We were invited to Visit Viridian Solar UK who are the UK's only manufacturer of integrated solar panels. In less than 30 seconds, Viridian pride themselves on a system that avoids the need for roof tiles beneath the panel, so the panel effectively becomes the roof tile.. smart, and you use less materials in completing a roof. The edging will always be a tile finish, but its a much smarter way of applying solar panels to a roof, and comes with a stack of benefits.
The 'Clearline' solution is predominantly used on new builds across Europe and USA, however its more and more being used on renovation projects too, where an existing roof structure and tile is in place. Old tiles are removed, membranes and rafters are checked, and the new solution is put in-place, whilst making all the necessary connections to a battery/inverter system.
Viridian specialise in a select number of panel sizes. All panels are +270watts, with an open circuit voltage of 40 in ideal conditions. There are currently 5 models in the range, going up to 330watts. Small differences are present, white/black backing and mono/poly options are available.
We set about installing our first panel, as you'll see a flashing is included with the Viridian kit, this gets fixed down to the bottom row of tiles, ready to flow into a gutter.
A few hours later, and some learning under our belt, we had managed to install all 4 panels into a simple grid configuration.
After seeing the system installed, and the adjacent hose pipes opposite, that are used to test the system regularly, I'd have great confidence putting these on my roof. They protrude ever so slightly, 63mm to be exact, from the rafters they are fixed onto, which in my view makes them look like they are not sinking into the roof and looks super smart.
Great care has been taken with all the flashings design to ensure there is no chance of any water entering your property below. Was really impressed with our day at Viridian and would highly recommend them for anyone looking for a flush fitting solar panel system on their roof.
They are SUPER strong, we don't advise to stand or do anything of the sort on them, that would be dangerous (on a roof) and bad play, but its good to know they can take the strain if a giant bird decided to make land on your roof patch, or a pair of solar enthusiasts.
- No ugly brackets or bars visible
- Reduced wind noise from inside the roof, and no concern of debris/rodents or other getting trapped beneath the panels
- reduced dynamic load on roof (less ability for wind to get underneath) which is a big issue with conventional bracket systems
- Easy install, all the brackets, fixings and flashings come in the pack, so no requirement for your fitter to go hunting around for parts.
- Well priced and lovely team !
- Velux window's can be integrated.
Considerations (as that's what Con's stands for isn't it ) !
- You'll need to remove some tile if you are looking to retrofit, which may increase the costs of your roofer slightly, but you'll have a much better looking job and it will be well worth it.
- The panel size is quite restrictive and currently there are no corner or smaller panels available for those trickier parts of the roof.
- There is a velux option which is great, but its currently only available in a 9 config rations which means you'll need a well sized roof to even start to consider this, although plans are a foot for improved configurations i hear.
If your interested to find out how the system is installed, here is a short 5 minute video for you to watch :