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How to Mount Solar Panels on a Roof

You have probably been thinking of adding sustainable consumption to your routine by shifting towards renewable energy. It is a responsible decision that will also be cost-effective and helpful for you in the long run; this brings us to this discussion on solar panels.

 

Solar energy is one of the most popular renewable energy and easily usable for commercial and personal consumption. It gives people the opportunity to improve their consumption habits drastically by using solar panels to power their needs.

 

You’re likely looking for information on how to mount solar panels on the roof, and we’ve got you covered. We have prepared a short guide to help you out.

 

Pre-Requisites to Mounting Solar Panels on Roof

Before you progress to the mounting itself, there are a few things you need to consider to make sure the process goes smoothly.

 

1. Determining the Attachments based on Roof Type

There are several roof types like Asphalt Shingles, Metal Roofs, Flat Roofs, etc., and each has its structure. Knowing the roof type you’re dealing with will help you choose the right bolts for the project.

 

2. Choosing Panel Mounts

If you’re trying to set up solar panels on a house with a flat roof, you’ll need the correct mount to ensure it can be elevated and titled. Elevation and tilts are important, especially for flat roofs, because you need to set the panels in a position that maximizes energy consumption.

 

3. Choosing the Roof Location for Mounting the Solar Panels

You need to carefully decide what part of your roof you’ll install the solar panels on. This location is primarily dictated by two factors.

 

I. Region Your House is in

Knowing which region your house is in will give you an idea about the amount of sunlight you’ll potentially get. This detail affects the number of solar panels you’ll ideally need and the optimal tilt and location for them.

 

II. The Direction of the House

The direction your house faces affects which part of it receives the most sunlight. Since your goal is to maximize energy absorption, knowing the direction will also let you know which location receives the most sunlight.

 

How to Mount Solar Panels on Roof

Once you have covered all the pre-requisites, you’ll have a basic idea of where the panels need to go and at what tilt. Let’s now discuss how you can mount solar panels on the roof.

 

1. Gather and Organize Tools and Materials

As with all roof-related projects, make sure you have all the necessary tools gathered, organized, and accessible. You’ll need:

  • A ladder
  • Drill
  • Bolts
  • Measuring Tape
  • Railings
  • Wiring material
  • Solar Panels
  • Chalk
  • House Blueprints

 

2. Map out Stanchion Locations and Tilts

First off, you need to start marking the location and height of the stanchions you’ll place to support the solar panels. Place them on the rafters to avoid leakage. So, make sure you have the blueprints to find where the rafters are.

 

Additionally, the height will determine the tilt of the solar panel. They absorb more solar energy at a tilt of 18 degrees; thus, you should adjust the height accordingly.

 

3. Drill Stanchions Into Rafters

Once you have the location markers in place, drill stanchions into the rafters at a safe distance from each other. If your roof doesn’t already have flashing, we recommend that you get it installed to further protect your roof against leaks.

 

4. Secure With Steel Bolts

Stanchions are meant to hold the panels down to the roof and need steel bolts to enhance their performance on this front. Secure the mounts with bolts to provide support and make them sturdier.

 

5. Install Railing

Installing railings will keep the solar panels and their respective wiring organized. Install railing according to the number of panels you need and the number of rows you’ll be mounting them on. Use the measuring tape to ensure the rails have exactly the distance between them because balance enhances the support.

 

6. Organize and Connect Wiring

Once you install the railings, set up all the wiring in an organized manner. When the wiring is less cluttered, it can absorb and convert energy better. The way the wiring is installed depends on what type of inverter you’re using.

 

For string inverters, the wires from all the panels will travel from the panels and converge inside the inverter. For microinverters, one each will be installed alongside the panel it is supposed to extract energy output from.

 

7. Mount the Solar Panels

Once all the above steps are covered, mount the solar panels along the rails and onto the stanchions. Make sure they are properly set, secure, and connected by giving the wiring and retaining clips on the railing a final check.

 

8. Test It Out

Lastly, test the system out to see if it runs properly. In case of any discrepancy, go over each step and check if something was missed out. Once you discover the problem, correct it and test the system out again.

 

Additional Tips

We have covered the topic of mounting solar panels on the roof. Still, here are a few more useful tips to keep in mind.

 

Regularly clean the solar panels to clear off dust and pollutants from the surface. Layers of dust hamper energy absorption, reducing the output.

 

Keep your inverter safe from weather conditions. The panels are sturdy and unaffected, but inverters will malfunction if water seeps inside.

 

Keep an eye on the roof’s health. An old and damaged roof poses a risk to your safety and the security of your solar energy setup. Keep your roof well maintained to increase longevity.

 

Our Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to mount solar panels on roof, we hope you’re more confident about the process than before. The process is relatively simple but requires attention to detail. As long as you’re careful about each detail, the setup will be a success!