A Solar PV installation journey

Solar PV Installation - Day 1

Published by geoffbrickell on 24 October 2011

The main installation started this morning with two teams of two doing the work: one pair to do the electrics and a second pair to do the work on the roof.

Image The electrical work consisted of tapping into the existing distribution box in the utility room shown in the image to the left of the boiler (I'll have no excuses for not decorating the utility room once the installation is done - been putting this off since the new boiler was installed. smiley

By luck there was a spare 'circuit' available in the distribution box, so this is where the feed from the Solar PV 'generator' will supply elecricity to the main house network, or if it cannot be used in the house it will automatically be 'exported' back out into the main electricity grid.

Image Moving upstream the feed goes through various isolation switches and importantly through the generation meter; these are both shown to the right of the boiler. The generation meter is a critical component since this is what 'clocks' how much electricity in kWh has been generated - and will be read at intervals in to order claim the Feed In Tariff income.

Image Going further upstream the feed passes out through the wall to trunking that was installed on the outside wall going up to the loft level.

From here it then enters the loft space where is goes through another isolator before connecting to the inverter which has been fixed to the end gable wall inside the loft.

Shown in the image on the left, the final step upstream is through another isolation/connection box, shown bottom right, where in due course the DC connections from the solar panels themselves will be made.

The electricians finished their work fairly quickly, and had done as much as they could by about mid-afternoon, since the layout of the house made this aspect of the installation pretty straightforward.

The roof work however was slower going and not helped by occasional heavy showers!Image  

What needed to be done here was the careful laying out and fixing of the rails and hangers that each of the panels would be attached to.

The fixings for solar panels are now very standardised and the methods well tested and established, but the work was quite painstaking  to ensure that everything was prepared accurately and securely. 

By the end of the day all the fixings were prepared but there was no time to start fixing any panels in place.

More tomorrow !