By Scott Laskey
So, you’ve decided you want to install solar panels, but your home or business has a flat roof.
Can you still install solar panels?
The answer is yes! In fact, having a flat roof might even make it easier to install panels.
Installing solar panels on a flat roof is a great way to get as much value as possible from your available surface area and make smart energy decisions. In fact, Consumer Reports states that flat roofs are some of the best for solar panels to power your home.
That said, there are some special considerations you’ll have to take as you install your panels.
Here’s what you need to know.
While some people think solar panels aren’t compatible with flat roofs, the opposite is true.
Homes (and businesses) with flat roofs provide an ideal location for solar panels.
What’s more, installing solar panels on a flat roof can be less expensive than adding panels to a pitched roof, even though many people assume it will be the opposite. With the right roof types, many flat roof solar options are available to homeowners and small commercial building owners.
Finally, your installer can adjust solar panels on a flat roof to maximize electricity production and make the most of the sun’s potential power on a daily basis.
Because of these outstanding benefits, more people are installing PV systems on their flat roofs and reaping the benefits year after year.
Wondering how to install solar panels on a flat roof? Here are a few things to know before you start the process:
The question many people have when it comes to solar and flat roofs is simply, “can you put solar panels on a flat roof?”
The answer is yes.
Flat roof solar panels are more flexible systems than those mounted on the ground or pitched roofs, and they may make it easier to get as much use as possible from your panels.
While there are several specific design considerations associated with installing solar panels on flat roofs, it’s far from impossible. The key is merely finding a local solar installer who works with flat roofs and can help you design your system accordingly.
While some people assume that installing solar panels on flat roofs is more expensive than traditional pitched roof systems, this isn’t always the case. In fact, the prices between the two systems are very similar.
In either type of system, you can expect labor and installation costs to account for about 10% of the total installation cost.
In some installation projects, labor will be cheaper for flat roofs than it will for pitched roofs, as installing panels on a flat roof is easier than installing on a pitched roof. Additionally, your solar installer can use a weighted mounting ballast to keep panels in place, which makes installation quick – and non-penetrating racking systems avoid roof penetrations and waterproofing.
One of the major benefits of solar panels on flat roofs is that they offer a great deal of flexibility.
In a flat roof system, panels can be oriented to face south and mounted at the right angle, regardless of which direction your home faces. This means your system can function as efficiently as possible and create as much energy as needed.
If you have a flat roof that you’d like to install solar panels on, know that it is far from impossible.
When you choose a solar installer who works with flat roofs and can help you with the process, it’s easy to get the system you’ve always dreamed of on your home’s flat roof.
In some ways, a solar panel flat roof mounting system can be more efficient than a pitched-roof system, and adding one to your home can create energy savings for years to come.
Ready to learn more about solar panels on flat roofs? Contact Sandbar Solar today!
Scott is the founder of Sandbar Solar & Electric. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UC San Diego, Scott has an NABCEP certification, and has lectured on and taught many high-tech construction practices and solar PV technical concepts to education institutions, including Stanford University and state-recognized electrician apprenticeship programs. Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge of the evolving renewable energy space and making a difference in his community.
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