Solar panels can be installed on a metal roof for less money than a traditional RCC mounted solar system (in most cases), but the overall power generation will be lower if the installation is done with the pitch and direction of the metal roof in mind.
Is it possible to install solar panels on a metal roof?
To answer your question, yes, solar panels can be installed on a metal roof. You can mount your solar panels directly to your metal roof using mounting rails, or you can design a custom frame to mount your solar panels at a specific angle and facing a specific direction.
The power generated by solar panels is determined by the pitch of your roof (angle) and the orientation of your roof (North-South roof or East-West roof).
Solar panel power generation is affected by the angle and direction of orientation. If you live in the northern hemisphere, your solar panels should face south, and if you live in the southern hemisphere, your panels should face north.
As a result, if you have a two-face slope roof (which most houses have), such as a north-south slope or an east-west slope, one side in the case of north-south and two sides in the case of east-west will produce less power than it should.
If you have an east-west roof and lay down your solar panels directly, your power generation will suffer, but the overall cost of installation will be lower because no custom structure is required (standard mounting rails available in market will work).
When Should You Not Install Solar Panels On Your Metal Roof
Yes, we can install solar panels on a metal roof, but when should we?
In the following scenarios, you should not install solar panels on your metal roof.
- Weak metal roof frame – If the metal frame beneath your solar panels is weak, you should avoid installing solar panels on it. One 330 watt polycrystalline solar panel weighs around 25 kg, so for a 5 kW system with 16 such panels, the total weight of solar panels and mounting structure would be around 450 kg. Because the weight is distributed, most roofs can support this amount of weight, but it is also a good idea to seek professional advice.
- Old metal roof – If your metal roof is 10 – 15 years old, chances are it won’t last another 25 years, which is something we want because the life of our solar panels is well over 25 years. If your roof is old, you should have it replaced before installing solar panels.
How Do You Install Solar Panels On A Metal Roof?
This is dependent on the type of metal roof you have; in India, the majority of houses and factories have corrugated metal roofs.
Mounting rails are revited to the roof for corrugated metal roofs, and solar panels are mounted on it with end clamps and mid clamps.
If you have a metal roof other than a corrugated metal roof, I don’t know much about it because I haven’t seen any other metal roof with solar on it, but I believe you will be able to find mounting structure for almost any type of roof.
The Benefits of Installing Solar On A Metal Roof:
Metal roofs have a number of advantages over asbestos roofs and even RCC roofs; here are a few examples.
- Metal roofs have a long life – All solar panels (except thinfilm) have a 25-year warranty, so in an ideal world, your roof or the surface on which the solar panel is installed should last at least that long. Metal roofs typically last 25 to 30 years.
- Cost of installation – Because there is less structure involved, a metal roof mounted solar system will be less expensive to install than an RCC roof or ground mounted solar system. (This can be reversed if a heavy structure is used on a metal roof to achieve proper orientation and ventilation.)
- Better cooling – Because the majority of the sun’s rays will hit the solar panels rather than your roof, the overall temperature of your home will be lower, putting less strain on your air conditioner.
- Thinfilm panels can be installed – If your roof cannot support the weight of traditional crystalline solar panels, flexible or thinfilm solar panels can be installed (most of them will directly stick to the metal roof). Also, if you are concerned about solar panels detracting from the appearance of your home, thinfilm is an option.
Best Roof to Install Solar Panels
Now that we’ve established that solar panels can be installed on a metal roof, what is the best roof to install solar panels on for maximum power generation?
Installing solar panels on a terrace (RCC roof) will be the best option if all environmental conditions and material and installation quality are the same, because it gives the added benefit of installing the solar panels in any angle, any direction, and easy access for cleaning and maintenance.