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Solar Installation

At Harvest Cornwall we take great care to make the installation process go as smoothly as possible with a minimum of disruption to you.

Consultation

As part of our initial consultation, we will take into account your property, budget, energy use along with a full survey to determine:

  • The best elevation for maximum solar gain
  • The structure and load bearing capabilities of the roof
  • The best fixings for your roof
  • Return on investment 
  • Any possible shading issues
Solar Panels Consultation

The Installation Process

Harvest Cornwall Solar Installation

Once the system and costs have been agreed we then start the process to fit your new solar panel system. 

Most of the work obviously takes place on the roof, accessed by scaffolding where some tiles/slates are cut/removed for access to the rafters for roof hook attachment. Tiles/slates are replaced, flashing as required, then the panels are clamped onto rails and wired together. Meantime the electrical work involving inverter fitting and associated consumer unit, meter and isolator wiring will be carried out ready for switch on.

Panel Testing

All of the panels are tested and checked to make sure none are damaged and they are all performing according to their specification. This is done by our electrical engineers using a test meter. Current and voltage readings are taken for each panel and recorded as part of the handover pack.

Solar Panel Testing

Inverter

The function of an inverter is to convert the DC current from the panels into AC, the type of electricity can be used in the home. The inverter can be installed inside or out. We only specify IP65 rated inverters because they are a sealed units with all moving parts protected from dirt, dust or water. They can be installed in a garage, in the house or outside the house.

There is a more detailed guide to solar panel inverters here.

Inverter

Meters and Switches

Both AC and DC isolating switches are installed and labelled to ensure safe working should any work be necessary on or around the system in the future.

A generation meter will be be installed by us to enable the energy produced by your installation to be recorded and form the basis for payment of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs). The generation meter is installed close to the consumer unit [fuse board]. This measures every kW generated by the solar panels. Your energy provider will ask for a reading from this 4 times a year and pay you directly according to the amount generated.

 

Solar Panel Generation Meter

Strengthening Your Roof

Strengthening your Roof

Where required, we have a survey carried out by a RICS approved structural surveyor who produces a report, at approximately £130, detailing what is work is needed if anything. In most cases, any strengthening work is minimal and is carried out by us when we install the panels. A support the same size as the existing rafter is glued and screwed in place onto the existing rafter from soffit to ridge. This is carried out on every timber that has a supporting roof hook which carries the rails for panel attachment. Photographs are then taken and sent off to the RICS certified surveyor who then signs off the completed work.