By 2035, as much as 40% of the nation’s electricity supply could be from solar energy.
Solar energy has steadily been growing in popularity because of its potential to help save money and the environment.
However, if you do not install a solar panel system correctly, it can have a detrimental impact on your savings. The effectiveness of a solar panel system depends on a variety of factors, one of the largest being your roof.
Here’s a quick guide on the best roof for solar panels and how a solar system should be installed.
Best Type of Roof For Solar Panels
If you want to install residential solar panels, you should make sure your roof is fairly new and in good condition.
Your roof needs to be able to give the panels sufficient support. If you install solar panels on a roof that is too old or in bad condition, you will likely have to take down the panels and replace the roof before reinstalling the panels, costing you extra time and money.
Best Roof Material For Solar Panels
Most roofing materials can handle solar panels, but they affect how easy a system is to install.
The best roof for solar panels in terms of compatibility and installation is a standing metal roof. Its standing seam allows panels to attach with a clamp, instead of drilled in like many other roof types.
Asphalt shingle and tile roofs need a standard penetrating mount. This is still a relatively easy installation process, but extra labor may be necessary for tile roofs, as some of the tiles may need to be cut or removed.
Flat roofs can use either a standard penetrating mount or a ballasted racking. Tilt-up brackets will also be necessary to keep the panels at an efficient angle.
Best Shape and Size For Solar Panels
Roofs come in all shapes and sizes, and the more weird angles your roof has, the more difficult it will be to install solar panels.
A 5-kilowatt solar system requires at least 300 feet of unobstructed surface area on your roof. An area with chimneys, dormers, and other obstructions cannot be used to mount a solar panel.
This surface area will ideally be square as solar panels in a large, square shape are simpler to install.
Best Angle For Roof Solar Panels
The angle or pitch of a roof is determined through its vertical rise divided by its horizontal run.
The ideal angle is 30 degrees or a pitch of about 7/12. For every 12 inches of your roof’s horizontal area, you will need another 7 inches of height to give your solar panel system the best angle.
While a steeper roof of about 40 degrees still works, it is slightly less efficient. If the angle of the roof is over 40 degrees, it is likely too steep and will be more dangerous to install.
Best Orientation For Roof Solar Panels
Solar panels are only effective if they get sufficient sunlight. The more shaded your roof is, the less effective your panels will be, so it is important that your roof can support good panel orientation.
Solar panels should be on an area of your roof that gets the least shade with the face of the panels facing the direction that gets the most sun. If you live in the Northern hemisphere, your solar panels will be most effective if they are facing south.
Choosing the Best Roof For Solar Panels
Solar panels can lower the cost of your energy bills, but their effectiveness depends on how they are installed on your roof.
The best roof for solar panels is sturdy, undamaged, and long-lasting. It should have a large amount of unobstructed space and be able to hold your system at a 30-degree angle in the direction it will get the most sun.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out some of our other quality posts for more useful tips and information.