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HomeExclusiveCan You Install Solar Panels On Tile Roof

Can You Install Solar Panels On Tile Roof

How Many Solar Shingles Do You Need

Fitting solar panel brackets to a concrete tile roof

To learn how many solar shingles are needed to power a house, youll use a formula with key factors like the size of your house and your typical energy usage. Since you can integrate solar shingles into your existing roof, the amount of solar shingles youll need depends on how large your roof is and how much youd like to save on your electricity bill: the more shingles, the more energy output.

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Here are a number of brands that manufacture solar shingles for use in residential installations:

Ground Mounted Solar Panels

When the roof of a home does not lend itself well to a roof mounted solar panel installation, a ground mounted solar array may be a good alternative. Ground mounted solar power systems are often employed on residential properties with large yards and good solar access . Additionally, ground mounted solar arrays need to be placed away from underground utility lines and septic systems, if applicable.

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Installing Solar Panels On Many Types Of Roofs

There are a variety of different kinds of roofs that homeowners can install solar panels on, including:

Installing solar panels on these different roof varieties necessitates different installation techniques, but experts can safely and efficiently install a brand new solar power system on any kind of residential or even commercial roof. First, lets take a look at what it takes to install solar panels on each type of roofing material.

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What Direction Does Your Roof Face

It is better to have a north facing roof on any form of solar system, as this gives you the best sun exposure during the day. This is also okay if the roof faces east or west, but a roof facing south is not suitable at all. If you have a south facing roof, your installer will consider installing the solar panels on brackets on the ground instead to increase their performance.

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Can You Install Solar Panels On Flat Concrete And Rubber Roofs

Types of solar roof mount

Some homes are topped with a flat concrete or rubber roof. Fortunately, you can still install a solar panel system safely and effectively on both. With a flat roof, panels need to be tilted towards the sun for optimal production, so your solar installer will need to install slanted metal racking to prop up your panels. Often times these systems dont even need to be attached to your roof many flat roof installations utilize a ballast system instead of standard penetration mounting that slanted residential roofs usually need. Ballast systems are simply a weighted racking setup that holds solar panels in place.

On the off chance that you need to drill into your flat roof to install solar panels, dont worry your solar installer will make sure that the holes they drill are as small as possible and sealed properly to avoid any roof damage or leaking.

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How To Install Solar Panels Over Tile Roof

Installing solar panels over your tile roof is a challenging job. Your tile is weatherproof but not weight-proof. Too much pressure from walking on your roof can cause your tiles to crack. If you should use the wrong drill bit, you will cause too much vibration as you are drilling through the tile which will also result in breakage.

As challenging as it is to install solar panels on your roof, the time and effort you spend installing them will pay off in the amount of money you save in energy costs. You will have to determine how much power you consume to be able to determine how many panels you will need with the space you have on your roof. With the right equipment and time, you can install your own solar panels and start enjoying savings.

Solar Roof Tile Types

Thin-film PV cells or conventional monocrystalline solar cells can be used to create solar tiles. Second-generation solar cells that are inexpensive are thin-film solar cells. They are much simpler to make and use less material. Furthermore, they produce less waste and dont have any hazardous components. Thin-film solar cells are also lighter and more flexible than conventional solar cells.

Compared to monocrystalline solar cells, thin-film solar cells are less efficient and have lower power capabilities. However, because thin-film cells have a higher theoretical efficiency than monocrystalline silicon cells, researchers anticipate that their efficiency will increase in the future. Furthermore, they are more heat resistant due to their improved temperature coefficient.

Even though thin-film photovoltaic systems have a shorter lifespan , they have a quicker payback period since they are less expensive to acquire and install. This property of thin-film cells applies to both various kinds of solar panels and solar roof tiles.

Manufacturers may offer various kinds of solar roof tiles in addition to different solar cell types. For example, solar shingles can be found in Tuscan, Textured, Smooth and Slate.

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Shape And Size Of Roof

The shape and size of your roof can also affect its compatibility for solar panels. The average residential solar system in the U.S. is 5 kilowatts, which requires at least 300 feet of surface area on your roof. The best shape and size for solar panels is a large, square roof because it makes for a simple installation. A straight measurement of the size of your roof wont tell you everything you need to know, since anything that interrupts your roofs surface, including dormers, chimneys and other features, can affect your available space.

Since roofs can come in near infinite configurations of shape and size, you should consult a contractor who can take a look at your roof and give you some feedback on whether solar panels would fit well and how much of your roof surface can be equipped with panels.

Synthetic Or Artificial Roof Tiles:

Installing Solar on a Clay Tile Roof

The look of synthetic or composite slate roof tiles is similar to that of actual slate roof tiles, but without the weight and inconvenience of repairing damaged tiles, as well as the ongoing maintenance of checking your gutters to ensure there is no water backing up on the slate that could freeze and break tiles in the winter. Brava synthetic slate tiles come in a variety of colors and have a Class 4 impact rating. Theyre composed of an ecologically friendly composite material and are lightweight.

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Concrete Roof Tiles The Ideal Roofing Material To Pair With Solar Panels

If youre in need of a new roof, whether it be for a new home or existing one, and are considering having solar panels installed, look no further for a complementing roofing material than concrete roof tiles.

Not only are they durable, sustainable and aesthetically stunning, but concrete roof tiles are also inherently energy efficient. In fact, concrete tile roofs can cut the transfer of heat into the attic by up to 50 percent when compared to other roofing materials. Plus, their inherent reflective properties permit the reflection of sunlight, which releases the heat instead of absorbing it and transferring it from the roof deck and into the structure. This can contribute to limited HVAC usage inside the home, reducing energy costs and the overall attic temperature, extending the life of the roof. Plus, with the addition of solar panels, you will receive a monthly savings of over $100 in utility costs maximizing the overall energy efficiency and energy cost savings from your roof. This is possible due to the fact that you only pay for electricity when your monthly energy consumption exceeds what can be captured by your solar panels, aside from the initial cost of purchase and installation.

So, select a roofing material that will maximize your energy cost savings, reduce your carbon footprint and increase the lifespan of your solar investment and choose concrete roof tiles.

For more information on Eagle Roofing Products concrete roof tiles, visit

Solar Panel Tile Roof Installation

In the end, installing solar panels on tile roofs does present some obstacles. The rails are exposed, so its important to keep them well protected with waterproof sealants to prevent rust and water damage. If you want to install solar panels on your tile roofs, know that it is certainly possible, but its a delicate procedure thats best left to the hands of the pros.

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What Are Solar Shingles

Solar shingles or tiles are like regular roof shingles. But instead of being made of asphalt, clay or slate, they are made of glass that contain . Photovoltaic cells act as semiconductors and transfer energy collected from the sunlight into electrons, which can then become electrical current to power your home. Each shingle typically produces between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand . While they both convert sunlight to energy, solar shingles are quite different from the solar panels .

The first solar shingles were developed by DOW Chemical Company, rolling out in 2011. But the concept began to get serious traction in 2016, when Tesla purchased manufacturer Solar City and began offering what it deemed the Tesla Solar Roof. Today, there are several brands of the solar roof tiles available through manufacturers like CertainTeed, GAF Energy, Luma, SunTegra and of course Tesla.

The average size of a solar shingle or tile is about 12 inches wide by 86 inches long. It takes about 350 solar tiles for a standard-size roof. Tiles weigh about 13 pounds per square foot, so most roofs can handle them without additional reinforcement.

Can You Install Solar Panels On Clay Tile Roofs

Installation with 2 kW photovoltaic roof tiles

Traditional Spanish tile roofs are made from clay tiles this can be a pricey material to install solar panels on given the extra labor required, but its still very doable for solar installers.

Unlike traditional asphalt roofing, clay tiles are usually removed and replaced during a solar installation. This is for two reasons: first, clay tiles are relatively fragile and may break when installers walk on your roof. Second, in order to properly secure your solar panels, your installer needs to bolt the feet of your solar racking equipment directly to your roof. With clay tile roofs, this area can only be accessed properly by lifting tiles up.

As such, to properly anchor your solar panel racking, solar installers will typically remove clay tiles at the areas where they need to attach racking feet to your roof. Metal hooks and flashing are drilled into the roof, and your tiles can be slid back into place above the mounting feet. Depending on the exact shape and dimensions of the clay tiles on your specific roof, your installer may need to purchase or make uniquely-shaped hooks and flashing so that they fit fasten properly under the tiles. Companies like SnapNrack make specialized mounting inserts for all types of tiles.

In some cases, installers might simply replace the original tile with a new metal version, essentially combining the tile, mounting foot, and flashing into one piece of equipment.

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Prep Necessary Materials Tools And Safety Equipment

The first step in mounting solar panels is to gather the necessary materials, tools, and safety equipment. You will need solar panels, PV wire, stanchions, rails, mounting brackets, a drill, screws, and lags. You should wear a tool belt or have your tools within reach . Also, its essential to wear legitimate fall protection equipment.

Its Easy To Mount Solar Panels On A Metal Roof

Typically, your solar installer will drill holes in your roof so that they can attach the mounting for your solar panels. This is one of the main areas of concern for many homeowners considering solar, as an improperly mounted solar panel system can cause leaks or other roof issues. Most qualified solar installers offer workmanship warranties and roof warranties to reassure their customers that there will be no issues with the installation.

If you have a metal roof, however, your solar installer likely wont need to make any holes in your roof at all, which virtually eliminates the possibility of issues down the road. There are a few alternative mounting options that make installing solar on a metal roof easier:

  • Standing seam metal roofs: Two different solar panel mount manufacturers, Quick Mount PV and Ecofasten, have products designed specifically for metal roofs with standing seams. If you have a standing seam metal roof, your installer can attach panels using a mounting system that clamps onto the seams of the roof without having to make any holes. As an added bonus, using this type of racking can speed up installation times because your installer wont have to drill holes into the roof.

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Want To Learn More About Solar

Want solar panels on tile roofs? No problem! If you have a tile roof and want to learn more about installing a solar array on it in the San Diego area, give us a call or fill out a contact form. Our solar technicians can discuss the options that are available to you, assess your homes solar potential and benefits, and even provide you with production and return on investment estimates!

Contact us today to get started!

Can You Install Solar Panels On Spanish Tile Roof

Installing Solar Panels on Clay Tile Roof | Boden Energy Solutions

The style of tile in Spanish is not the same as the material. Spanish tile can be made of either clay or concrete. Installing a solar PV system on a clay tile roof, generally, is far more expensive than installing a concrete roof. If you are considering installing solar panels on your home, it is important to understand the different types of roofing materials and how to choose the best one for your needs.

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Is A Flat Roof Better For Solar Panels

Flat roofs offer more flexibility in terms of your solar panel system design. If you want to install a solar system on a roof that is not flat, you will need to make sure that the roof is flat enough for the panels to be mounted.

The easiest way to do this is to measure the distance between the top of the panel and the ground. If the measurement is less than this, then you may have to add a few inches to your roof to get the right angle.

How To Fit Solar Panels To Tiled Roofing Materials

With all the groundwork done, it is time to install the solar panels on the roof. The panels are attached using clips that bolt onto the panels edge and into the metal rails fixed to the mounting brackets. These specially designed brackets allow easy removal and maintenance if the areas under the newly installed panels need to be accessed. Now, the solar panels are securely fixed to the roof structure. The overall weight of the tiles will be less than 22 kilograms per square metre in accordance with Australian roofing guidelines. If you live in a cyclone area , there may be requirements for additional bracing.

The raised space between the panels and tiles of the roof also creates a pocket of circulation which keeps the panels cool in the summer months. If you would like to know more about how solar panels cool your roof, we wrote a detailed guide on how the process works.

Connecting the Electrics

Now that weve answered the question of How are solar panels installed on tile roofs?, lets look at some of the other points regarding the solar panel installation process.

Overall, the installation process should only take 1-2 days and will not require significant modifications to your home. The only work that will require alterations is removing and modifying the tiles to install the mounting brackets and creating a path for the wiring to the inverter. Creating a path for the wiring is usually achieved by drilling a small, simple hole.

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Mounting Solutions For All Tile Roof Types

A professional solar panel installation team can assist with mounting solutions for all types of tile roofs, including:

  • Spanish tile roofs
  • Clay tile roofs
  • Concrete tile roofs

These tiles tend to be fragile, which is why its essential to ask the installation team about the measures they are taking to protect the tiles.

How To Find A Company To Install Solar Panels For Your Metal Roof

Tile roof hooks &  brackets for solar panel side mounted

If homes with metal roofs are common in your area, you may be able to easily find local companies that have experience installing solar on metal. However, you should always get multiple quotes from installers to ensure that youre working with a company that has the right expertise and background for your needs.

The best way to find multiple local solar installers is to register your property on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you join, simply indicate the location of your property on Google Maps so installers will know that your property has a metal . To ensure that you get quotes from companies who will work on your property, you can also indicate that your home has a metal roof when you set up your preferences after joining.

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Trust Solar Galaxy To Install Solar Panels On Your Tiled Roof

If you meet the requirements for your area and have a suitable roof, there is no reason to be discouraged from installing solar panels. These panels make so much sense for both your wallet and the environment that it is hard to ignore the savings and safe bet of going green. Call Solar Galaxy today for a free quote, and lets put those panels on your tile roof ASAP.


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