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  New Design guide to help solar panels shine wherever they are

New Design guide to help solar panels shine wherever they are

1 December 2016 Email this article

A new guide and summary leaflet on solar design, published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and BRE National Solar Centre shows how solar panels on buildings can look good whatever the structure or surrounding landscape.

Among the various design principles, CPRE advocates the use of panels that match the size and shape of existing roof tiles. Other suggestions include installing panels symmetrically or ensuring that panels fully cover the roof. Aimed at property owners, designers and installers, the guide and leaflet also illustrate how the sun is already helping to power an incredible range of the nation’s buildings – from homes and listed churches to greenhouses and office blocks.

There is a clear appetite for solar panels in the UK, with some 800,000 solar panel systems already installed in the country.

Discussing the publication of the guidance, Kim Hagen, senior energy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, comments: “Whether you’re installing solar on a historic country house or a simple garden shed, it’s no longer difficult to make your building look great. It can be as simple as positioning the panels to reflect the structure of your roof. Or you might want to consider using technologies to generate electricity from glass in windows.

“Combining simple principles with inspiring case studies, this guide shows how solar can fit in well with our towns, villages and countryside while helping provide some of the energy we need.”

Chris Coonick, senior consultant at BRE National Solar Centre, added: “Over the last six years in the U.K. solar PV systems have become a more common sight on homes and buildings.

“With innovations in solar panel design and methods of integration there are more options available for improving the aesthetics of solar PV installations in the built environment. This guide highlights the fundamental considerations for good visual design.”

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Solar Trade Association, said: "CPRE's solar design guidance will help home owners understand both the wide range of solar products on offer today and how they can work with installers to ensure solar is a truly attractive addition to their home, whatever their budget and wherever they live.

“Given the great range of products on offer today and some fabulous examples of best practice there is no excuse for solar roofs which are anything less than stunning. The guide supports our own work to continually raise standards across the industry.”