CROSS Safety Report
Wind damage to roof with PV panels
This report is over 2 years old
A reporter describes how during a heavy storm a big area of roof tiles that were adjacent to PV panels blew down.
The reporter suspects that the PV panels have caused local wind turbulence and caused loads in excess of the roof design load.
Key Learning Outcomes
For PV panel suppliers, installers and homeowners:
All roofs should be appraised for the suitability of accommodating PV panels
Evidence of structural competence should be provided prior to installation
Inspection by a competent person should be carried out to ensure the works are installed in accordance with the design intent
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A reporter has a house which was built in 2011 and had solar panels installed on the roof flush with the tiling. Later the same year she had external PV panels fitted. During a heavy storm a big area of roof tiles blew down (Figure 1). A neighbour who has an identical house, but did not have the solar panels installed, had no damage to their roof during the storm.
The reporter therefore suspects that it is the solar panels that have caused local wind turbulence and caused loads in excess of the roof design load. They do not think this was taken into consideration when the solar panels were installed but has no knowledge of either the design or construction. An insurance company report says that the wind speed on the night in question was around 52m/s.
Expert Panel Comments
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Expert Panels comment on the reports we receive. They use their experience to help you understand what can be learned from the reports. If you would like to know more, please visit the CROSS-UK Expert Panels page.
CROSS has concerns about some structural aspects of roof mounted PV and solar thermal panels. CROSS reports have been received about problems with installations including:
Lack of guidance on structural aspects
Excessive load on existing structure
Number and quality of fixings
Quality of workmanship
Damage to roof trusses and timbers
Damage to waterproofing
Wind damage to completed installations
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