Metal roofing is lightweight, durable, and capable of withstanding the worst of the elements. Solar power is a sustainable, reliable, and clean form of renewable energy that is growing in popularity exponentially. If your roof is made of metal, you can easily install solar panels on the metal roof.
You may be concerned about installing solar panels on a corrugated metal roof. Don’t worry: thanks to the support systems, solar panels can be installed on most types of metal roofs.
How to mount PV panels on a metal roof?
A solar panel is a group of silicon photovoltaic cells grouped in a box with a glass lid to generate clean, sustainable, and environmentally friendly energy.
Each cell depends on photons from sunlight to trigger a reaction that generates a direct (DC). A nearby solar inverter converts this into usable alternating current (AC) for home and commercial use to power appliances and equipment. It’s important to know if your roof has the capability for solar panel installation, but the good news is that you can install solar panels on a metal roof.
Generated electricity that exceeds needs is transported to the power grid. A series of solar panels is called an array; the more panels in your system, the greater the amount of power output.
Types of metal roof
Many residential properties, modern construction, and businesses prefer metal roofs, which means they often have a non-standard shape, with no uniform design. There is a reliable installation method and support system for every type of metal roof.
Standing seam metal roof
This type of ceiling consists of a series of wide, flat metal panels that are crimped together to form a continuous concealed joint. There is a vertical leg in the middle of them; that is the raised seam.
This type of roof is not only lightweight and durable, but when installed in sequence with the recommended subfloor, it is also waterproof and allows you to install solar panels on the metal roof. It’s almost as if metal standing seam roofs were specifically designed with solar panels in mind.
The installer attaches a series of heavy-duty aluminum brackets to the vertical legs with a single bolt. The mounting rail secures in place without the need to drill holes in the ceiling. No drilling into metal stays airtight – Asphalt shingle owners should check and maintain theirs annually.
Installing a solar panel on a seamed roof is simpler and requires much less labor and therefore more affordable. Clamps and bolts are typically covered by multi-year warranties, although most owners claim that outlive your solar panels.
Metal tile roofs
Another method with which you can install solar panels on metal roof does not require drilling holes or penetrating the metal. A similar system is also available for regular asphalt shingle roofs.
The mounting rail has pre-installed metal plates. It’s a simple case of lining them up with existing tiles and swapping them out. The unit snaps into place and the panels are easily attached using metal guide rods.
The tiles are shaped consistently with the existing ones, so they don’t create an eyesore or leave unwanted gaps for moisture to enter. They can provide natural protection for the roof and preserve its condition.
How do you install solar panels on a corrugated metal roof?
There is no way to install solar panels on a metal roof of the corrugated kind without drilling holes; every precaution is taken to ensure they remain waterproof.
It requires a specialized mounting system that uses supports called straddle blocks. They adhere securely to the upper ridge, leaving the lower ridge, where rain collects, free of holes. High-quality mounts have thick rubber gaskets to plug the holes; they are more effective and less messy than using rubber sealant.
Straddle blocks work with any irregular metal roof and where there are various degrees or gaps between the panels. The blocks align with the mounting grommets on the back of the solar panels to ensure secure placement.
Advantages of Solar Panels on Metal Roofs
After 25 years of use, solar panels become less productive, typically generating 15-20% less electricity.
The same cannot be said for metal roofs; their service life is more than 70 years, which is more than double, sometimes triple that of asphalt shingles.
Some homeowners choose to replace a traditional roof with a metal one before they install solar panels on a metal roof due to its suitability and longevity.
When it’s time to replace your arrangement, feel secure knowing that the panels need to be updated and not the roof or rails.
Solar panels absorb sunlight from the atmosphere, thus preventing the metal roof from getting as hot, further extending its lifespan.
Solar panels and durable metal roof panels are the perfect eco-friendly combination. They have excellent green credentials, as both are recyclable at the end of their long life.
Green building certification programs such as LEED and ENERGY STAR offer the opportunity to earn additional points for owners of this combined system.
Ease of installation
All no-drill systems require significantly less time and labor to install compared to solar panels on traditional shingle roofs.
Specialized support systems allow for installing flexible solar panels on metal roof non-intrusively. It not only prevents leaks, but also protects the roof under each panel.
Unlike asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs last for several decades and outlast the life of the solar power system it houses, therefore, installing solar on a metal roof is a more reasonable long-term option.
It is the most environmentally friendly renewable energy method; Metal and solar roofing are recyclable and do not end up in landfills, unlike their shingle counterparts. If you’re planning to install solar panels on a metal roof and need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our solar equipment shop.