Solar panels can be fitted almost anywhere that space allows; on a pitched roof, flat roof, garden shed, on the ground or on a single or multiple poles.

Pitched roofs

On top of a Tile or Slate roof

This is the most common method for fixing Solar PV panels to a roof. Normally it is the least expensive option and gives the best performance as there is maximum ventilation, allowing the panels to keep cooler. Strong hooks are attached to the rafters and a weather-proof seal is applied. Rails are attached to the hooks and the solar PV panels are then clamped to the rails.


Ideal for new builds or re-roofs where the slightly higher price of the mounting system is offset by any savings in the reduced need for roofing fabric (slates, tiles etc) However, you are likely to lose about 3%-5% in performance owing to decreased ventilation of the panels.

Metal trapezoidal roofs

Many commercial buildings have metal trapezoidal roof structures. Here the rails are secured to the ridges of a metal roof using self-tapping screws. The base of the rails has a waterproof membrane to ensure a secure weather seal. The Solar PV panels are then clamped to the rails, keeping the panels very close to the roof to minimize wind loading.

Metal Standing Seam roofs

Though unusual, this type of roof occasionally appears on homes and businesses. Clamps are attached to the standing seam of the roof, then either a rail is attached to the clamps or the solar PV panels are fixed directly to the standing seam clamps.

Solar Roof

This type of system is where the solar PV panels become the actual fabric of the roof, serving two purposes; weatherproofing and energy supply. The solar PV panels frames need to be bespoke for the mounting system so there is a limited choice of panels with these setups.


Solar Tiles/Slates

There are some tile or slate shaped solar panels available on the market today. This is where you can mix your choice of roof fabric with solar PV slates or tiles. They fit to the roof in the same way as slates or tiles do.


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Flat roofs

There are many solutions for flat roofs. The main concern is usually how much weight the roof will hold.

Console Bins

Practical for ground mount and flat roofs, these are plastic bins that are ballasted to ensure the wind can’t move the panels. A lot of ballast might be needed, so a strong roof structure is essential. A heavily ballasted plastic bin is the best way to describe this system. They allow very flexible placement of solar PV panels and if you ever need to move them you can just unplug the panels and move the bins.


East/West mounting systems

Having an East/West mounted system means that the ballast required is very low because the panels can be mounted back to back; therefore reducing wind resistance. It also means you can get much more power in a limited space. These systems will still generate at least 90% of their south-facing counterparts and using this configuration means you can fit more panels into the same space.


Flat trapezoidal roofs

Screwed to the trapezoidal roof in the same way as pitched trapezoidal roofs, these frames allow the solar PV panels to be pitched at the right angle for optimum performance.


Ballasted south-facing flat roof mounts

Many people are justifiably concerned about roof penetrations on a flat roof, so without penetrating the weatherproofing, these south-facing ballasted systems can increase yield if there is plenty of roof space.

Ground Mounted

Solar arrays mounted on the ground are an extremely effective solution if roof space is unavailable or unsuitable. In addition to making sure they are placed without being obstructed by obstacles such as trees, consideration should be paid to the additional risk of damage because they would be so much more accessible.

Metal frames

This method is often used by commercial solar farm arrays. Metal frames come in a variety of layouts, two panels high in landscape, single panels in portrait or any combination or layout as required. Usually set on concrete bases, these frames can help make use of some dead ground.

Mono-pole metal frames

Another choice with metal frames, the upright posts are pile driven into the ground, saving on concrete and reducing the footprint of the array.

Build your own structure

Some people have decided to make their own roof on the ground. These have taken the shape of log stores, chicken sheds, part of a gazebo or simply a wooden structure instead of a metal frame.

Seasonally adjustable pitch

With a seasonally adjustable mounting system, you can change the pitch of the panels to maximise the yield in the winter. This can increase the winter yield by up to 40% and because these mounting systems are slightly lower priced than the metal ground mounted frames, it could be well worth considering.