Integrated Roof Solar panels

Case Study

Integrated Solar Roof Panels
Kendal Resident and former Citizens Jury member Mike, needed a new roof due to leaks. Rather than replacing the roof and install solar panels on top of new roof tiles, he decided to integrate 6kw of solar panels into his west facing roof. This method means the panels themselves become the new roof as shown in the pictures. This is only an option for new builds or when a roof is replaced.

The installation process
The old roof was stripped and wood rot sorted, then new battens were installed. The trays for the solar panels were fitted in one morning followed by the roof tiles for the edges and lead work. Mike chose wavy tiles but with hindsight thinks flat would have been a better choice. The lead sheet had to be beaten to fit the wavey shape of the tiles which wouldn’t have been necessary had they been flat.

Once all the roofing was completed the panels were fitted to the trays and the cables were run into the garage, where the mains, circuit breakers and battery live. There is an inverter box in the garage which changes DC from the panels to AC synchronised to the mains and then to the house.

Tesla Battery
Mike installed a Tesla battery to store the surplus energy generated from the integrated roof panels. Tesla is the only house battery currently allowed to power a house when the mains goes off. Most solar installations do not produce any power if the mains goes off.

The Tesla battery detects a power cut and switches off, so the house power goes off. However, it then switches a relay to disconnect itself from the mains (and, important bit, it is therefore not running 240v to the man digging a hole in the ground to fix the supply!). The battery then generates AC 240v for the house. This process only takes 30 seconds and when the mains is restored the process is reversed.

Solar Panels are often permitted across South Lakeland within conservation areas and sometimes on listed buildings too depending on circumstances. Permission is required via Electricity North West if you produce over 4kw of electricity. If your output is less than 4kw permission is not required. Permission is also required for installation of a Tesla battery. This link to Electricity North West is useful re permissions.

Mike used ARD Aerial and Satellite ltd ( ) to purchase and install the solar panels and the battery, and Derek Staord roofing ( for the roofing work. He highly recommends both suppliers.

Mike spent approximately £20,000 on the new roof, £5,000 for solar panels and £7,500 for the battery. He hopes the investment will pay for itself in 10 to 15 years, and is very glad to be contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Over a year Mikes average consumption is 8Kwh per day, the panels are likely to be able to produce this during the lighter seasons. The battery provides any overnight electricity needs and stores surplus so that even on a cloudy day, Mike can use the oven and washing machine without buying any electricity.

Long term, Mike expects to prove a significant surplus of generated electricity which he plans to utilise via an air source heat pump to replace his existing gas boiler.