Solar installations on roofs are becoming an increasingly common sight across the UK. With this in mind, NFRC is encouraging its roofers to work together with reputable plumbers and electricians in order to achieve the optimum solar installation. You can see the other professional associations that we work closely with by checking out our Useful links.
Our belief is that competence in roofing work rather than just knowing how to install the system is a key component when it comes to installing solar panels. Professional roofing contractors can bring expertise and knowledge, as well as the correct insurance for working at height, to solar installation.
Our members are supported and actively encouraged to consider bringing solar into their business either by being a registered installer or by becoming Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited.
Solar water heating systems, or 'solar thermal' systems, uses heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater can be used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.
Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. High performing solar thermal panels do not require direct sunshine and will collect heat on a cloudy day.
Solar panel electricity systems, also known as photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don't need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting. Costs have continued to fall as efficiencies of PV materials have risen, so the technology is becoming more and more cost-effective for generation of energy on buildings.
PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof.