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HomePopularCan Solar Panels Be Put On A Metal Roof

Can Solar Panels Be Put On A Metal Roof

How Solar Is Installed On Metal Roofs

How to Install Solar Panels on a Metal Roof

Because there are so many types of roofs, there are many different requirements to mount solar panels on them. Within metal roofing materials alone, there are a variety of profiles, gauges, metal types and considerations to take into account to properly install solar panels.

This is why its very important to be working with a trusted solar energy installer who can confidently select the appropriate mounting bracket for your metal roof solar installation.

In this article, we cover the basic ways the base mounting brackets are attached to different types of metal roofs.

Will Solar Companies Replace Your Roof

Hunting for a roofing company and a separate company for solar panel installation is just going to be additional work.

Well let you in on a little secret. You can save yourself from putting in the extra effort by simply going for a company that does both. Yes, you read that right. Some companies offer services that install solar panels and replace roofs.

A free roof replacement with solar panels would be a dream come true, this isnt possible in most cases. However, getting the same company to do both tasks does lower the costs.

For instance, Semper Solaris offers roof replacements along with solar installation with significant cost savings. They provide clients with financing options to make the installation of solar panels on a flat roof more affordable.

What Is A Rail

This type of system is based on aluminum rails that are attached in rows to your roof. The rails are secured to the roof with footings . You can see an example in the photo at the top of this article.

Rail-based solar mounting systems are strong and are the most common type in use. This popularity is advantageous because installation crews have a lot of experience with them.

Their strength can be an important factor in regions where a solar array can be subjected to strong forces, such as hurricanes. Because the rails provide rigidity, they are a good choice when high winds or heavy snow loads are a possibility.

Another benefit of rails is they provide a convenient mounting point for wiring and inverter components. Good wire management is a particularly underappreciated part of a solar installation. Poor wire management can be ugly, but can also lead to electrical problems down the road. Loose wires can flap around in the wind, eventually causing insulation to wear away, exposing the wire underneath.

On the other hand, rail-based systems may have higher costs and take longer to install than railless systems.

Read Also: How Long Should An Asphalt Shingle Roof Last

The Best Roofs For Solar Panels: What Are The Different Roof Types You Can Install Solar Panels On

Solar can be installed on almost any roof here are some of the most commonly used roof materials that solar installers will encounter on the job:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Wood
  • Metal

While solar panels can be safely and effectively installed on all of the above roof materials, the exact installation processes may differ. As such, there is no best roof for solar panels can go on just about any roof material. Below, well look at each of the various roof materials and how installers secure solar panels to each.

Solar Panel Installation On A Metal Roof Advantages And Disadvantages

Can I Install Solar Panels on Metal Roof?

Solar power is fast gaining popularity as a source of renewable energy.

In 2017 alone, 10.6 gigawatts of solar capacity was installed across America. is rapidly becoming more affordable, and many people are now considering installing solar panels in their homes or businesses to tap into cheaper and cleaner energy.

If you are part of this growing group, here is a primer on what you need to know about installing solar panels.

Recommended Reading: How To Clean Sunroom Roof

How To Check The Condition Of Your Roof

Hold on a second. Dont climb up that ladder just yet. There are few things you can check without bringing the ladder out from your garage. First, inspect from inside the attic and ceiling walls for any leaks or stains.

If your electricity bill has recently gone up, chances it may have been caused by excessive ventilation.

Some of the common ways roofs get damaged are:

  • Broken or Loose Tiles
  • Damage to the Structure
  • Worn Down Materials

Do look around to see if you can find any of these damages on your roof. If you spot one, a roof inspection by a professional might be a good option.

See Related: Should You Buy or Lease Your Solar Panels?

Why Solar Panel Installers Hate Metal Roofing

If youre in an area where solar panels arent quite common yet, then you might have experienced a company that hung up as soon as they heard you say metal roof. Its sadly not uncommon. Metal roofing is considered to be the hardest type of roofing for solar panel installation purposes.

With most other types of roofing, its possible to use hammers and nails to pierce through shingles, then use tar to help ensure that the roof remains leak-free. Metal doesnt have that capability, as metal shingles are prone to cracking. Moreover, removing the shingles themselves can be a pain in the butt.

But, theres a bigger issue that impedes a lot of companies from installing roofing: the newness of the process. Metal roofs are still somewhat newat least in their modern form. This means that companies havent fully figured out the best way to handle installation on roofing and that training employees can be a bit. So some companies are still skittish about it.

Read Also: How To Melt Snow Off Roof

Installing Solar On Standing Seam Metal Roofs

If youre lucky enough to have a metal standing seam roof, there are solar panel mounting systems available which clamp onto the seams. In this way, no holes need to be drilled into your roof. Your solar installation will be faster, labor reduced, and you dont need to worry about your roof being penetrated and water getting in.

The clamps are made from high strength aluminum and use a single bolt to secure the clamp. Most come with at least a 10 year warranty, but should easily outlast the life of your solar system.

Pairing Solar Panels With Metal Roofs

How Do You Install Solar Panels on a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

In trying to achieve specific outcomes within the realm of sustainability, architects and designers are increasingly learning to pair technologies for improved efficiency or performance. One case in point can be found with the combination of solar photovoltaic power systems mounted to a standing-seam metal roofa result that brings together renewable energy with longevity.

The cost of solar generated electric power is continuing to become a more attractive alternative to electric power generated by traditional methods because of reduced cost for components and new developments in cost-saving mounting techniques. Coupled with choosing the right platform for those solar panels, the long-term costs can make a solar power system a very attractive proposition.

Importance of the platformSince the expected life of a solar power system is 30 to 35 years, it is well beyond the lifespan of most conventional roofs. Generally, the service life of a built-up roof or membrane roof is anywhere from 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Consequently, there is a mismatch between the longevity of the base below the solar array and that of the solar array itself. This means there will be significant cost incurred during the lifespan of that solar power system due to the teardown and disassembly of the system during a reroof cycle.

Read Also: What Size Lumber For Roof Rafters

Can You Put Solar Panels On A Metal Roof

Installing solar panels on a metal roof is a straightforward process. Installation technicians can attach mounting hardware along the seams of the roof for superior strength and UV absorption.

But no matter what type of roof your home has, switching to solar power can help reduce your monthly utility bills and increase the value of your home. Going solar has never been more accessible or more affordable!

Are you interested in learning more about residential solar panel installation? If so, please contact us today for more information!

Can Solar Panels Be Put On A Metal Roof

solar canroofsmetal roofsPV panelssolar panelsinstall

If you’re a homeowner with a metal roof, you might wonder: can you install solar panels on them? The answer is: yes! While the majority of solar homes have asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs are actually a better choice if you’re planning to go solar.

Secondly, what are the problems with metal roofs? 4 Common Metal Roofing Problems

  • Roof Leaks. Roof leaks are one of the most common problems that homeowners experience with metal roofs.
  • Blow-offs. Blow-offs may also occur as a result of poor installation.
  • Punctures & Tears. Punctures and tears may also be problematic.
  • Ponding water. Ponding water is another leading cause of metal roofing problems.

Moreover, what type of roof is best for solar panels?

Asphalt shingle roofing works great for solar panels and involves a simple installation process. Tile roofs are also highly compatible with solar panels and make them easy to install. The roof type that is most compatible with solar panels is a standing metal roof.

How efficient are Tesla solar panels?

Tesla released detailed technical information about their solar panels in 2017 and hasn’t given information since. Their panels were supposedly 325-watt models with an impressive 21.76% efficiency, bringing them in line with most premium solar panel options on the market at the time.

Read Also: How Often Do I Need To Replace My Roof

Why Is It Better To Replace Your Roof Before Installing Solar Panels

At this point, we have established that replacing a roof can be quite expensive. However, it is a better option. Its a one time expense which will save you in the future.

The insulation of your house depends on your roof. So, if you need to turn up the AC in the summers or increase the heat during the winters more often, then it means your roof isnt able to insulate properly.

Moreover, a new roof will raise the value of your home. Dont worry about spending too much money on it because if you choose to sell, the money will return to you.

See Related: Are Solar Panels a Fire Hazard?

Your Home Will Be Eco

Can You Put Solar Panels on a Metal Roof?

You can and should put solar panels on a metal roof for all of the above reasons. Perhaps this one is the most important of all, though: they will transform your abode into an eco-friendly place for you and your family to live.

No longer do you have to rely on your local utility service to power your home. Instead, youll pay to have solar panels installed, and then you may not have to worry about paying power bills ever again.

Cutting down on resource usage saves you money, but it protects the planet, too. Lowering the demand for traditional sources of energy will make it less cost-effective and make alternative sources even more attractive. In other words, you could set the trend with your choice in solar power.

Best of all, at the end of the lifespan of your metal roof, you can recycle it and install a new, eco-friendly metal roof. The same goes for solar panels theyre made to be recyclable, too.

So, you can feel good about installing them on your metal roof safely. And you can feel even better about how much youre doing for the planet, just by harnessing the suns natural energy.

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Solar Panel Roof Load Calculator: Will My Roof Support Solar Panels

Everyone is looking for sustainable and cheaper energy sources thanks to the ever-rising prices of fossil fuels.

A majority of people have decided to go solar to reduce their dependence on the grid power and become . Use solar on your roof is a great way to generate power completely behind the meter.

Having a roof to place the solar panels is a crucial prerequisite for the PV system installation process.

But most people wonder, will my roof support solar panels? A solar panel roof load calculator helps you to establish the size and the weight of the solar panels that your roof can accommodate.

When you want to install solar panels, it is vital to understand certain features of the roof and the solar panels.

Solar panels differ in weights and sizes depending on the manufacturer and the brand. It is essential to determine whether your rooftop can support the solar panels before you plan a installation.

In this article, we will look at some of the core factors that determine whether a roof can support the PV system.

The solar panel roof load calculator is crucial when you want to establish the size and the weight of the solar panels that your roof can support.

What Is A Roof

Solar roofing is a final product, which integrates solar panels with the roofing material suitable for either a sloped or a flat roof. The solar panels used in solar roofing are usually thin-film photovoltaic laminates. Most popular Solar PV laminates commercially used today, are the Unisolar thin-film PV panels.

Unisolar thin-film PV laminates were originally designed to fit into and be integrated with standing seam metal roof panels. Unisolar panels are 15.5 inches wide and fit perfectly into a 16 standing seam panels, and are attached or laminated with special butyl adhesive that is on the back of each Uni-solar PV panel.

However, unlike with metal roofs, solar integrators were having flat roof leak repair issues with solar systems they installed on flat commercial roofs. After they installed solar mounting racks and attached them to the roof deck, the fasteners would start leaking after a while.

Roofing manufacturers adressed this issue with different versions of flat roofing materials that integrated Unisolar PV panels one such system is IB Solar Roof. There are many types of both solar metal roofs and solar flat roofs, using solar PV panels from various manufacturers .

Recommended Reading: Does House Insurance Cover Roof Leaks

Mounting System Versus Direct Attachment

If you are familiar with how solar panels are installed on shingles roofs, you might be concerned about attaching them to a metal roof. Typically, solar panels are affixed directly to shingled roofs by drilling holes through the roof. However, this is not how solar panels are attached to standing seam metal roofing.

If your metal roof is a standing seam metal roofing system clamps can be affixed to the seams of the roof without penetrating the roof. A clamp mounting system eliminates potential problem, such as leaking, from penetrating the roof.

We used three different S-5!® clamps to mount the solar panels on our own manufacturing facility in Peachtree City, GA. We actually replaced our existing metal roof on that particular facility before we installed our solar panels, but typically you wont have to worry about replacing the roof under your solar panels because metal roofing offers such a long service life. We only replaced our existing roof because it was already 34 years old. You can read more about our re-roofing project and solar installation here.

Disadvantages Of Installing Solar On A Metal Roof:

How to Install Solar Panels to a Metal Roof

Every good thing has something bad in it and metal roofs are no exception.

  • Less power generation As I told you above if you lay down solar panels on east and west side then overall power generation will be lower. This will not happen with a ground mounted or RCC mounted system as you can install the structure for optimal power generation.
  • Maintenance is difficult If something goes wrong with the wiring, it is difficult to access the cables as some are underneath the solar panels which is laid on the metal roof. Hence no space to access them.
  • Washing of solar panels is risky Most of us find climbing on our roof risky and at times tedious . Hence the cleaning of your solar panels will be often neglected. If you have solar panels on your terrace then you will clean it more often since its accessible than a roof. Check out this article to know more about cleaning of solar panels How to clean your solar panels.
  • Recommended Reading: What Is A Roof Boot

    How To Install Solar Panels On A Metal Roof Without Leaks

    This post comes courtesy of Trevor Berrill. Trevor is Principal of Solaris Sustainable Homes and is a 30 year veteran of both renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is a honour to have him contribute to this humble blog. Here Trevor describes how a good solar installer should install solar panels to a metal roof and how bad installers, in a hurry can do the wrong thing and leave you with a leaky roof!

    Over to you Trevor.

    Holier than thou? How to avoid leaks in the roof!

    Nobody wants an unsealed hole in their roof as water damage can be very expensive to repair. This is particularly so if it is more than just water marks in the ceiling paint. So ensuring that roof penetrations are completed competently is essential when considering having a solar PV system installed on your roof.

    Let me give an example, last year, on about the 30 June, one of my neighbours called me over to have a look at their new PV system that the contractors had just completed installing. It was just before one of many scrambles to get solar on the roof before yet another Federal Government imposed deadline as the STCs incentives scheme was changed again.

    Figure 1 Use of rusty roof screws and poorly fitted screw leaving a potential roof leak and insufficient strength in gale force winds.

    Figure 2 Poor bracket design Debris is already trapped around the bracket, leading to possible accelerated roof corrosion.


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