Can Solar Panels Be Installed Onto a Flat Roof?
Many people with flat roofs don’t consider solar panels as they don’t think their roof receives enough direct sunlight to install them. But what if we were to tell you that is it perfectly possible to install solar panels on a flat roof? Solar energy should be a viable option for every household, business and community. Whilst flat roof solar systems are more commonly used on commercial buildings, they can certainly be fitted onto domestic properties too.
Read on to find out more about flat roof solar, and how in many cases it is actually better than normal on-roof solar!
How do Solar Panel Systems on a Flat Roof Work?
Whereas on-roof Solar PV systems follow the pitch of the existing roof, flat roof systems require the installer to set their own pitch. This is great, as it means that your system can be designed for optimal solar generation.
The ideal pitch for a Solar Panel is around 30 degrees off the horizontal. Simply because this allows the panels to gain more exposure from the sun throughout the entire day. When installing Solar panels on a flat roof, this is easily achieved. As the Solar Panels are installed onto a bracket which tilts the panel to around 30 degrees.
Flat Roof Solar panels are usually mounted onto a tub, and weighed down by ballast (gravel, paving slabs, bricks, rocks etc) in order to resist high winds. Or alternatively, the panels are mounted onto metal frames. This is usually determined by the building structure and location.
The Benefits Of Flat Roof Solar Panels
The Cons Of Flat Roof Solar Panels
Flat Roof Solar Considerations
What pitch do flat roof solar panels need to be?
Solar panels that are mounted onto flat roofs need to be installed at a pitch that captures as much sunlight as possible, as well as keeping the panel clean. By mounting the panels at an angle of at least 10 degrees, self-cleaning is possible. Thankfully, self-standing solar panels are usually fitted at 20 and 50-degree angles.
As MCS accredited Solar Panel installers, the team here at Deege Solar will determine the best pitch for your panels at the point of consultation. All our consultations and survey are free of charge, so get in touch today to get a free Solar PV system designed!
What impact does wind have on flat roof solar panels?
High winds can pose a potential risk to flat roof-mounted solar systems. In order to combat this potential issue, the panels are either fixed to the structure, or are weight down. Fixing the panels to the structure, involves securing a support structure and bracket to the roof itself. Although more intrusive, this method often provides more peace of mind. On the other hand, weighing down the system is far less complex. It usually involves fitting ballast frames and heavy slabs to the roof before attaching the solar panels.
Will Free-standing Solar impact my roof's warranty?
When installing a flat roof system, it is important that your roof warranty isn’t comprised. Thankfully, most roof warranties are compatible with free-standing, ballasted solar systems. However, fixing the solar system to the roof, may impact your roof’s warranty. It is important that you check this, as well as your overall roof condition, before going ahead with a free-standing solar installation. Here at Deege Solar, this is something considered at the point of survey when looking to see if your roof is suitable for solar panels.
Can You Mount Solar Thermal Panels Onto a Flat Roof?
Just like how Solar PV Panels are easy to install onto a flat roof, so are Solar Thermal Panels.
Do you need planning permission for flat roof Solar Panels?
All in all, when it comes down to installing Solar Panels, planning permission is generally not needed. However, if you live in a conservation area or listed building we would recommend contacting your Local Planning Authority before going Solar.
You can find further information about planning permission and solar panels on the government’s Planning Portal website.
Installing Flat Roof Solar
If you are a UK home or business owner considering installing flat roof solar, get in touch! The green team here at Deege Solar will be more than happy to help you on your Solar journey. We are also able to discuss alternative types of solar panel mounting, just in case flat roof solar isn’t suitable for your home! Call us on 01322 479369 or simply click enquire now to fill out our short form, to get connected to a Solar Energy expert.