- Roof integrated solar panels introduction
- Different system options and design considerations
- Cost of an in-roof solar system
- GSE integration In-roof solar panels
- Easy Roof Evolution system
- Viridian in-roof solar kit
- SolFit – Integrated PV System
- GB-Solar – complete solar roof system
- GB-Sol Solar PV Slates
Roof integrated solar panels introduction.
‘In roof’ solar panels are also referred to as ‘roof-integrated’. Firstly, it’s worth noting that ‘In roof’ is a bit like ‘on-roof’. The panels are generally the same. However the major difference being that with in-roof solar panels, the panels are serving as both the roof covering and producers of electricity.
Tiles can be saved in the roof area as they are not required under an in-roof system.
Most importantly an In-roof PV panel system has a major advantage. They are considered more aesthetically pleasing. This is because they are set into the roof, therefore look like they were intended to be there rather than an afterthought bolt-on.
Believe it or not, there is a slight disadvantage to in-roof solar systems. Basically the panels find it harder to breathe and circulate air. Hence systems are generally 5-10% less efficient than on-roof. It’s all because solar panels that operate at higher temperatures don’t actually perform as well as you might expect.
We believe that In-roof solar panels are the best choice when building a new property or building development.
If you are looking for an alternative fixing solution, see our solar panel fixing options page.
Different system options and design considerations
Firstly, you want to decide whether you want the In-roof solar panels to take up all or part of the roof.
A complete solar roof looks incredible, but generally costs more than a partial roof system. However, we have managed to save clients considerable amounts by not needed to buy a roof covering. For example, one client was going to have a pitched zinc roof. Instead, we quoted for a complete solar roof. The cost of the zinc roof covered a huge amount towards the solar install.
A complete solar roof can be achieved using solar panels or ‘PV slates’ (tiles), we have included some pictures below under GB-Sol.
We would only recommend installing a solar roof on a suitable roof elevation eg, facing east through south to west. The north-facing elevation may require another type of roof covering as solar panels will not work well on a Roth facing roof.
In most circumstances you would need to tile around the solar array, depending on how much roof space has been used.
There are two categories of in-roof solar systems. Solar panel frames or solar tiles.
Solar panel frames allow the use of standard panels and are mounted using a purpose-made frame such as the GSE integration system or EasyRoof Evolution.
There is also the possibility of using a bespoke system where the panels are made and built into the flashing, such as Viridian, SolFit or GB-Sol.
The least expensive in-roof system is GSE and EasyRoof systems. Both work with Velux® windows and can also be used to build a complete solar roof.
The Viridian system, is also a very neat in-roof system, probably one of the smartest looking but not the cheapest.
Cost of an in-roof solar system
When installing onto new builds, the cost of the GSE or Easy Roof Evolution in-roof system is pretty much the same as an in-roof system, at about £1,200 per kWp ex-VAT and scaffolding.
The in roof system doesn’t need roof tiles under it making a saving on roof coverings.
The Viridian system is around £1500 per kWp ex-VAT and Scaffolding.
Using GB-Sol tiles to make up a complete solar roof system will cost the most at around £3500 per kWp.
GSE integration in-roof mounting system
Roof integration manufacture “GSE integration” is one of the most common In-roof solar panels mounted kit manufacturers. The GSE In-roof system is most commonly used for new build properties and property renovations. However, we have been known to use it on an existing roof. This requires tiles to be removed, extra battens installed and felt in some cases felt replaced.
One of the best things about GSE integration is that it fits about 90% of solar PV panels available in the UK market. It can be designed and used to cover the whole roof if required, subject to panel and roof size.
Photovoltaic panels installed in-roof using GSE can be positioned in portrait or in landscape. The system can be installed on wood or metal structures and mounted on battens. It is possible to install GSE in-roof on slopes between 12° and 50°.
The system is guaranteed for 10 years which is about industry standard for a roof mounting kit.
See below, video animation for installation of the GSE in-roof system.
There are several benefits to the GSE In-roof solar panels integrated solar kit. These are as follows:
- The system is certified to MCS012, ensuring systems installed can be MCS certified and qualify for export payments.
- GSE make different frame sizes to suit a large range of panels meaning the customer is free to choose from a large selection of solar panels.
- Well engineered tough design certifying it’s use in areas with high wind and snow loads (5400Pa in pressure load and 3460Pa in wind uplift).
- It’s simple and fast to install saving costs on labour.
- Extremely well manufactured with high pressure polypropylene injection moulding technology, making it a flexible, resilient to shock and temperature variations.
- It is lightweight and easy to transport
- It replaces part or all of the roof covering saving money and ensures complete weather tightness.
- 100% recyclable.
- Well priced, GSE integration kit is the most affordable in roof solar panel kit available, making it accessible for retrofits and new construction.
Easy Roof Evolution system
The Easy Roof System is built, designed and manufactured by French company IRFTS Solar Solutions.
It is accredited to MCS standards as a ventilated in roof solar panel mounting kit.
Similar to GSE integration, each mounting pod is fitted similar to a tile, interlocking between each pod.
Solar panels are then fitted in landscape or portrait, on most types of tiles roofs. Mounting Flashing kits are used to gain a weatherproof seal around the solar panel array and the adjoining tiles.
The easy roof-integrated solar kit comes with a 10-year warranty. It is manufactured using 100% recyclable material.
Easy Roof + Velux® Windows
Together Velux® and IRFTS have designed a specialist flashing for a Velux® Window, allowing positioning of a window within the solar panel array.
Viridian in-roof solar kit
Viridian is considered a market leader with its crisp low-profile look. The kit comes complete with exclusive Clearline Fusion solar panels, with a module efficiency of between 16.6% (260W) and 19.2% (300W).
The benefits of viridian solar are:
- Wonderful aesthetic properties and suitable for new build and retrofit. Crisp progression feel is achieved by invisible clamps.
- Uniform spacing making for superb aesthetics using small and exact gaps between rows (5mm) and columns (30mm).
- A robust design offering good fire performance, wind resistance and water tightness.
- Good range of panel sizes from 1.5m2 to 3.0m2: can be joined or spaced apart on the roof.
- Works well with a wide range of roof finishes such as slates, tiles and pantiles.
SolFit – Integrated PV System
SolfFit is uses 270Wp – 300Wp Bisol laminates manufactured in the EU. The laminates have then been build into frames and flashings that have been manufactured here in the UK.
A unique selling point of the SolFit system is that it allows for free-flow of air under the panels. This, therefore, gives a better performance of the solar cells ranging between 15.3% to 16.8% efficiency.
The Solfit integrated system has the following Benefits:
A 10 year PV manufactures workmanship guarantee.
A 20-year weather tightness guarantee.
A 25 year PV linear performance guarantee, as most panels do.
It is suitable for installation with tile and slate types.
It comes with all the correct certifications such as, MCS 012,TUV test and CE marks.
Installation can be done from eaves to ridge.
15.3% to 16.8% module efficiency with positive power tolerance.
GB-Sol: a complete solar roof system
Forward-thinking company GB-Sol manufactures all types of BIPV systems. They are able to manufacture partial and complete solar roof systems to client specification.
This type of flexibility gives them a complete advantage when it comes to odd-shaped roofs. All panel sizes and shapes are possible.
This level of aesthetics and customisation obviously comes at a cost but is definitely worth it.
Using a GB-Sol system has the following Benefits:
They have a good track record and have been established here in the UK since 1995.
Works for both full and partial roof installations.
BRE (Building Research Establishment) tested.
It can be manufactured to any size or shape.
GB-Sol Solar PV Slates
If you have a slate roof, GB-Sol manufactures a solar PV slate that can be used as the total roof covering. The slate only looks like a slightly different shade of grey, other than that it looks like a solar slate.
Solar slates form part of the roof, no need for other roof coverings in area PV is installed.