Recent figures published by DECC show that the level of solar panel installations has seen a healthy improvement with 3000 installations registered in the sub 50kW band in the week ending June 23rd. This is positive news for an industry which has had to deal with some challenging issues. However, an increase in installations tends to lead to a rise in leaking roofs being reported by householders.
Some leaks can be attributed to inadequate fixings being used to attach the panels to the roof which can move over time due to the prevailing weather conditions causing damage to the roof covering.
In an attempt to address this problem the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) published MCS012 Product Certification Scheme Requirements: Pitched Roof Installation Kits on 16th March 2012. This is a new requirement for mounting kits used with solar heating and solar PV installations intended for installation on pitched roofs. The document addresses three aspects of performance: resistance to wind loading, reaction to fire and resistance to water penetration.
Manufacturers have until 31st March 2014 to obtain Certification against the new requirements. Roof installation kits must be tested and a certificate issued by an accredited Certification Body such as the BBA. The Certificate will include the resistance to wind uplift and fire rating, where applicable, and confirm that the weathertightness of the roof is not compromised by the installation of the panels.
To ensure that it was ready for the introduction of MCS 012, the BBA recently invested in a new test rig so that the weathertightness and resistance to wind uplift tests could be performed. Many manufacturers of PV systems have already gained approval using this new kit and the BBA invites others to make contact as soon as possible to avoid a rush of applications as the deadline approaches.
For more information and a quotation contact the BBA; e-mail testing(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)bba.star.co.uk or telephone 01923 665300.