Can You Put Solar Panels on a Metal Roof?

When planning to install a solar panel system on the roof, most homeowners don’t think about how the installation will affect the roofing material. Generally, panels are installed on common roof types like asphalt shingles and tiles, but your roofing material can affect how the panels will be installed and whether your solar contractor needs special tools to set up the system. 

What if your roofing is made of metal? Can you put solar panels on a metal roof? Yes, you certainly can! Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of pairing the two. 

Advantages of Installing Solar Panels on a Metal Roof

It’s Easier to Install Panels on Metal

Metal roofs, particularly standing seam types, are generally easier to work with for solar panel installation than other types of roofing, like shingle or tile. This is because they have raised seams that allow the installer to use clamps for mounting the panels. They don’t have to drill holes into the material to set the mounts up, reducing the risk of creating roof leaks. 

An exception to this is if the metal roof is made from corrugated sheets. Then, the panel installer would need to drill some holes to mount the system. 

Metal Roofs Can Last As Long As (or Even Longer Than) Solar Panel Systems

The average solar panel has 25 to 30 years, while the latest models can last 40 to 50 years. Meanwhile, the average asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of around 20 years. This means you’d have to go through the trouble of dismantling the panels to replace the roof and then mounting them back up. 

Metal roofs save you from that hassle since their lifespan can range anywhere from 40 to 70 years, which means you can likely replace your solar panel system around the same time your home needs a new roof. This saves you time and money in the future since the two can be installed back-to-back. 

You Could Boost Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Want to save on cooling during summers? You can apply reflective coating on your metal roof so that your home doesn’t absorb as much heat from the sun. The solar panels also serve as additional shade so your roof doesn’t directly get hit by sunlight. Together, they keep your home cooler and reduce HVAC energy consumption. 

What Is the Disadvantage of Metal Roofs When Installing Solar Panels?

One of the main risks of installing a solar power system on a metal roof is that the metal sheets might be too thin, making them unable to support the weight of the solar panels, especially if it’s a large installation.

Before you start setting up solar panels on your metal roof, it’s best to have your roofing system checked by a professional. The metal has to be thick enough to support the mounts while being firmly attached to the trusses so that the roof won’t collapse under the weight of the panels. 

Other Factors Affecting Your Metal Roof’s Compatibility with Solar Panels

Let’s check out some of the other factors your solar power system contractor considers before mounting solar panels on your metal roof.

  • Roof Angle: How sloped the roof is will affect the amount of sunlight the panels can absorb. The flatter it is, the easier it is to adjust the panels’ angle. If the roof is too steep (around 40º or higher), it would be difficult for your panels to catch enough UV rays. 
  • Size and Shape: Every square foot of roof space could generate up to 15 watts of solar power. The bigger the roof, the more panels it can accommodate. Once you know how many panels you’ll need to install, assess whether there is enough space on the roof for them.
  • Orientation and Shade: Which side of the metal roof gets the most sunlight? Can you install the panels on that side?  There could also be structures or trees casting shadows on your roof, which would prevent the panels from catching as much sunlight. 

Let’s Talk about Going Solar with Design 1 Solar Group

So, can you put solar panels on a metal roof? As long as your roof is large enough, is in good condition, and is strong enough to support the extra weight, there’s no reason not to set up your solar power system on it. 
The team at Design 1 Solar Group has plenty of experience with solar panel installations on metal roofs and will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have. Feel free to contact us anytime or have a look around our website if you want to know more about our solar panel systems.

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