Which Roof Types Are Suitable for Solar Installations?

YP Editors

Solar installations allow homeowners to power their home with energy from the sun.

Traditional electricity is often derived from fossil fuels, and, as these fuels are burned to generate electricity, they produce greenhouse gases that harm the environment. Fossil fuels are also a finite resource, and because of this, pricing can be volatile.

With solar installations, energy is generated in a much cleaner way, via natural sunlight. The carbon footprint per unit of energy production for the typical home solar installation is as much as 95 percent lower than the carbon footprint created by fossil fuel plants.

Since solar installations are powered by the sun, they are typically installed on the roof of a home. Below are some facts to consider when installing these solar panels..

Solar panels can be installed on all roof types, and they are compatible with all roofing materials. It's possible to install solar panels on all types of roofs. They are also broadly compatible with all roofing materials, but slate and wood roofs require specialized mounting equipment, because these roofing materials tend to be somewhat brittle. As a result, solar installations on slate or wood roofing tends to be costlier.

Certain roof types are a natural fit for solar panels. While all roof types can accommodate solar panels, certain types of roofing provide a more natural fit. Solar panels are easily mounted on a flat roof. It's also easy to install solar panels on butterfly and skillion roofing.

These panels need unobstructed access to sunshine. To achieve the best results, solar installation should face south or southwest. These panels need to soak up the sun's rays, so they should be mounted in a place in which there is no shade, and sunshine isn't blocked by trees or other obstructions.

Achieving the right angle is important. Solar installation needs to be mounted at a 30-degree angle. Panels can be set at the ideal angles by using tilt-up brackets.

Solar panels generate usable energy from the sun's electromagnetic radiation. The sun generates energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation. The solar cells in solar paneling cause a chemical reaction that converts this radiation into direct current, or DC. An inverter is then used to convert the DC into alternating current, or AC. This type or current can be easily used to power your home.

The roof isn't the only viable location for solar installations. The roof is the most logical place to install solar panels, but if this isn't an option for you, there are other locations to consider. Solar panels can be mounted on shade awnings, and they can also be installed on the ground using a ground mount or ground pole.

Various sizes of solar installations are available. Solar installations come in different sizes to match different electricity needs. The average system size in the United States is 5 kilowatts. If a solar installation produces more electricity than a home requires, the excess is sourced back to the grid and credited to your utility account. This is part of a program known as net-metering.

Cost and Installation

Solar installations can be purchased outright or leased. A 30 percent federal tax credit is available to those who use solar installations, and this is expected to remain in place at least until 2019. This tax credit is available only to those who have purchased solar installations, and those who have leased these systems aren't eligible.

The cost of your solar paneling will depend on the size of the installation and the type of roof you have. A 5-kilowatt system usually costs $10,000-$13,000 after tax credits, and the panels can be installed in a single weekend. Keep in mind that you will need to obtain a permit from your local city or county before mounting the panels. A solar panel company will also do a credit check as part of the contract process.

The simplest approach to solar installation is to hire a contractor to tackle the task. These professionals typically base their rates on the size of the solar system being installed, and most people pay $2.87-$3.85 per watt in installation costs. A 5-kilowatt system uses 5,000 watts, and it would incur installation charges of up to $19,250.