Installing solar means understanding your roof
While the demand for solar panels continues to rise, the complexities of
installing these solar panels on
roofs can be tedious. With roof materials different on every home, finding
secure ways to safely install solar panel mounts with the longevity, security
and strength to last decades has become increasingly important. However, while
the hardware to install these solar panels is standard, it still may require
modification based on the home. These modifications can be expensive and could
render a project too expensive. It is important to carefully determine the
viability of the mounting hardware for your roof before any work is done.
The mounting hardware for
solar panels usually consists of four different materials. These materials are:
Lightweight, easy to work with and compatible with most solar frames, aluminum
is not easily welded, but resistant to corrosion and can last for decades.
Wood – Wood is
very easy to work with, inexpensive and available everywhere. Its life span is
short in the elements and often requires some additional parts to be compatible
with some panels.
Iron – Iron is
easy to work with, but corrodes quickly. The materials are readily available,
and can be replaced without additional expense.
Stainless Steel –
Typically, stainless steel is the best choice as it will last much longer than
other materials, but it is difficult to work with and very expensive.
Roof mounted solar must be designed for the climate
When considering the roof-mounted solar panels and the materials required to install them, it is important to
consider the weather conditions throughout the year. First, the mounts must be
able to meet the wind requirements for the area, and additional considerations
must be made for the height and angle of the panels. Additionally, the
homeowner must take into account the amount of snowfall and how to remove it
from the panels during the winter months. Loads of snow and the weight should
be factored into the strength of the mounts as well, with adequate support
provided to the panels.
It is also important to
consider the airspace available beneath the panels. Panels work better under
cool conditions, so it is important to have a space of 3-6 inches beneath them.
This airflow will allow the panels to produce much more energy for the system.
The importance of airflow beneath the panels is why flush mounting to a roof is
never suggested or performed by solar technicians.
Carefully planning the scope of the project before any work is done is crucial
to the success of a roof-mounted solar system. Selecting the right materials
for the project is an important step and must be done for the longevity of the
panels. When selecting the materials and the placement of the panels, the
natural weather patterns should be considered and the final project should
exceed the recommended minimums. Find a company who genuinely cares about solar
and your project will lead to a successful roof-mounted solar panel system.