New Part L building regulations will come into force from 15th June 2022. Designed to lower the UK’s carbon emissions and reach the government’s net carbon zero target, the regulations mean that the building industry will have to embrace eco-friendly energy solutions including solar photovoltaic power (solar PV) and more. But what if the industry is not prepared for the subsequent surge in demand?
Of the 180,000 new homes built in England every year, around 10% already have solar PV installed. But it is estimated that this figure will rapidly increase to 80%, leading to a greater need for the solar PV technology itself and the talent to install and maintain it. Any shortcuts could risk the safety of your new build – so now is the time to invest in leading technologies and future-proof yourself for the inevitable increase in demand.
The future of Part L
There are now only a one of month until the new Part L regulations begin. Demand for energy efficient technologies - including low carbon heating and low energy lights as standard - will increase, adding further pressure on an already stretched supply chain. But perhaps one of the biggest changes is that new build homes will also require a renewable energy source. This is widely expected to be solar PV as it is cost-effective and efficient, generating power in the home. Driven by the Part L regulation, solar PV will grow increasingly popular.
However, this demand may come at a price. Is the industry ready for the green energy transformation? Does it have the right people to correctly install and maintain the solar panels? Will it be able to keep up with the demand as the June 2022 date rolls around? And perhaps, most importantly, does it have the technology to guarantee safety and efficiency of solar PV systems?
These are all questions that the industry needs to find answers to. And quickly. With fire safety an active concern for new homeowners, it is necessary to reassure them that you are investing in industry-leading technology and training for your people.
Part L and the future of sustainability
Central to the introduction of Part L regulations is ensuring the efficiency of power and its environmentally friendly generation. To increase the efficiency of solar panel systems, we recommend the use of solar panel optimisers. If optimisers are not fitted, when an individual panel experiences a reduction in output, so do the others.
Huawei’s Smart Energy Optimiser enhances the performance of each individual solar panel and therefore the system as a whole. Because panels are connected in series, if one panel is shaded or covered, and all panels have optimisers fitted, other panels in the string are unaffected. They can continue to produce at their maximum output even if one panel cannot.
Optimisers are vital for maintaining the performance of a solar PV system. Invest in the highest quality technology available to secure their efficiency. For example, Huawei’s Smart Energy Optimiser is compact – half the size and weight of competing products – and can help to produce up to an astonishing 30% more energy.
And there’s no need to worry about its reliability: Huawei’s Smart Energy Optimiser has a failure rate of less than 0.1% and has a module-level voltage shutdown for a safe environment for installation and maintenance.
Part L and the future of safety
However, even the most energy-efficient solar PV system will not be any good if it is unsafe. There have been a concerning number of reports of the fire risk of PV panels. A report from insurance company Zurich showed that fires resulting from electrical faults is the most common cause of loss associated with roof mounted solar PV installations.
To prevent the risk of fire, Huawei’s Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) break the electrical circuit when they detect problematic arcs – breakdowns of air that can produce high temperatures and lead to ignition.
AFCIs are crucial to reducing fire risk and subsequently reassuring potential homeowners that their solar PV system is safe as well as environmentally friendly. Huawei’s AI BOOST intelligent arc detection faults can spot faults before they escalate. Using artificial intelligence that learns the difference between waves that mimic arc patterns and real arcs, it ensures that there’s no unnecessary breaks in the system. Leading to less upheaval for homeowners while maintaining peace of mind that their technology is keeping them safe.
Part L and the future for housing developers
The Part L regulations will transform the landscape for housing developers. To ensure the legacy of their business, it is imperative that they not only safely and quickly comply with the Part L legislation, but perhaps go above and beyond the guidance. Popularly, there is increasing concern for the environment and the climate crisis, so homeowners may seek developments that do more than the bare minimum. Reputation management is key to securing a legacy in the wake of Part L. Developers who manage the changes efficiently, smoothly and, above all, safely, will have set the foundations for an eco-friendly future for both their business and their planet.
However, it is necessary to factor in the state of the industry when navigating these changes. When June 2022 rolls around, the demand for technology and accredited, trained installers may be exponential. There could be a subsequent struggle to match this demand, so an action plan – starting sooner, rather than later – could be useful for mapping out the actions leading up to June 2022 or beyond. Whether this is establishing relationships with industry-leading solar PV suppliers or offering solar PV installation and maintenance training for your workforce, the work should start now.
Now is the time to start planning for the future. If the future of green energy is implemented now, there is no need to compromise on either safety or efficiency. If you would like to learn more about Huawei FusionSolar’s industry-leading solar PV technology, get in touch today.