Things to consider for a rooftop solar energy system

If you’re going for a rooftop solar energy system. There are some additional considerations to make aside from your solar energy system’s components. Your system will be mounted on your roof and become a permanent fixture on your property. You will need to consider if your roof is suitable and in the right condition to support your new solar energy system.

Your rooftop’s compatibility

This is one of the most important considerations to make when planning the installation and purchase of your solar energy system. As rooftops can be made of a variety of materials, ranging from wood to tile to even metal and rubber. Racking companies make different mounting solutions for different roof materials and shapes. This also extends to the size and pitch of your roof. The ideal tilt for a solar energy system to operate at peak efficiency is 30 degrees. The mounting system will work to keep your panels secure and work at their best.

The condition of your roof

You’d want to make sure your roof can handle the weight of your solar energy system. When approaching a new solar energy install, we conduct a full inspection of your home and surroundings to identify anything that may affect your solar energy installation. This is to ensure the safety of both your home and the solar energy installation. If we deem your roof can handle the weight of your solar energy system we can continue the installation process.

If your roof isn’t in the best condition, consider having it re-roofed before installing your solar energy system. This way, you won’t have to worry about your roof’s condition when installing your solar energy system. Having it done with a system already installed is a much more complex process that can increase the time and cost.

Leaks and flashings

Solar panel installations drill through roof membranes and may involve attaching a new framework. While the thought of drilling holes into your roof will cause leaks, this isn’t the case. Solar mounting systems come with flashings, a component that prevents leaks by leading water away from the drilled holes. Flashings are made for specific roof types and materials to ensure a proper seal. Regular flashings come in the form of large aluminum squares that are placed underneath the shingles of your roof. Higher-end flashings are shaped to direct water flow away from the drilled holes, some even can be fitted on top of your shingles and come with rubber water-tight seals for added waterproofing.

When conducting a full inspection of your home, be sure to let you know which flashing options are best suited for your home and solar energy system.

Ease of installation

These considerations will lean more into the actual installation process of your solar energy system. Generally, solar energy system installations will follow a fairly routine process. Although the ease of your system installation can be figured out by answering the following questions:

  • How many components make up your solar energy system?
  • How heavy are these components?
  • How complex is your solar energy system?
  • What is the mounting solution for your solar energy system?
  • Are there any additional components that need to be installed?
  • Are there any obstacles that can get in the way of the installation?
  • What is the ease of access to your rooftop?

Depending on your answers, you may find that your system can be simple to install and requires just a couple of days of work. On the other end of the scale, your system is complex and will require more time and effort to properly install. Your solar energy system and your property will factor into the installation. Each solar energy system and property differs and your ease of installation may not match your neighbors.

Wire routing and management

Your solar energy system will have a large amount of wiring connecting all of its components. You will have to consider that these wires will need to be properly routed and managed to keep them in their best condition. Proper wiring will ensure that the lines of your system work at their best and are also easy to maintain. Your system’s wiring will carry a large amount of current and can be dangerous if left unorganized and exposed to the elements. Damaged wiring can affect the performance of your system and damage components as well.

Wire management is an important step for every solar installation: this is the process to place, securing, and protecting your solar energy system’s electrical setup. Proper management of photovoltaic (PV) wires isn’t just necessary for aesthetic reasons – more importantly, wire management is imperative for operational and maintenance purposes, as wires that aren’t properly insulated, exposed to harsh elements, or stretched too tight can wear down and fail, therefore impacting the performance of your solar panel system.

When installing your solar energy system, proper write management and routing are done to make sure your system operates at its best for the years to come. An added benefit of proper wire management is the visual improvement of your system’s appearance. Modern mounting equipment also has wires to be routed through. These also provide additional protection for your system’s wiring and add to the overall aesthetic of your system.

Appearance and aesthetic

Solar panels on their own have a distinct appearance, they will become a part of your home’s aesthetic. The appearance of your solar panels will depend on the model and type of solar panels. Not all solar panels are blue, with black-colored solar panels also available on the market.

In terms of mounting hardware, the appearance of your mounting hardware can vary depending on what type of aesthetic you would like for your solar energy system. Some mounting solutions are low profile and make your panels look like they are floating. Other mounting solutions may have clamps and rails that allow for added adjustment of your solar panels. You’d want to aim for a functional system that fits your tastes.

Get started with solar energy today

If you are looking to start your transition to solar energy, we are here to help. Our website also has a free online estimate tool that generates a personalized report for you from a simplified questionnaire. That report will contain the potential savings you can net, and the cost of a solar energy system installed on your property. You can also contact us directly via phone at +1 (602) 363-8919 or via email at Scott@elitesolarenergy.org for more information regarding solar energy for your property.