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Articles: Further Information & Calculators

Further reading and calculators related to installing solar photovoltaics, electrical systems, solar thermal and other renewable energy systems.

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Free Solar PV Calculators

A list of free solar PV calculators, solar design tools and software, Use to calculate solar yields and the Return on Investment (ROI) for solar PV systems.

Types of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System

Introduction to the different types of Photovoltaic (PV) System available including Grid Tied, Off-Grid, Hybrid and Batteryless solar PV systems.

Solar PV System Components

Overview of the basic components needed to install a complete solar PV system. Introduction to solar PV panels. power inverters, AC & DC isolators and mounting systems.

Engineering Recommendation G98

Grid Connections for Micro-Generators including Solar PV Systems and Elecricity Storage Systems in the UK. Under 16Amps Per Phase, grid synchronised.

Evaluating Solar PV Panels - Which panels to buy?

What to look for when evaluating and selecting solar PV panels for UK installations. Electrical characteristics of solar PV arrays and the safety factors used for selecting BoS equipment, also mounting options.

Solar Electricity - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to size a system?, What is kWp?, What is the difference between a kilowatt (kW) and a kilowatt hour ( kWh)?, How does a solar PV system work?

Solar PV: Smart Export Guarantee

Interesting times ... The Smart Export Guarantee came into affect in January 2020. The Smart Export Guarantee is an obligation set by the government for licensed electricity suppliers to offer a tariff and to pay small-scale low carbon Generators and Micro-generators for any electricity that they export to the National Grid.

Preparing for a Solar Panel Installation

As with any construction project the success and efficiency of a solar PV panel installation comes down to good planning. Some advice for potential system owners preparing for a new solar panel installation.

Planning Permission for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

A solar PV installation can be classed as 'permitted development' subject to conditions and when not located within a conservation area, AONB or world heritage site.

Solar PV, Safety & The Building Regulations

Residential PV systems notifiable under Part P. Special consideration needed for Part A. A combination of serious risks for solar PV installers.

Safely Retrofitting Solar PV Roof Mounts

The things to consider before installing a retrofited solar PV system on a roof and an introduction to the type of equipment used to secure an on-roof solar PV system.

Smart Switching / Solar PV Power Switching

Available as an addition to existing solar PV systems or installed as a package alongside a new system, Smart switching puts full control of a solar PV system's power output firmly in the hands of the system owner.

Solar PV: UK Feed in Tariffs

The Solar PV Feed in Tariff (FIT) is available for everyone including homeowners, companies, farmers and schools. Updated UK Feed in Tariff (FIT) rates from May 2013.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) & Electrical Glossary of Terms

An alphabetical list of many of the industry and technical terms you are likely to come across when installing a solar PV system. The glossary also defines terms that are used in roofing and electrical work as well as in solar PV installation and solar manufacturing.

Solar Thermal System Design

Overview of solar water heating system types and system components. Useful background for those considering the installation of a solar thermal hot water system.

Wind Turbine Basics

An introduction to wind turbines and a look at the components that make up a wind energy system.

The effects damp can have on buildings

It is important to be aware that there are different types of dampness with each having a different solution.

Mains Power Supplies & Earthing Systems

Mains Supply and Earthing Systems: Location & accessability, supply systems, earthing, bonding, labelling, installing RCDs.

Electrical Warning Signs & Labelling

A quick overview of some common electrical warning signs and labels that you might find attached to electrical equipment.

Solar Panels - PV Array Calculator

Solar Panels: Solar PV System sizing and power yield calculator. Use to work out roof layouts, PV array sizes, No. of panels and power yields. Based on SAP 2009.

FlatFix Flat Roof: Solar PV Array Spacing / Shade Calculator

The minimum required space between parallel rows to avoid shading is decided by the height of the array immediately in front, the slope of the roof and the lattitude of the installation site. This table illustrates the different row spacings required for optimum positioning in different locations.

Solar PV Further Reading & Supporting Documents

Referenced guides, documents and further reading. All documents will open in a new browser window. NB: This list is not maintained or updated, many of these references and guides are likely to be out of date and are provided only as source references for the data and information found in articles on this website. Current users should ensure that the latest document version is being used by checking to see if a later version is available from the original source.

Solar PV System Owners

Good Practice Guide - Managing the Installation of PV Systems (BERR)

RECC Consumer Code (Apr 2013)

Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety (Electrical Safety Council)


Solar PV Installers

Photovoltaics in Buildings - Guide to the installation of PV Systems 2nd Edition (DTI 2006)

Photovoltaics in Buildings - Safety & the CDM Regulations (DTI)

Health & Safety in Roof Work (HSE)

Five Steps to Risk Assesment (HSE)

Safe Isolation Procedure (Select)

Getting to Grips with Manual Handling (HSE)

Guide to Construction (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1996 (HSE)

Working on Roofs (HSE)

Work at Heights - The Basics (HSE)

Using Electric Storage Batteries Safely (HSE)

Guidance to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (HSE)

Electrical Installations and their Effect on the Fire Performance of Buildings (ESC)

Guidance Notes on the UK Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 (DTI)

Earthing: Your Questions Answered (IEE, 2005)

MCS 001 Installer Certification Scheme Requirements v2.0

MCS 002 Information on Building Directives and European Regulations v1.5

MIS 3002 Requirements for contractors undertaking the supply, design, set to work, commissioning and handover of solar photovoltaic (PV) microgeneration systems v2.1

SAP 2009 v9.90 The Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings


Building Regulations

Approved Document A - Structure

Approved Document B1 - Fire Safety (Domestic)

Approved Document B2 - Fire Safety

Approved Document C - Moisture

Approved Document E - Sound

Approved Document F - Ventilation

Approved Document K - Protection from Falling

Approved Document M - Access & Use of Buildings

Approved Document P - Electrical Safety (Domestic)


Planning Permission

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2012

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Ammendment) (England) Order 2008

Planning Policy Guidance 2 (PPG2): Green Belts

Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7): Sustainable Development in Rural Areas

By Design: Urban Design in the planning system towards better practice

Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22): Renewable Energy

Planning practice guidance for renewable and low carbon energy (July 2013)


Grid Connections

Engineering Recomendation G98 - Updated 16th June 2019

List of DNOs - Updated April 2019

Guide to Engineering Recommendation G98

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