Solar panels are an attractive option for homeowners who want solar power but don’t live in the right geographical location. Installing solar panels on your roof is not a simple process, so many people hire a professional to get it done correctly.
However, if you know what you’re doing and have all of the necessary equipment – or can afford to purchase them outright – installing solar panels on your rooftop may be worth exploring before making any other major investment decisions.
The key here is that solar energy will likely save money over time while also being environmentally friendly! In this article we’ve gone into detail about how solar panels should be installed on your rooftop as well as some helpful tips from industry experts that should help make this decision easier for you going forward.
5 Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels on a Roof
1. Type of Roof
Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Solar panels have been fixed to numerous houses in the United States with a lag bolt and flashing. The bolt is fastened to the roof’s rafters, securely holding the solar panels and racking system together. A piece of flashing is laid beneath the shingle to guarantee there are no leaks.
Standing Seam Metal Roofs
Solar is ideal for metal roofs with seam lines. They’re not only long-lasting and sturdy, but there are no holes to drill when installing the roof supports. How is it done? A U-clamp is used to attach the raised seam to the solar panel rack, which is then firmly affixed to the clamp.
Corrugated Metal Roofs
Do you have a metal roof that isn’t standing seam? There’s also a method to put solar panels on it. Solar panels and their racking are attached to corrugated metal roofs with a bracket specifically designed for the surface. The bracket sits over the rib and is fastened in place using galvanized screws identical to those used by your roofer.
Solar panels can also be put on your flat roofs without the use of penetrations such as ballast mounts. The weight of cinder blocks holds the solar panels and their racking in place on the roof.
A ballast-mount system also has the advantage of allowing the panels themselves to be oriented and tilted to optimize yield, which is not possible with other mounting strategies that are dependent on the slope of the roof they’re being put on.
2. State Of Roof
You will need to remove and reinstall your solar panels if you replace your roof after they have been installed. Before beginning the project, your solar installer should inspect your roof to verify it is in good condition. If you want a new roof, you’ll want to get that taken care of before the solar panels arrive.
While we aren’t big fans of purchasing a new roof, your future self will thank you if you do. If you need a new roof or repairs to an existing one, your solar panels must be taken down and reinstalled. This should cost less than the installation itself.
3. Direction of Roof Slant (If Roof Is Slanted)
Solar panels require careful placement in order to produce the most electricity. Most experts advocate placing solar panels facing south, while others recommend facing west. Regardless, determining where the solar panels should face before installation begins is critical.
4. Roof Strength
Another critical consideration is whether your roof can handle the added weight of solar panels. Solar panels are not heavy; in most cases, they weigh up to 2.7 pounds per square foot. To be on the safe side, have a structural engineer evaluate your roof to see if it will accommodate your solar modules.
Installing solar panels on your roof will add weight to the structure. If the weight of these solar panels is too high for your roof to support, it has a good chance of collapsing. For obvious reasons, this is extremely hazardous – not to mention inconvenient. To avoid both risks, get a professional opinion on your roof to see if any extra structural support is needed.
5. Precipitation/Inclement Weather
When it rains, water goes down the roof, into the gutters, and out of your home. Solar equipment like racking and wire harnesses can obstruct water flow and drainage during installation. In certain situations, solar equipment might redirect the water in an alternate way, resulting in leaks and other difficulties. These problems will require repair, so the solar system must be accessible enough that solar equipment can be repaired or replaced.
In most cases, solar panels will be secure in extreme weather. Solar power systems will be built and put into place to withstand the loads imposed by your local code wind requirements. The majority of systems are designed with winds up to 90-120 mph.
Depending on your local weather conditions, you’ll have to install your solar system in accordance with local building codes. These standards will determine the minimum speed of wind that solar systems must be able to endure.
If you go with a trustworthy, experienced solar installation company, you’ll get a long-lasting, high-quality solar system. You’ll obtain a solar system that not only works properly and safely, but also produces free electricity for 30 years or more.
How to Install Solar Panels on a Rooftop in 8 Steps
The solar panels that you will be installing on your roof require a strong solar panel attachment that can keep them in place during earthquakes and other natural disasters. The below stages are only guidelines that may vary depending on the type of roof.
1. Organize Your Materials
First, make sure everything you’ll need is accessible, since you won’t be able to go all the way up and down constantly. You’ll also need: a drill and a drill bit, a pencil, a chalk line, a tape measure, and a ladder. The rest of the items should be included in your solar panel shipment.
2. Adjust the Stanchions
To receive the most sun, make sure the structure is tilted at least 18 degrees. Look for a suitable location to set up the stanchions. The panels are supported by stanchions, which prevent them from being ripped off of the roof.
The stanchions, which are like screws, should be secured to your roof’s rafters. If you’re not sure where the rafters are, consult your home’s blueprint.
You’ve discovered your rafters, so the next step is to install the stanchions on the roof. The distance between two stanchions should generally be four feet. Attach the stanchions to the rafters by drilling holes in them.
3. Install the Flashing
Remove the shingles and place the flashing beneath them. Fasten the flashing to the rafters with a bolt.
The purpose of the flashing is to keep water out once you’ve drilled a hole. Apart from the flashing, the bolts also include a seal that helps to prevent dripping.
4. Attach the Rails
Insert the screws in the holes and tighten them. The upper and lower rails are then secured to the stanchions with bolts. An impact driver will ensure that everything is securely fastened.
5. Ensure the Rails Are Parallel
The rails must now be parallel to one another. How do you do it? Using a measuring tape, measure the distance between them. The diagonal distance should precisely match. If the spaces aren’t identical, adjust the rails accordingly.
6. Place the Middle Rail
The middle rail should span from one end to the other. Use a tape measure to make sure the solar panels are centered.
7. Run the Wires
Remember, a power inverter kit should be set up under each panel. Then, make sure your solar inverter kits include copper wires. Connections between the panels and solar arrays should be made inside and outside of these structures.
Run wires from your panels to an electrical meter and a sub-panel. The wires should be routed through the rail, which has a trunk, to the power inverter kits. (For more information about Nine Fastener’s solar wire management clips, please read here.)
8. Mount the Panels
The solar panels can be mounted on the stanchions. Ensure that the cable connections are connected. Then, connect the retaining clips to the rails. This procedure will keep your panel firmly in place.
Nine Fasteners, Inc.: in the Solar Energy Industry Since 2008
Setting up solar panels on your rooftop can be a complex project, but it’s not impossible. If you hire the right solar installation company and follow these steps to install solar panels on your roof correctly, you could see huge returns in energy savings for years!
We at Nine Fasteners, Inc. recently expanded our market to include solar energy solutions, which means we now produce clips for racking and solar modules. The wire management clips were designed and produced by NFI. We serve clients in the United States, Europe, Asia, and now Eastern Asia as well.
If you’d like additional information about solar panel installations, please contact us to speak with one of our fastener specialists.