This range of MCS approved evacuated tube kits are designed for specifically for northern European countries. These 'second generation' solar tubes use the sun's energy to heat water and swimming pools.
This range of MCS approved heating panels are premium 'first generation' panels that use the sun to heat your water tank for bathing or pools. Flat-plate solar panel kits can be mounted on-roof or in-roof.
Self-installing solar panel technologies can cut down the costs by up to 50% by using your skills and knowledge to bring down the cost of an installation.
Installation standards are imperative and a Part P certification and a good head for heights are required for any budding DIY installer.
A major down-side for self-installers is the inability to apply for the current solar incentives, because these types of installations must be installed by MCS installers to comply.
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Questions about DIY solar panel installations
Do you have a sizing guide for solar heating?
For every 100-150 Litres cylinder size, you will need one flat-panel or two square meter solar tubes.
PV solar panel sizing depends on your roof size and how you can configure the collectors, either portrait or landscape, within your roof space. A number of panels will dictate the size of the inverter system, so we would recommend first measuring your roof space from your loft space.
Are all roofs suitable for panels?
Anything between Southerly or West facing. If you don't have a suitable roof area, then consider a wall-mounted or A-frame installation.
Do you need planning permission?
No, unless you live in a listed building, in an area of outstanding natural beauty or in an A-frame house.
Which technology is best for DIY installations?
PV solar panels are unsuitable for DIY installations. Heating kits can be installed by anyone with good plumbing knowledge. These DIY solar panels kits supply you with MCS approved and BRE accredited panels or tubes.
What skills do I need to install solar heating?
Most plumbers and some self-installers have the necessary skills to install a panel system. The only part where you may need help is the roofing aspects.
Many plumbers have teamed up with local roofing companies to complete the job together. Flat-plate or evacuated tube collectors should be installed by observing the usual professional safety procedures prior to electrical and plumbing work is carried out.
What skills are needed to install PV panels?
Apart from a head for heights, the installation requires a good knowledge of electrical principles. If you don't have these skills, then we recommend you work alongside a professional with 'Part P' qualifications for safety and peace of mind.
"When working with heights, electrics and plumbing, you should always use correct safety equipment. Use professional MCS installers if you're not sure."
Which is easier to install, PV or heating technology?
Generally speaking, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. It really depends on your experience and knowledge. You will require a fully accredited MCS solar installers to commission the installation if you are planning on selling to the National Grid.
Can I apply to the feed-in tariffs with a DIY installation?
If you want to apply to the feed-in tariffs currently available, then you won't be able to install as a self-install project. All installations applying for the tariffs must be installed and signed off by MCS installers.
This can be very expensive, so installing this technology yourself, may reduce the overall installation cost, thus saving money rather than earning money to recoup the initial cost of the installation.
Will I need to install a new hot water cylinder?
If your current heating tank does not have a twin-coil system inside, then yes! Look for two unused ports at the bottom of the tank to check. The secondary coil is used to transfer the heated fluid from the heating panels via the coil into the tank.
Once installed, your solar panels will take over from the boiler's job of heating, hot water during daylight hours, so you are much less dependent on fossil fuels to heat your water supply. At night your conventional boiler regains control, only needing a small top-up at night.
We can supply panel kits with or without 150, 180, 200, 250 and 300 Litres cylinders, vented or un-vented.
How are the collectors secured to the roof?
When not using A-frames on a flat-roof, the collectors for both flat-plate and PV solar panel installations are secured to the roof batons using non-degradable brackets. No degradable silicone is used, unlike some low-quality systems, giving you peace of mind for years to come.
Full fitting instructions are supplied with all kits.
What's the best way to get the collectors on the roof?
Once you have a secured scaffolding platform at the gutter height to your home, you can use a winch and pulley system like professional installers use. These can be hired from most good tool hire companies.
What's the best way to connect pipes?
Heating technology is pressurised to a three bar flow. Because of this, professional installers always recommend compression joints for peace of mind. This equipment can be hired from most good tool hire companies.
We can provide ready-made/insulated pipework to lengths of 10, 15, 20 metres. These save time and negate the need to join lengths of expensive copper pipework.
A word about quality
While other competing products may work quite well for the first few years, the materials used, resulting in deterioration of performance year after year. This is due to factors like unreliable seals, poor manifold quality or the use of reflectors that degrade over time.
A cheap option is often a false economy where longevity and performance are concerned.
Swiss research gave clear indications of where the best and worst technologies are made. The most effective flat-plate collectors are made in Austria and Germany and the best tubes in the United Kingdom. Six of the ten worst performing evacuated tube collectors are made in China. Its tests show that the best performing collectors are more than twice as efficient as the worst ones.
Do you supply fitting instructions with your kits?
Yes, step by step instructions is supplied with each DIY kit.
When working with heights, electrics and plumbing, you should always use the correct safety equipment. Always use professional MCS installers if you are not sure.
Health and safety always.
When working with heights, electrics and plumbing, you should always use the correct safety equipment. Always use professional MCS installers if you're not sure.
Installing solar panels or solar tubes are within the capabilities of any good plumber. Part P certification for hot water tanks and electrical are essential for a safe installation.
A safe working platform using scaffolding or a scaffolding tower to gutter height is essential. A tip for some self-installers uses a local roofing company to handle the roofing work.
A well-insulated pipe run to and from the solar panel will ensure reduced heat loss and best performance once operational. A three-yearly inspection, checking the PH level of the antifreeze and seals and joints will ensure a long life expectancy of your system.
With all our solar installation kits, you will receive a full step-by-step guide to help you.
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All our MCS solar panel installers are RECC scheme (Renewable Energy Consumer Code) members and work throughout England, Scotland and Wales.