Can You Put Solar Panels on a Flat Roof?
Your flat roof could be the perfect location for solar panels.
As long as your roof can support the weight, your flat roof provides an ideal location for solar panels. Solar panels may be harder to install on a flat roof, but there’s plenty of unobstructed space for solar panel equipment.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about putting solar panels on a flat roof.
Yes, You Can Install Solar Panels on a Flat Roof
You can install solar panels on the flat roof of your home or business. Many flat roofs and low-pitch roofs have solar panels. It’s common for businesses and homeowners to install solar panels on flat roofs to save money on utilities.
You may have heard solar panels need to be installed at any angle to catch sunlight and transform it into energy. That’s not totally true, but angled panels work better for efficiency.
The pitch problem is easy to solve: when installing solar panels on a flat roof, installers simply adjust the angle of the panels to capture maximum sunlight. For example, installers can place the solar panels on an angle facing south for optimal energy production.
Flat and low-pitch roofs could make things challenging for installers. However, there’s also plenty of room for equipment, arrays, and panels.
If your roof can support the weight, you can install solar panels on a flat roof.
Advantages of Installing Solar Panels on a Flat Roof
You can install solar panels on a flat roof. In fact, it may be better to install solar panels on a flat roof.
Some of the advantages of installing solar panels on a flat roof include the following:
- Maintain the aesthetic appeal of your home, as you cannot see the solar panels from the street.
- Choose between tilted or flat mounting based on your location and desired energy production.
- It’s often safer to install solar panels on a flat roof. It’s easier for workers to move around on a flat roof, for example, and there’s less risk of equipment falling off the roof.
- Install solar panels on any home or business, regardless of the pitch of the roof, for renewable energy production.
- Works on most flat roofs, assuming they can support the weight and have no obstructions around to diminish output.
- Generate renewable electricity and reduce your utility bill.
Disadvantages of Installing Solar Panels on a Flat Roof
You can install solar panels on a flat roof. However, there are some disadvantages to installing solar panels on a flat roof, including:
- Solar panels could get dirtier over time, reducing their efficiency and increasing the need for cleaning.
- If your solar panels lay flat, they’re not getting as much sun exposure, reducing your system’s efficiency and power output.
- You may pay slightly higher installation costs because installers need to use angled mounts.
- Laying solar panels flat could void the manufacturer’s warranty and limit the panels’ lifespan. When panels sit flat, water can collect on panels. Over time (10 to 20 years), this water could break the barrier protecting your panels, damaging the circuitry inside.
Aside from these disadvantages, installing solar panels on a flat roof comes with many of the same benefits of installing solar panels on an ordinary roof.
Other Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Solar Panels on a Flat Roof
We get plenty of questions about installing solar panels on a flat roof. Here are some of the answers to the most common questions:
Q: Do flat roofs require specialized solar panel installation companies?
A: Most solar panel installation companies can install on flat or sloped roofs – especially if there are other homes or businesses with flat roofs in your area.
Q: Do flat roofs reduce solar panel output?
A: Laying solar panels flat can reduce output. However, most installers angle solar panels towards the sun (say, towards the south in the United States and the northern hemisphere) to capture the maximum amount of sunlight.
Q: Is it more expensive to install solar panels on a flat roof?
A: Installing solar panels on a flat roof may be slightly more expensive. Many installers use angled mounts, for example, which could increase your costs. Generally, the average homeowner can expect to pay $500 to $1,500 more to install solar panels on a flat roof.
Q: What are the benefits of installing solar panels on a flat roof?
A: Installing solar panels on a flat roof can reduce your energy bill significantly – just like installing solar panels on an angled roof. Flat roofs could also have more space for equipment and arrays while making it easier for installers to operate.
Q: What are the downsides of installing solar panels on a flat roof?
A: You may need to buy mounting equipment to install solar panels on a flat roof. This mounting equipment could increase costs.
Yes, you can have solar panels on a flat roof, and it’s perfectly common to have solar panels on a flat roof.
When installing solar panels on a flat roof, installers angle panels towards sunlight. If installing panels on a flat roof in the United States or other parts of the northern hemisphere, for example, you angle the solar panels towards the south for maximum power output.
Contact a solar panel installation company near you to ask about installing solar panels on a flat roof.