About the solar and battery survey

A site survey is very important. Please read this before appointing any company to install your solar and or battery storage system.

It is very important that the company you choose visits the site where the solar and or battery will be installed.  The surveyor should check the following - 

1) Measure the roof(s) to make sure of the exact area where the solar panels will be located (where possible).  A margin around the solar panels of about 300mm should be provided between the solar panel frame and the edge of the roof(s).  This is to minimise wind up lift and enable access for future maintenance.  Google maps are very good but they are not totally accurate and it is impossible to get accurate measurements from Ariel photos alone.  Problems could arise when the installers get to site if no onsite checks have been made before agreeing how many panels and the price.  Such errors can particularly if occur the company is located far away and does not visit site before the installation works commence.  

2) Checks the orientation of the roof(s) - South is best. 

3) Checks the pitch of the roof(s) - 35 degrees is best

4) Checks the type of roof(s) covering and the condition.  There is no point putting solar panels on a roof that has old roof coverings only to find the panels need to be removed to fix a leak or replace the roof coverings.  It is best to fix any issues before having solar panels installed.  

5) Assess the shading impact on the proposed area where the solar panels will be installed.  If there is a lot of shade it is best NOT to have solar panel placed in that area.  If there is part shading you might want to consider having optimisers installed (only to those panels that are in the shade). Optimisers are not too expensive and will help to mitigate the impacts of shading to an array of solar panels. Shading will affect the amount of kWh the system will generate.  The company must provided you with an estimated kWh the system will generate in the first year.  This is an important figure as it is the amount of electric the solar panels will generate (kWh) and that can be stored in the batteries.  If the company overstate this kWh figure or under estimates it due to not assessing the amount of shading you will have been miss-sold and will not get as good a return on your investment.     

6) Checks access for scaffolding.  

7) Check and measures the roof(s) structure to make sure it is strong enough to support the additional loading.  It might be necessary for a structural engineer to prove the strength of the roof. 

8) Checks and agree with the customer cable runs and location for the inverter(s) and batteries.  The larger batteries can be very heavy at 110kg each so Solar Partner prefers to install them in a garage floor mounted for safety from theft and structural loading.  If you do not have a garage or sufficient room for the battery we recommend placing them on an external wall away from the sun.  We also recommend that a small canopy is built over to offer protection from the elements. 

9) Check the distribution board make and model and to see if there are any spare ways/spaces for additional fuses.  If there are no spare space available in the existing board a new small board may need to be added or a Henley block installed.  If the existing distribution board is old / plastic it might be worth considering to a new distribution board.  Always worth getting a bigger one than necessary in the event you want to add other items in the future.  

Once the company has this information they will be able to provide you with an accurate design and quotation.  If they do not get this information your installation could be overpriced to compensated for the lack of information and or could have problems.   

Please contact Solar Partner for a good design and quotation on 07919686076.