Can Solar Panels Be Installed on all Roofs?
Roofs and Solar Panel Installation
Generally speaking, most roofs are suitable for solar panel installation. However, some roof types are better for optimising sun exposure, and turn out to be easier and even cheaper to have solar panels installed. This is because different roofing types have different installation requirements. When it comes to roof types in Australia we will look at:
- Flat roofs
- Metal roofs
- Tiled roofs
- Hip roofs
- Skillion roofs
Which Roofs are Good for Solar Panel Installation?
In Australia each of the following roof styles come with both their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to installing solar panels.
Flat Roof and Solar Panel Installation
A flat roof is considered ideal for solar panel installation as it makes it easy to have panels installed at the best angle where they can receive maximum sun exposure when paired with tilt frames. These are frames tilted at an angle that captures the most sunshine. Without tilt frames on a flat roof, you get less sun exposure and tend to get a build up of dirt and grime on your solar panels which reduces their efficiency over time.
Tiled Roof and Solar Panel Installation
Tiled roofs are one of the most common roofing types in Australia. They are a popular choice because they are strong, durable and have a classical look which many people love. When it comes to installing solar panels, they do require a bit of work. Steel mounting brackets must be drilled directly into your rafters (structured members that support roofs) for stability. This can involve removal of tiles, bolting mountings to the rafters, cutting opening in tiles if required and reapplying tiles.
Metal Roofing and Solar Panel Installation
Metal roofs are another ideal roof type for solar panel installation as no drilling into the roof is needed. This is because solar panel frames can just be attached to the seams of the metal roof. All that is required is sealing to reduce any possible leaks. This installation requires less equipment and labour which could lower your installation costs. All other roof types require some drilling and extra consideration which is more labour intensive and therefore generally more expensive.
Hip Roof and Solar Panel Installation
A hip roof has a high point in the middle of the roof and all its sides slope downwards to the walls, forming a triangular shape. When it comes to installing solar panels, you have two options when it comes to the direction they face, or you can have solar panels placed on both sides to optimise sun exposure. Please keep in mind that depending on what time of the day it is one side will be shaded and the other will have sun exposure. Its all dependant on the sun’s positioning.
Skillion Roof and Solar Panel Installation
A skillion roof acts very much like a tilted flat roof in that it slopes from one side to the other. This makes it ideal for installing solar panels which are naturally slanted on an angle. In addition, these roofs can provide optimal sun exposure to your solar panels if your roof is positioned in a particular direction and the time of day.
Other Considerations when Installing Solar Panels
Aside from roof types that we have looked into here there also other considerations to take into account when it comes to installing solar panels. These are:
- The age and condition of your roof (it may need repairs before solar panels can be installed)
- Roof pitch (angle of your roof)
- Roof orientation (determines the way your solar panels face)
Your qualified SunPower installer will guide you on the ideal positioning of your panels. Get connected today.
What if I don’t have the ideal roof for solar installation?
Some roofs may have unique spacing and may not be large enough to install a conventional solar system. If you have a small roof or a roof with many different pitches, you might be interested in an AC module system. Each Maxeon 5 AC module is able to function independently and make the small areas of your roof more productive. Because each module does not have to be sized to a string inverter in one location, it provides you with lots of flexibility in how your system can be designed. These panels can also dramatically reduce output due to shade from a chimney or nearby trees. If you’re interested in learning more about these unique panels, learn more here.
So what do you think? Is your roof ready to go solar?