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Integrating PV Solar Panels With Roof Tiling.

Many will associate the Redland name with the well known building industry staple, the drywall plasterboard! However, Redlands are a global building materials company, whose principal activities have centred around concrete roof tiles since being founded in Reigate, Surrey in 1919 to become the world's largest manufacturer of concrete roof tiles and the UK's fourth largest aggregates producer.The association with roof tiles continued with their investment and development into the UK solar panel technology market in 1997. Recently the company launched their Redland Duoplain PV Tiles, a new range of Solar PV Tile systems, which offers PV solar installers a fully integrated PV solution for slate, profile tile and plain tile roofs.The new range is made up of five products that integrate perfectly with eight of the company's most popular tiles for the house building market. Individual PV tiles will simply replace a single course of standard concrete or slate tiles to give a neat, understated appearance, while their interlocking, profile specific design gives a perfect fit with the surrounding roof tiles.The new flush fit PV tiles were recently installed in just two weeks on a 3.17kWp BIPV system consisting of 72 Redland Duoplain PV Tiles on the South Coast of England. The integrated approach provides necessary resistance to the strong wind and rain common to the location. In addition, not only was a less obtrusive look provided, but was also according to special planning requirements, needed in this instance, as the installation was in excess of current building regulations.The current, controversial FeedIn Tariffs (FiTs) review plans to impose deep cuts in the level of incentives available to solar PV installations with over 50kW capacity. The government is claiming that this is in order to protect the amount of money available through the scheme to domestic, small scale rooftop installations, now considered a major plank to transforming how the UK's energy is obtained and used.This, no doubt, will have a safeguarding effect on the provision of employment for trained and qualified solar PV installers under projected solar PV market growth in the immediate future and the next ten to twenty years.At AbleSkills Renewable Energy Centre, solar PV courses and solar courses up to level 2 and 3 are a major part of a range of renewable energy courses?