What are on top systems?

Fuel costs are rising steadily and government incentives are being designed to encourage people to look at ways of generating their own solar electricity for homes. 

It’s not surprising, therefore, that more and more people are looking for the easiest solution. The most popular way for people to use solar electricity in their homes is by installing an on-top solar PV System.

This consists of a number of interconnected PV panels designed to be mounted on to the roof of a building. The solar power electricity generated by the panels is Direct Current (DC) so a small inverter will be fitted inside the house to connect it to the Alternating Current (AC) used by the household electrical system.

The advantage of an On Top system is that the solar electric panels sit on top of the existing roof tiles, meaning that they are suitable for most pitched roofs and you don’t have to replace the whole roof to install the system.

Where can I put them?
To be able to make good use of solar panels for electricity generation you will ideally need a pitched roof with a large flat surface – ie with not too many dormer windows or an intricately shaped roofline.  

The pitch of the roof is important too.  An ideal pitch is around 30°, but steeper or flatter pitches can also work well. Other than that, it is important to make sure that the roof is not overlooked by trees or tall buildings that could take sunlight away from the solar panels.  Electricity will still be generated if there is no direct sunshine, but the system will be a lot less efficient.

Will they damage the roof?
The most important consideration is that the installation of solar electricity panels does not compromise the performance of the roof.  

Roofs are not the same throughout the world, and Redland, unlike other manufacturers, has designed its On-Top system specifically to work with the typical roof constructions found in the UK. It has also been tested comprehensively to make sure it can withstand the high winds and driving rain that are a feature of British weather.

How long will they last?
And lastly, electric solar panels for homes will only be successful if they are durable. You should expect that your On-Top PV system will continue to generate clean, green electricity for over 25 years.