Our services differ slightly from our competitors, meaning that not only do we offer a 10-year warranty on our products but also on the system calculations as well. For us to be able to do this we need to collect specific data for each project that we undertake. So to make it easier, we've created checklists in Excel format for you to complete. These checklists can be found below but also under each system name over on the systems page.
The information we collect varies, depending on what type of project it is, but the main information that is mandatory for each and every project is the project’s exact location, which can be submitted as a full address, postcode or co-ordinates. This is because we can source several other vital pieces of data from the project’s location, including the distance to the coast, the height above sea level, the wind speed and the expected snow zone etc. All of these factors contribute to the final loading calculation and cannot be backed by our warranty if this data cannot be found.
For on-roof projects, we need more details about the building itself, including its height, overall roof dimensions and its construction build up. These details can usually be obtained through the client, contractor or main architect. It’s again, crucial that we receive this information to calculate the correct loadings and therefore specify suitable fixings or ballast amounts.
For ground mounted projects, we need more details about the ground quality, which is usually obtained through organising a ground survey with an independent surveyor. This allows us to specify the correct product according to the type of ground there is.
This is fine, sometimes this information is not yet available because either the building is still under construction or the project is only at the tender stage. When this happens, we’re happy to provide an initial concept along with a guideline price for your project, which can be tweaked and confirmed once all the details become available.
We always strongly recommend that you conduct a thorough survey of the project before an order is placed, whether it is an on-roof or ground mounted system. This helps to avoid any nasty surprises when you get to site.
Out mounting instructions are split into 2 parts. The 1st, shows the initial system installation method and then the 2nd shows how to install our common components, including mounting rails and module clamps (Standard Technical Instructions).
Simply download our checklist depending on the type of system you need, fill it in and send it back to us. We’ll then do the rest. We’ll send you a drawing which shows you how to install the specifics of your project, including any specialist requirements, spacing between fixings and number of fixings. These checklists can be found further up this page under the heading "Checklists".
... it's probably not the best idea to step back and admire your work. It’s worth having a look at at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.pdf for information about working safely at heights.
... do your surveys before installing. It’s always best to check with a structural engineer that the roof can actually withstand the additional loading of a solar PV system. Similarly, don’t forget to do a geological survey before installing a ground mounted system – there may be hidden cables or buried treasure that have been long forgotten about.
... don't try to install during adverse weather.
So we don’t recommend drilling into asbestos containing material unless you have undertaken the necessary training and certification. It’s the installer’s responsibility to ensure all the necessary safety steps and precautions are taken and adhered to. As long as you install to our mounting instructions this won’t affect our warranties.
Adhere to the rules and make them stick. Our systems should only be installed by properly trained and competent people, i.e. MCS accredited installers. You must adhere to the site’s safety procedures and requirements. This goes the same for obeying and adhering to national and local building regulations, standards, environmental regulations and planning laws. You need to adhere to the module manufacturer’s instructions.
To get the best performance from your system, we recommend that you properly maintain it at least once a year and after any adverse weather conditions, i.e. storms, earthquakes and alien invasions.
There’s always a temptation to over tighten the bolts and screws, but this will only lead to damaging the thread and the material it’s going into. So we recommend the following tightness settings:
Middle and Corner Clamps = 16 Nm
Fixed Connector, Cross Connector and Flexible Connector = 30 Nm
This type of tool was designed for car wheels and not for construction. They effectively create a hammer motion, which will destroy the head of the screw and bolt. Hand tools such as, T bars and wrenches are the most effective, but low torque automatic tools can also be used.
There’re some Hanger Bolts that we supply that come with a pre-assembled EPDM washer, which helps to seal the hole in the roof covering. It’s important that, while these washers are slightly compressed to seal the hole, they shouldn’t be squashed beyond recognition of their original shape. This is because the washer will be subject to more pressure and eventually it’ll crack, undoing its job of weather proofing.
Aluminium as a material expands and contracts during changes in temperature and whilst this equates to a few millimetres over 18m, it’s important to include small gaps of 20mm between the rails (120mm between the modules) after every 18m to allow for this.
For the 40×40, 40×60 and 40×80 profiles we have one component that controls this expansion, which sits in line with the middle of the gap. We’ll even indicate on the drawings we provide you with your order as to the exact position of where to use this component.
Our smaller profiles for Mounting Rail Direct and Domestic range don’t require the use of a component, instead simply finish one array of 18 modules and leave 20mm gap before starting the next array of modules.
Don’t mount the modules over these thermal expansion gaps, otherwise the change in temperature will eventually force the rail upwards into the module and could potentially crack the modules.
We recommend using additional zinc galvanisation spray, which we’ll supply you with, for any galvanised steel components. This is to further protect them from rusting if they’re scratched or cut during installation. Don’t use this spray on or near aluminium components as this can have a negative effect.
You can use a UV and water resistant sealant around and underneath the Roof Hook for extra weather proofing, if it’s needed.
We recommend using a 2.5 tonne cylinder head hydraulic auger unit with a twin flow (reverse) option for installing the Ground Anchors. If the ground quality requires the application of more pressure, you can use 4-5 tonne. We’ll lend you an auger adapter that fits the auger unit to help you screw in the Ground Anchors.
Before you tweet your photos of the final system, please check the right ballast has been applied in the correct position and that wind deflectors / wind bracing have been installed correctly.
EPDM won’t stick to a surface if there’s dirt, dust or grease on it, so it’s always best to clean this up before applying the strips. If it’s impossible to clean the surface, stick the EPDM onto the bottom of the clean mounting rails.
Always fix through the crown of the roofing sheet.
When installing hanger bolts, pre-drill the roof cladding 2mm bigger than the diameter of the fixing. Similarly, when installing anchor rods into concrete, the size of the pre-drilled holes need to be 2mm bigger than the diameter of the fixing. The exception to this rule is screws into concrete, where the pre-drilled holes need to be 2mm smaller than the diameter of the fixing.
You can brush or grind roofing tiles to gain a better fit with the Roof Hook system, but don’t drill through the tiles as this goes against building regulations and could damage the roofing tile.
Fix each Roof Hook with a minimum of two wood screws.
End caps for the mounting rails are optional and we’ll supply these upon request at the point of order, just simply let us know when you’re ordering that you would like them added. During winter months it may be necessary to keep them inside a warm environment to maintain their elasticity for the installation.
While we make every effort to help you install correctly, we do reserve the right to refuse liability if it’s discovered that these general requirements and / or our mounting instructions have been ignored.
From time to time we’ll need to refresh and update your instructions or other information. We’ll do our best to inform you of these changes when they happen, but just in case you accidentally slip through the net, please keep checking our website to ensure you have the latest version.