still about?
    My PV system: South West England, 10x 250Wp Trina Solar panels, Fronius Inverter, South facing roof, 35° pitch with no shading.
  • TrickyDicky101TrickyDicky101 Forumite
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    Yes, the installer is still about so potentially I could get him involved too. So there's no problem with physically removing the panels and then re-fitting them? Assuming of course the electrical generation issue has been dealt with by a suitably qualified person.
  • edited 1 July 2014 at 3:29PM
    mac2008mac2008 Forumite
    266 Posts
    edited 1 July 2014 at 3:29PM
    Yes no problem. Just undo brackets and they come off the mounting rails one by one. Mounting rails can also be removed if needed. Electrical side is not a big deal -it is essentially unplugging the connectors on the underside of the panels.

    Just don't drop them or stack them up somewhere they could be damaged or stolen!

    If you find a roofer with PV experience they may be happy to do all this but my preference would be to get the original installer to remove and replace. Then in the unlikely event of a problem when they are reinstalled there is no blame game between the installer and another company who have worked on them.
    My PV system: South West England, 10x 250Wp Trina Solar panels, Fronius Inverter, South facing roof, 35° pitch with no shading.
  • TrickyDicky101TrickyDicky101 Forumite
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    Thank you for your help :)
This discussion has been closed.
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