Updating the industry

As you may be aware, one of our main priorities at MCS is to ensure that the technical standards are still relevant for each technology. Since the scheme’s launch, there have been major updates to solar PV technologies for both products and installers. It was concluded that the current associated PV Installer Guide required extensive updating to reflect current products and installation techniques. In light of this, the MCS Solar PV Working Group has undertaken a major project to comprehensively update the DTI Guide for PV Installations, and to ensure the MIS 3002 Solar PV Installer Standard is aligned with the measures introduced in this document.  Some of the requirements in the existing version of the standard will be included in the new Guide.

Some of the key updated areas are:

Performance calculations
An improved calculation has been developed which is based on irradiance data drawn from PVGIS and is also regional (as opposed to a single dataset for the whole UK). The method for accounting for any shade has also been updated and improved.

Dead load and wind uplift requirements
More guidance in relation to dead load and wind uplift requirements has been detailed and the necessary calculations installation companies will need to undertake. This includes the link back to the MCS 012 scheme document such that installation companies will need to ensure that from September 2013 (as currently detailed, but may be subject to change) they use mounting kits approved to the MCS 012. This standard also considers weather-tightness and fire spread.

Clarification on requirements for RCD’s, Earthing and Bonding
Where appropriate, clarification is now given in the form of decision trees for installation companies to follow. It is intended that the decision process is now simpler and will lead to less confusion and better compliance.

The new PV Guide is in the final stages of development is going through its final proof checks before publication. Once published, we will inform all installation companies and there will be a period of implementation given to installers to comply with the new requirements. As this is a significant document update for installer companies to comply with, MCS will be organising a series of events around the UK to allow delegates the chance to hear further details about the update, and to ask questions to those involved in the writing of the new Guide. These events will be publicised shortly so please keep an eye on for further details.