Can You Put Solar Panels On Flat Roof ?
The simple answer is a big yes; you can put solar panels on a flat roof, and a flat roof with solar panels not only works but also has many other advantages. More prominent commercial buildings tend to have flat roofs. This building usually uses a lot of power, whether a warehouse, a factory, or something else. One benefit of solar energy is that it saves money for the owners of these sites because it works better as more electricity is used.
Solar Earth Inc put together this blog for people who are in charge of flat-roofed buildings and want to add solar panels. Read on to learn everything you need for a sound solar installation.
How To Add Solar Panels To Flat Roofs?
Most of the time, the ballast mount method puts solar panels on a flat roof. Ballast Mount System – No roof penetrations mean no worry of leaks by the homeowner. It is a great solution for gravel flat roofs as well.
For this kind of method, most of the time, no holes need to be made in the roof. The solar panels are held in place by weights instead.
On top of the flat roof is a metal rack, and the solar panels are placed on the rack. Then, heavy concrete blocks are put on top of the racks to keep them in place on the roof.
Your installer will figure out how much these blocks need to weigh so that your system stays safe even in the strongest winds when they are planning it.
Most of the time, ballast mount systems are the best way to put flat roofs because they don’t need roof penetrations. However, they will only work for some buildings.
They are much heavier than other types because they have extra concrete blocks. The excess weight will put stress on your building, and not all flat roofs are made to handle that.
If this is the case, the person installing the solar panels on your flat roof will still be able to do it, but they will have to cut into the roof. Many times, these penetrations will be done by a different roofing worker.
Many people may be afraid to go through their roof because leaks can cause much trouble and cost a lot to fix. But there shouldn’t be any problems with solar systems on flat roofs. The equipment that is attached is made to keep your roof safe and the ground below it dry.
Average Cost To Install A Commercial Solar Panel On A Flat Roof
Most of the time, putting solar panels on a flat roof will cost about the same as installing the same-sized system on a sloped roof.
Solar Earth Inc’s Solar Energy Contractors are working on a ground-mount solar system. Your solar installation team can put solar panels on a flat roof faster and safer than on a roof with a slope. When moving solar panels and other gear up to and around the roof, this helps. If it’s easy to install, your team can finish the job faster and better, which could save you money.
Flat Roof Solar Systems Vs Pitched Systems On Roofs
Putting solar panels on a flat roof can work just as well as putting them on a sloped roof, if not better. Your solar panels will make more free power the more sunlight they get. This may depend on how tilted and oriented your panels are.
When you have a sloped roof, the tilt and direction are fixed by the roof itself. If you have a flat roof, you can put your panels in the best position and tilt. This could make the solar system work better.
Some makers will only cover problems if the installation is tilted at least a little. This is because water can pool and cause problems. Also, snow will fall off panels that are tilted faster than panels that are not tilted. When the panels get warm, the snow slides off because of the angle. This way, you don’t have to wait for the sun to melt all the snow.
For another reason, flat roofs are great places to put bifacial solar cells. There is a lot of stuff on flat roofs with a reflective surface. Solar panels with two faces can use the mirrored light to make electricity.
Challenges Of Installing Solar On A Flat Roof
- Putting in a solar panel system can be tricky, whether you have a concrete roof, a metal roof, or a flat roof. Depending on your setup, these problems are usually easy to fix. But some things might go wrong when you put solar panels on a flat roof, such as
- Because they aren’t placed at an angle, solar panels flat against a flat roof get much dirtier over time. Because dirt lowers production, you’ll need to clean your panels much more often than you might otherwise.
- During the day, the sun moves across the southern sky from east to west in the U.S. and the rest of the northern hemisphere. Solar panels that face south will produce the most energy. If you lay them flat against a flat roof, you’ll lose a lot of energy.
- Many manufacturers have rules that the warranty isn’t valid if the panels are placed against a flat roof. This is because water can pool on top of the panel and damage it. This can be easily fixed, though, by putting solar panels on a flat roof at an angle so that water (or anything else) can run off of them.
- Some installers won’t work on flat roofs to keep costs down. When getting prices, let installers know that your roof is flat so that you can contact the ones who will work on flat roofs.
- The good news is that you can avoid these problems if you put your solar panels at an angle on your flat roof and look around for companies like Solar Earth Inc. that do solar installation.
- A ballast solar mounting device can usually be used to put up solar panels without having to drill holes in the roof. On the other hand, penetrations may be needed sometimes, especially on smaller flat roofs. So, even if holes have to be made, you can be sure that your roof will be safe from leaks and other problems.
- The extra weight of the solar system is another possible risk. A third-party structural engineer will look at the design of your system and the structure of your roof before it is put. Before they sign off on the project, they’ll ensure your roof can handle the weight.
- The extra tools on your flat roof are the last thing you should consider. There may already be a place on the roof for HVAC units and other mechanical gear. The solar panels will need to be set up around these extra tools in a way that makes it safe and easy to get to the rooftop equipment.
Business Owners Can Save Money By Putting Solar Panels On Flat Roofs.
Solar panels can not only be put on flat roofs; they do very well there. Depending on your roof, they can be put up with few or no holes in it, and they can be set up in a way that makes the most of the free electricity they produce. Most likely, only helicopters and birds can see them, so you won’t have to worry about their appearance in your building.
By putting solar system on a roof, you can cut your electricity bill by a lot. This will lower your running costs and give you more money to improve your business. Solar panels can also help the environment, which makes workers and customers like your business.
Are Solar Panels Still Efficient For A Flat Roof?
When solar installers plan PV systems for standard pitched roofs, they need to consider the angle and orientation of the roof. Solar panels should be installed to face south at an angle equal to their latitude. Your system will make less power daily if it faces east or west, or you can only put solar panels on the north side of your roof. Some sloped roofs are steeper than others, making electricity output less ideal. Even though this doesn’t mean solar isn’t worth it, these things can make your energy production less.
With a flat roof, you have more options for how to set up your solar panel setup. If you put solar panels on your flat roof, you can point them south and place them at the right angle to get the most energy from the sun. Roofs with flat panels usually work better than roofs with curved panels.
Is It Safe To Put Solar On A Flat Roof?
In terms of the actual installation process, it is much safer for the people doing the installation to do it on a flat roof. Even so, it would help if you still had professionals set up your solar system instead of trying to do it yourself.
It’s more of a bother when dirt builds up on panels that aren’t tilted because they need to be cleaned more often, but pooling water can damage your roof. Water will likely pool on top of and around flat solar panels when it rains. This could damage both the panels and the roof. This won’t happen if you place your panels on your flat roof at an angle.
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Phone: (805) 691-8000
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