Green Rooftops / Renewable Energy

Installing Solar Panels

One thing that’s very difficult to do with your standard family home with a raked roof is to retrofit a green roof. One thing that you can do, though, is install solar panels on your roof to produce your own power.

Back in the summer of 2011, John Sherborne, who installs solar panels, invited me along to help with the process on his family home. The first series of things that happened were all inside the house, installing cabling and an inverter inside the attic. The first part of the process was to lift some of the roof tiles off in order to fix the bars that would hold the panels on the roof.

Start of the Process

Here you can see the lower line of roof bars already installed, and the first row of solar panels fitted into place. I’m wearing the green jumpsuit, thanks John for lending it to me! The panels are held in place with specially designed brackets that fit between the panels attached to the roof bars, holding them in place. The Panels are then cabled together in the space between the panels and the roof tiles. The cables then feed into the house at a single point in the roof.

Here’s a view of the completed first row, this time from the street.

Halfway through

The completed solar array in the fading light. Even at this time of day, when we finally connected the panels to the electricity grid we watched the electricity meter grind to a halt with the the washing machine running. A very satisfying feeling!

The completed Array

Pictures by John Sherborne

By Philippa

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