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How To Install Solar Panels On Metal Roof

Its Easy To Mount Solar Panels On A Metal Roof

How to Install 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.

How Are Solar Panels Mounted On A Metal Roof

If youve already made the investment into a metal roof, the thought of somebody going up there and screwing a bunch of holes into it probably makes you cringe. Fortunately, there are non-penetrating attachment systems that will allow you to mount your solar panels safely and without risking a leak.

Pairing Solar Panels With Metal Roofs

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.

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Can You Install Solar Panels On Metal Roofing

Because its made from recyclable materials as opposed to oil-based asphalt and due to its energy-saving benefits, metal roofing is a greener alternative to other roofing materials. For the even more eco-friendly homeowner, it is possible to add solar panels to your roof and cut costs further!

Contractors and homeowners unfamiliar, or inexperienced, with metal roofing, however, may hesitate to install solar panels on a metal roof. The unique ways metal panels fasten to the home means that installation requires a different approach. That said, nothing prevents a metal roof from holding a solar panel and may, in fact, prove to be a better surface for panels.

If You Want To Go Solar But Have A Metal Roof You Might Wonder Whether A Solar Installation Is Even Possible For You

Adjustable Tilt Solar Mounting Systems for metal, sandwich roof top

Metal roofs have a lot of benefits and while they make up just a small portion of residential roofs now, they are growing in popularity. If youre interested in solar, this naturally raises the issue of whether solar panels on metal roof is even possible.

When you think about it, metal roofs share many of the same benefits of solar and they are the perfect companions for each other. They are both long-term investments, environmentally friendly, and help you reduce your energy use.

Case in point: Metal roofs are composed of a high percentage of recycled materials and can also be recycled at the end of their life, unlike traditional shingles. They also reflect heat from the sun, instead of absorbing it like composition shingles, thereby reducing your cooling bill. Lastly, while they are more expensive upfront than composition shingles, they last 2 to 3 times longer if installed properly, so you save money in the long run.

If youre wondering if you can put solar panels on a metal roof, in short the answer is yes. How easy or difficult it is though depends on the type of metal roof you have. Find your roof below to see how you can safely install solar panels.

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Metal Roofs And Solar Pair Together To Make An Eco

If you want to make your home truly eco-friendly, metal roofing and solar panels are two of the best ways to do it. Installing a cool metal roof can help you earn points through green building certification programs like LEED and ENERGY STAR, both of which also encourage home renewable energy options like solar panels. As an added environmental benefit, unlike many other options, both solar panels and metal roofing materials are recyclable at the end of their lifespan.

Bottom Line: Work Closely With Your Solar Installer To Understand Whats Being Installed On Your Roof

Your home is probably your most valuable asset, so if youre going to get a thousand pounds of solar equipment mounted on its roof, its a good idea to ask a few questions about what youre buying and how it all works.

However, while the choice of the solar mounting system is sometimes influenced by aesthetic considerations – such as the decision to choose between a railless or conventional rail-based mounting system – for the most part, the choice is often best decided by the solar installer. Engineering considerations and the familiarity of the installation crew with the product are among the reasons why the homeowner should usually leave the decision to the experts.

That said, there are situations where the installer may ask you to make a choice, such as choosing a betweeen a comp-out or a tile replacement mount for your tile roof, or between an attached or ballasted rack for your flat roof.

Whatever the case, make sure that you work with a high quality solar installer who will keep your best interests in mind.


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Solar Panels On A Metal Roof: Is It Possible

Metal roofing is durable, lightweight, and capable of withstanding the worst of the elements.

Solar energy is a sustainable, reliable, clean form of renewable energy that’s growing in popularity exponentially.

You might have concerns whether solar panels can be installed on a metal roof. Worry not – thanks to bracketing systems, solar panels can be installed on most types of metal roofing.

Metal Roofs Are Durable Enough To Outlast Your Solar Panels

How to Install Solar Panels to a Metal Roof

Solar panels are extremely durable and can last for 25 to 30 years, which is part of what makes them such a great investment for your home. However, in many cases, this means that your solar panels can outlive your roof, which can result in an added expense. If your roof is aging, you have to replace it before installing solar panels, or incur the additional cost of removing and re-installing your panels when the time comes to replace your roof.

Metal roofs, on the other hand, are the most durable conventional roofing material available. If you have a metal roof on your home, it will likely last longer than the lifespan of your solar panels, which reduces expense and hassle in the long term.

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Can You Install Solar Panels On Metal Roofs

Solar panels are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while also saving money on your energy bills.

However, are they compatible with your metal roof? Its a common question for people who want to use solar energy but arent sure if they can make it work with a metal roof over their heads.


Although solar panels can be installed on any type of roof, they are less common on metal roofs than on other types of roofs. This is primarily due to the widespread belief that metal roofs are incompatible with conventional solar mounting systems.

But this isnt necessarily true. Solar panels can be safely mounted on a metal roof with the right solar mounting system and proper planning. In this post, well look at how to mount solar panels on metal roofs, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of doing so.

Lets get started!

I believe the question of whether solar panels can be installed on metal roofs stems primarily from two other questions.

  • Are metal roofs compatible & safe with the installation of electrical equipment like solar panels?
  • Is it possible to securely attach solar panels on metal roofs without causing roof damage?
  • So installation of solar panels on metal roofs comes down to electrical safety and installation feasibility.

    Can Solar Panels Be Installed On A Metal Roof

    There are many types of metal roofing materials to consider when deciding whether you can install solar panels on a metal roof.

    Heres an overview of some roofs that do and dont work with solar panels:

    Metal Shingle Roofs Yes, but only if they are asphalt shingles and not galvanized steel .

    Standing Seam Metal Roofs Yes, as long as they are not painted.

    Corrugated Metal Panels Only if the roof is a standing seam roof and you have enough space for insulation below it .

    Flat Exposed Fasteners Metal Panel Roofing Systems No because there isnt any room on top of them for wiring and you cant insulate them.

    Metal Tile Roofs No because they are not flat enough.

    Asphalt Shingle Roofs: As mentioned above, asphalt shingle roofs work fine as long as the metal isnt galvanized steel. In other words, if your home has a prefabricated standing seam metal roof, it is not compatible with solar panels.

    Galvanized Steel Roofs: Galvanized steel roofs are composed of a thin sheet of metal that has zinc coating on the outside to protect against corrosion and rusting. These types of roofs cant be used for solar panel installation because they dont have enough space between the metal sheets for insulation and wiring.

    Insulation: To hold up a solar panel, there needs to be enough room between the metal roofing surface and whatever is underneath it for a mounting bar or bracket.

    They also allow easy access to the roof for maintaining your panels in the future.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels On A Roof

    This actually varies greatly depending on the wattage of your system. Most homes in the United States will have systems that are between 3kW to 8kW in rating, with 6Kw being the most common. A typical system will cost between $2.50 to $3.50 to install, though some may charge extra due to the presence of metal roofing.

    A typical solar panel is pretty large, often upwards of 400 square feet. This means that a typical installation can range between $9,000 to $28,000 depending on the wattage as well as the overall size of the panels. While the range itself is high, you can expect a price tag of around $19,000 for panels on a metal roof.

    If the price of solar panels is intimidating, dont panic. They pay for themselves in both tax rebates as well as decreased electricity bills. In fact, many companies will even help you finance them. When in doubt, just ask what is available to you.

    Tips For Metal Roof Solar Mounting

    Solar Panels

    According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, metal roofing materials have seen a healthy increase in popularity in recent years. Theyre well liked for their fire-resistance and durability. But if youre also wanting to mount solar panels on them, metal roofs present unique challenges in installation process.

    If you are looking to have solar panels installed on your home, there are a few things you need to consider that are unique to metal roofing. The following tips are adapted from the advice of Cliff Schrock, senior engineer here at SunModo:

    Dont bend roofing seam to fit a clamp. Doing so will void a roofs warranty. Manufacturers make a wide variety of clamps for all metal roof types. Find a clamp that fits correctly.

    Find solutions for reverse seam decks. According Schrock, reverse seam decks are the most difficult type of roof form to deal with.

    What often happens is the valley area is too narrow for mounts and doing so would disrupt water flow. At the higher end of the roof, a special mount with spacers is necessary in order to avoid crushing the deck during tightening.

    Configure the rails east-west when seams run north-south. Doing so provide maximum system strength on a standing seam roof, particularly in north and south. The rails provide strength in the east and west.

    If you plan to replace your current roof, a metal roof is favorable for multiple reasons.

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    Solar Panel Installation On A Metal Roof Advantages And Disadvantages

    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.

    Solar Roof Mounting For Corrugated Metal Roofs

    If you have a metallic corrugated roof, youll need a different mounting system. Special brackets are attached to the top crest of the corrugations, leaving the lower lying drainage areas free from holes.

    Top quality brackets will come with rubber gasket seals on the base so your installer doesnt need to worry about applying messy sealant all over your roof.

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    Attach The Solar Panel

    Place the solar module in alignment with the first two clamps and mark the position of the additional clamps.

    Preassemble the additional S-5-V mini clamps with the mounting disks and EdgeGrab 2.0s, and repeat the previous steps to secure in place with the screw gun. Finally, tighten the top screws on each of the four S-5! EdgeGrab 2.0s. Your solar module is now secured in place.

    How Are Solar Panels Installed On Metal Roof

    How Solar Panels Are Installed On Sheet Metal Roofs

    Well this depends on the type of metal roof you are having, in India most houses and factories have corrugated metal roof.

    For corrugated metal roof mounting rails are revited to the roof and then solar panels are mounted on it using end clamps and mid clamps.

    If you have a metal roof other than corrugated metal roof you then I dont have much idea about it since I have not seen any other metal roof which has solar on it, but anyways I feel you will find mounting structure for almost any type of roof.

    Key here is not the mounting structure but the installer. If the installer has worked on similar projects before, then he will find a way to install solar panels on almost any roof.

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    What Type Of Screw Gun Should I Use To Fasten Metal Roofing Panels

    Use an actual screw gun with an adjustable clutch and a depth sensing control feature. Screw guns are designed so that you can adjust the torque which will help eliminate over tightening of the screws. In addition, use a variable speed screw gun which will permit you to change the speed.

    If youre a homeowner and its just too expensive to purchase a screw gun for a one time installation there is a solid second option. A variable speed and adjustable driver will still get the job done and you may even already own one of these.

    Solar Metal Roofs Can Host Thin

    The majority of homeowners with solar in the United States are installing standard silicon photovoltaic solar panels, but homes with metal roofs have another option thin film solar. Thin film solar can only be installed on certain types of roofs, and standing seam metal roofs are an ideal surface.

    While PV panels offer higher efficiency per square foot, thin film solar panels have a lower profile and are easier to install. They also require much less energy to manufacture than silicon solar cells, which can make them a lower-emissions renewable energy option from the start.

    MiaSolé, a California-based thin film solar panel manufacturer, markets their panels as an ideal option for properties with metal roofs. You can read more about them in EnergySages company overview.

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    Solar Panels Can Maximize The Cooling Benefits Of A Metal Roof

    Homebuilders and contractors often tout the benefits of cool metal roofing to keep your home cool in the summer and reduce your energy use. Metal roofs reflect more sunlight than traditional black asphalt shingles, and some also have reflective paint to increase this effect. Installing PV solar panels can take your electric bill savings a step further simply by shading the roofs surface.


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