This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.


What you should know about installing Solar PV

There are three vital things all electricians should know about Solar PV before attempting a Solar PV installation - How to become MCS certified; How to ensure the customer gets maximum benefit from the Government Feed-In Tariff; and how to provide full customer care and support.

Electricians who make a commitment to Solar PV need to have a clear understanding of microgeneration systems.  Before that first solar PV panel is fitted, you need to make sure that those who are investing in the system will get the best possible return for their money.  
There is a lot of information out there and, for the newcomer to Solar PV installations, picking the wheat from the chaff can be difficult, says Total Electrical Training. 
Getting the Most from the Feed-In Tariff
The majority of those investing in Solar PV are doing so because of the Government Feed-In Tariff incentive.  The installer must adhere to the requirements of the Microgeneration Certitification Scheme (MCS) and more importantly, all solar PV installers must become registered with a licensed MCS competent persons scheme, in order for customers to qualify for the Feed-In Tariff.
Only those solar PV installations that have been installed by a MCS-certified installer, and using MCS approved system products, will be eligible to claim the Feed-In Tariff 
Maximising the kilowatt hours of energy harnessed is totally dependent on conducting a thorough and accurate pre-installation site survey to calculate the 'Solar Irradiance Measurement' and ensuring the panels are located in the most effective place.  Putting it bluntly, maximum sunlight = maximum £’s to the customer.   
There is anecdotal evidence of some installation firms using online mapping systems to conduct site surveys; but frankly, the real issue of quality comes to the fore here, and it seems there’s no substitute for a physical inspection of a site. In fact, if the site survey fails to take account issues such as shading and roof pitching; as well as the position of the distribution board and its relevance to the proposed positioning of the inverter,
there is every likelihood that the installation could fall some way short of being totally efficient. One of the major reasons the MCS exists today is to ensure that this all-important site survey is carried out properly and professionally. 
Customer care
Customers may not be fully-versed in how the Feed-In Tariff works, and their main questions are likely to be around what financial recompense they are likely to receive. As an installer, the likelihood is that you will need to gain a good underpinning knowledge of the feed-in tariffs on offer and be able to provide a realistic estimate, based on the site survey, including solar PV irradiance measurements.   As a rule of thumb, the average system will pay a net figure of around £200-£300 per year, over and above the existing meter billing. This could mean that some installations actually provide free electricity – that’s why Solar PV is so attractive.
Clients will also want to be reassured about the safety aspects of their system - such as how it converts and conveys the energy they generate to the national grid; what happens in the case of a lightning strike (Solar PV is on the roof after all); how quickly the system will react to any interruptions to the supply; and what if there is work being carried out in the property or premises.
Solar panels are generally ‘retrofitted’ and as such, do not form part of the main fabric of the building. A thorough examination of the roof and its structure is necessary to ensure that compliance with building regulations is not compromised.  Solar PV panels can be subject to things like impact from adverse weather, which further compounds the necessity to ensure the installation is done properly.  

Total Electrical Training is currently running a series of courses to provide the underpinning knowledge for PV installation.  The new 4-day NICEIC/MCS accredited course is aimed at those seeking registration with the Micro Generation Certification (MCS) scheme provider and will cover health and safety, PV design and planning considerations, site surveys, solar radiance calculation; as well a comprehensive overview of how PV actually works. In addition there is detailed information on systems, FIT Estimates;  Installation to Grid Connections, Building Regs, Testing & Commissioning and working with the appropriate Standards. 

Contact Details and Archive...

Related Articles...

Print this page | E-mail this page

Electrical Products