Homeowners guide to solar panel installation

Marley Solar panels being installed onsite

From cutting energy bills to reducing carbon footprints, there are many reasons that homeowners may want to consider solar panel installation. But there’s a lot to think about, and, understandably, many people aren’t sure where to begin with planning such a project. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, which should help answer all your questions about rooftop solar installations.

Choosing the right solar panels for your home

There are many types of solar panels on the market, and the right choice will depend on your preferences and roof requirements.

When it comes to how solar panels are installed, there are two main options:

Roof-integrated solar panels
These sit in line with the roof surface, giving a streamlined and unobstructive appearance – as if they were a planned part of the building rather than an afterthought. Since there are no visible fixings or space between the panels and the roof surface, there is nowhere for debris, such as fallen leaves, to build up, ensuring a low-maintenance option.

Marley SolarTile® is a roof-integrated solar panel system. These solar panels are installed in a grid layout, allowing arrays of any size to be created. They are installed in place of roofing tiles, saving you money on roof materials, and are fully compatible with the Marley roofing system, making it easy for you to plan the installation and gives peace of mind with a 15 year guarantee.

On-roof solar panels
Also known as bolt on, these solar panels are mounted on frames attached to the roof, rather than as an integrated part of the roof. These are quick to install but don't look as aesthetically pleasing as the integrated system. Additionally due to the space between the roof surface and the solar panels, regular cleaning is required to remove debris and there can be issues with birds nesting under the panels, affecting the panels efficiency.

When is the best time for solar panel installation?

Homeowners often opt for solar panel installation when they’re having other work done on the roof. Whether you’re having a few roof tiles replaced, or a complete reroof, panels can be installed retrofit or at batten staging.

Depending on the type of solar panels you choose, the panels may also take the place of some of the roofing materials, which could lead to cost savings and quicker installation times.

If roof repairs or refurbishment are not currently required on your home, you can still get solar panels installed. With a compliant roof, the project should be straightforward, and you could have a new solar system fully up and running within a few days.

As for the time of year, many people believe that solar panels can only be installed in warmer weather. In fact, the project can be carried out at any time of year, as long as it’s safe for the builders to be on the roof. This means that, unless there happens to be a storm going through with high winds or snow, solar panels can just as easily be installed in Winter as Summer.

How to install solar panels

The correct method of solar panel installation will depend on the type of system you have chosen, as each one is different. We would always recommend seeking the manufacturers advice on install.

What else is required for a solar installation?

While solar panel installation is the most noticeable part of a solar energy system, it’s important to remember that there’s more to a solar installation than the panels on the roof.

  • Inverters – Solar panels create direct-current electricity (DC), but UK homes use alternating current (AC). An inverter converts DC power to AC, so that it can be used in the home. These units don’t take up much space and can be installed indoors, in a location that can be easily accessed for maintenance.
  • Battery storage – While not required, battery storage could help you make the most of your solar panel installation. Solar batteries enable you to store electricity generated during the day, saving it for later use. The capacity of solar batteries can range from 2 to 14 kWh, depending on your requirements, and you can use more than one battery for additional energy storage.

Marley solar panel installation

For more information about the benefits of Marley SolarTile® integrated solar tiles, and to find out how Marley SolarTile® can benefit you and your home, please contact us. Our expert team is here to answer all your questions and help you choose a solar system that will provide years of reliable service.

Speak to your local specialist