Say Goodbye To Intrusive PV: A Solar Slate Case Study

It was only a matter of time before manufacturers in the solar photovoltaic industry turned their concerted efforts towards PV solutions for aesthetically sensitive locations. Solar Slate Ltd have done just that and are the first company to bring a superior and robust product to the market.

This week we look at a local project to see how the product was successfully integrated into a conservation area setting.

Solar Slate: The Brief

The client desire on this project was 4kWp of photovoltaic panels that were to be installed on a barn conversion at an idyll site nr Liss in Hampshire as subtly as possible. Solar tile solutions from Romag and Solar Century were considered but even these were too intrusive.

Matched to natural slates

solar slate, renewable technologies

Here is where the recently government accredited solar slate made by Solar Slate Ltd came in. Based in Bristol the company have recently launched the solar slate multi, which from the picture below imitates a 4x 600mm x 300mm slates in a row.  The slate colour is similar to a range of natural slates.

The PV slate company also offers samples so that natural slates can be matched prior to installation.

Simple roof installation

A roof area of 33 square metres had to be allocated for a 4kWp installation, requiring 98 multi slates installed. Conveniently roof preparation is no more complicated than that of natural slates and the PV multi slate has been designed to fix onto battens with 6 stainless steel screw and washer fixings. The slates were simply fixed on the roof one after the other, weatherproof cables clipped together to form a long electrical chain. The end cables penetrated the roof membrane and a final connection to the inverter, generation meter and household electricity supply were completed.

The final installation was is impressively subtle and matched well with the Welsh slate specified on the barn roof.

Extended payback

solar slate, renewable technologies

The installation of solar tiles whilst superior to many other current solutions does however come at an elevated price and a longer lead time than standard panels. The costs of such a solution are over twice as expensive as a traditional on-roof panel installation.

As a result the payback for the system reduces considerably to around 6% return during the first year of installation.

Nonetheless the installation goes to show you can successfully integrate new technology into old beautiful natural and traditional building materials.

If you would like to talk to a renewable energy consultant about your project, whether solar or involving other renewable technologies, pick up the phone and call 08445 003383

Doug Johnson

Doug is a chartered mechanical engineer and has had the pleasure of being involved in the UK renewable sector since 2008. With wide-ranging operational and design experience in both the domestic and commercial sectors across a wide range of recognised technologies he hopes to be able to share his experience to help enlighten and save you hassle along the way.