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Awkward roof shape for solar PV panels

  • 26-11-2021 3:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 365 ✭✭


    Would really appreciate some advice on this. Below is an overhead pic of the roof of my house with dimensions. I had one guy out to survey and he said it wasn't a runner due to the shape of the roof and the difficulty with erecting scaffold at the side of the house (it's a narrow passage ot boundary wall).

    Is there any point pursuing this with other suppliers?

    Is there a way of installing without scaffold?

    How many panels could I realistically get on the two roof segments outlined in red below?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Scaffold? What is this strange thing you speak of ?! :-)

    Two lads who did my panel installation arrived out with a ladder and "had at it", no scaffold. Is that normal, dunno - but I'd hazzard a guess that it's fairly common. In anycase, from your picture while it's certainly true that you wouldn't be able to errect scaffold in the side passageways there......what's wrong with errecting a tower on your back patio and then gaining access to the roof there. You don't need access on every side! Once your on the roof, you can just walk over to the other slope.

    As for the "shape of the roof is wrong". I don't know where to start with that comment from the supplier. :-) You can easily get 12-16 panels up there I reckon.

    Just noticed the "north" orientation mark on the you'd probably have 2x strings. 1xSouth east and 1xsouth west. May need to get some mini-inverters (optimisers) for the south west facing one as your chimney will cast a shawdow on a few panels from 2pm onwards I'd say.

    Definetely doable though, and relatively easy to. Nothing hard here

  • Registered Users Posts: 793 ✭✭✭reklamos

    I would say shop around. Scaffold would make work easier and probably safer compared to a ladder. But it is definitely doable. If there's a will there's a way. As in regards to the number of panels, it would depend on the panel size. I saw an online version where you could do play with diferent sizes and see which one makes most sense. That chimney though is in unfortunate place.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,426 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Given your roof shape I would not ignore the North facing aspect

  • Registered Users Posts: 406 ✭✭mrm

    If you have an approx. 30deg roof slope (it looks steeper) sketch is an approximation of panel size 1650mm x 990mm (which I think is the 340w panels used by an Enniskillen company). I dont know the setback requirements from edge (200mm?) and you do have issues with so many edges. Again, I dont know if the layout is feasible with the mounting systems (staggered panel layout- more knowledgeable individuals here can comment) but it gives you an idea on scaled google image of what might be achievable. Hope it helps but be careful taking this as anything other than a rough sketch.

  • Registered Users Posts: 365 ✭✭Cerdito

    Thanks everyone for the info, it's all very encouraging. Below are the original plans for the estate, note they show a slightly different roof shape on the side elevations (flat rather than a point).

    I was led to believe that panels on North faving were pointless, given the pitch of the roof in the plans, would they be a runner?

    Could anyone PM me with a few recommended companies?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Loads of different ways to config the panels of course. You could also fit them in landscape like....

    But the lads that do this for a living (i.e. the installers) will take one look at your roof and come up with a plan in about 15 seconds which may be totally different that what mrm or I have given you. They do it all the time and would see things that we wouldn't - but the main thing is that your roof isn't mental. Very doable for a solar install.

    Your chimney may need some optimizers on the 3 panels adjacent above, but again, the installer will see you right (assuming they are not cowboys)

    North facing roofs are generally to be avoided, but they can and do generate some yield in the summer months - but you won't need to use yours here I'd say.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA

    Go for the square and triangle panels from this crowd:

    They have a designer on their site and you'll fit more kw on the roof but these panels won't be as cheap as the standard ones.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,426 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

  • Registered Users Posts: 365 ✭✭Cerdito

    They look the job, was able to fit loads on with that designer. I guess it depends on whether the crowd I go with can source them. Great help from everyone on this forum

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA

    Yeah the only reason I found out is because I was thinking of adding an extra 1kw to the 5x1m tiny roof above my living room 😁

    @Cerdito if he can't, they seem to be available in the UK so maybe bring them in yourself via the North and get them to fit it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 64,281 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Be very careful about the non-standard panels. If they cost 2-3 times as much per kW as a standard panel, your system will never pay for itself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA

    Not sure that is relevant anymore at the speed of electricity price rises these days but yeah for sure it will cost more than standard panels.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    True, but I can't see any reason why a bunch of 12-14 standard panels in landscape won't fit the bill there. It's not a weird roof - well not really. Sure the non-standard ones certainly would maximize production capacity, but as long as you have ~12 panels (or greater) your going to be rocking along anyway for most families.

    Be curious to see what some other suppliers think Cerdito.