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Do Solar PV Installations Cause Leaks?

There are concerns within the roofing industry that Solar PV installations may cause leaks.

The introduction of the feed in tariff (FIT) and the growth of solar PV installations has led to the concern that this technology becomes associated with causing leaky roofs.   So it is essential the correct fixing methods are used by well trained fitters.

PV technology and installation methods imported from mainland Europe and further afield have not been specifically designed and tested for UK roofs. We need solar PV products and installation procedures that are tailored to our construction and climate. After all, the UK has the strongest wind in Europe and some of the heaviest rainfall.

A roof integrated solar PV system, which fits flush with the traditional roof tiles, should by definition be better at maintaining weather-tightness. Since the introduction of the FIT, the vast majority of PV systems installed have been of the ’on top’ variety. These bolt on top of the existing roof covering and do not form part of the roof covering.

EnergyMyWay use roof fixing systems designed for UK roofs and ensure the water tightness of the roofs (watch our video of how we fix panels to the roof here).  We have systems designed for various different roof types such as pan tiles, slates, and clay tiles.

The slate fixing system we use means that there is no pressure on the tiles and no penetration of the slate.  We replace an entire slate which has the panel fixing system already integrated, we then redress the existing slates round the new metal slate which is screwed directly to the rafters making for a secure water tight installation.

 

With the pan tile roof fixing there is no pressure put on to the tiles so no possibility of cracking the tile.  The tiles are “pushed up” so we can locate the rafters underneath and the roof hook is attached directly to the rafter and the tile is then repositioned over the roof hook.  This means there are no holes in the tile or any pressure on the tiles giving a secure water tight installation.

 

 

 

James Eades

By: James Eades

Operations Director, James Eades is EnergyMyWay's in-house expert on renewable energy policy, microgeneration technologies and best practice in the renewable energy industry.