Mounting photovoltaic panels on a Guernsey roof

July 19th, 2010 by Gavin Lanoe

To mount photovoltaic panels (PV panels) on the roof of our home we decided to make our own mounting brackets.  This was mostly because of cost as the standard mounting kits can be expensive.

There is a long payback time for photovoltaic panels so keeping the installation cost as low as possible shortens the payback time.

For mounting the PV panels we used the same method we had used for the solar hot water (SHW) panel installation. This panel mounts on straps that screw into the roof timbers and hang between gaps in the tiles.

We used the following components:

  • Thin metal strips
  • Flamco mounting rail
  • Flamco joining strips
  • Stainless steel nuts, bolts and washers

We bought the thin metal strips from B&Q for about £7 each, and the Flamco rails from BTS for about £7 each as well.  Flamco joining strips were a few pounds Sterling from BTS.  We sourced the stainless steel nuts, bolts and washers from eBay, and the odd extra pieces from Camp du Roi.

First we needed to lift a few tiles and screw in one of the thin metal strips. (click image to expand)

Ideally we would have screwed the metal strips into a joist but this would have meant penetrating the roofing felt and possible damaging the loft room ceiling underneath, so we decided to get a good fixing into a baton.

We had to put a kink in the metal strips to bring the end up to the level of the ridges on the tiles so we could fix the horizontal Flamco rail onto them without lifting the bottom of the tiles.

We had to put a kink in the metal strips to bring the end up to the level of the ridges on the tiles to make fixing the horizontal Flamco rail into it without lifting the bottom of the tiles.

Once we had the top rail installed on the roof we measured and remeasured to work out where the bottom rail needed to be.  We repeated the process for the bottom rail.

With the way the bottom rail hung we did not need to kink the metal strip. (click image to expand)

Because of the way the bottom rail hung we did not need to kink the metal strip. If we were hanging the panels on a slate roof we would not have needed to kink the metal strip at all because of the thinness of the slate tiles.

Because the mounting holes in the panels are underneath the panels we had to use a step bracket to mount the panel to the Flamco rails.

This picture shows the back of the panel with the step bracket attached. The Step bracket is then bolted to the Flamco which will be hung from the roof.

The panels were lifted carefully onto the roof and were bolted down individually to the rails.

In the picture below you can see two of the three mounted panels and the rails where the 4th photovoltaic panel is about to go.

The roof rails waiting to accept the fourth photovoltaic panel (click image to expand)

Finally we had all four panels installed.

Four photovoltaic panels installed on my roof with a panel of evacuated tubes for solar hot water in the background (click image to expand)

The roof of my home with four 215 watt photovoltaic panels and one panel for solar hot water (click image to expand)

This article was originally published on my website.

1 Response to “Mounting photovoltaic panels on a Guernsey roof”

  1. Gracesolar

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