There are many factors to consider when mounting a solar panel. In this guide, we’ll talk about how to mount a solar panel on a roof, how to attach solar roof racks, and the different roof mounting systems to know when mounting a solar panel. Make no mistake, a properly installed system can survive even the toughest of storms.
By the end, you’ll be able to gauge how many solar panels you can install, your roof’s fitness for a solar system, and get a good idea about the work that will go into installing solar panels.
Solar Panel Installation: Factors to Consider
Before you figure out how to attach solar panels to roof or ground systems, it’s important to research and discover the panel type and solar system best suited to your energy needs. Factors that influence the type of solar cells, solar mounts, and required mounting systems include:
- Location – Cooler and warmer climates may significantly impact solar panel efficiency.
- Roof Strength – Double-check roof integrity before you install a solar system.
- Roof Structure – A sloped or flat roof limits the type of panels you can use as some solar panels (monocrystalline) must be kept perpendicular to the sun for better efficiency.
- Energy Demands – Checking your utility bill will give you monthly, seasonal, and annual oversight into your average energy demands, allowing you to map out your solar array.
- Solar Irradiance – Knowing about the different types of solar panels can help you maximize solar irradiance. For instance, crystalline solar panel output is greatly affected by lighting and extreme weather fluctuations whereas amorphous panels continue to produce solar power in the shade, snow, or cloudy days.
Are You Installing the Right Type of Solar Panels?
Read our blog on monocrystalline solar panels and learn how different panels behave differently.
Common Solar Panel Mounting System Components
Solar panel mounting rails, roof attachments, and module clamps are the three components that compose most solar systems.
Based on latitude, seasons, or sometimes the time of day, mounting a solar panel to solar mounts enables panels to be adjusted for maximum solar power output. Generally, solar systems are structured one of two ways:
- On the roof using a roof mount
- On the ground using ground mounts
Although more expensive and less efficient than solar panels, solar shingles are an alternative to solar panels if you’re seeking aesthetics over performance.
How to Mount Solar Panels to Roof Mounting Systems
Assuming you’ve acquired the solar panels and systems you need, let’s go over the steps for how to attach solar panels to roof mounting systems:
- Organize materials, measure, and mark drill holes for solar panel brackets, middle rail, and exterior rails (usually beginning 6” away from the roof’s edge).
- Before mounting the panels and brackets, apply a US polymer or silicone-based sealant around drill holes to prevent water leakage while adding adhesive strength.
- Secure brackets and rails to the roof then take measurements for the next bracket (tip: use a solar panel to make measurements, then mark the exterior of the next bracket and finish measurements).
- Install the wiring components (if required for your solar system) then repeat measuring, securing panels, and installing electrical components until you’ve reached the end of your solar system.
- Mount the panels to the bracket and ensure the plug connections are linked.
- Fasten the retaining clips onto the rails to bolster the panels into place.
- Lastly, connect your solar panel system to your solar inverter.
Learn More About Installing a Solar Power System:
How to Mount a Solar Panel with Ground Mounts
Sometimes there are cases where solar roof installations aren’t optimal, such as when your roof faces north (impacts solar power efficiency), when you’re trying to avoid roof strain, or when you’re lacking enough roof space to support the solar system your energy demands require.
In such cases, ground mounting solar panels is a great option. Before you install your panels to ground or pole mounts, let’s go over a few need-to-know installation steps:
- Organize materials then make and mark measurements for pole mounts.
- Dig several holes for your pole or ground mounts then fill them with concrete to secure.
- Fasten brackets and rails to solar mounts and install electrical components.
- Ensure plug connections are linked, fasten retaining clips, then connect your solar panel system to your solar inverter.
If you’re considering ground-mounted solar panels over roof installation and you want your panels to rotate, consider pole mounts with a single-axis or dual-axis tracking system.
To avoid potential issues with property lines, consider having your property surveyed before you embark on your solar project.
How to Mount Solar Panels on the Roof with Precision
Numerous factors can influence the final price of PV systems, such as local permitting costs, size, labor costs, component options and configurations, and available tax credits and incentives.
Measured in dollars per watt, solar electric systems cost an average of between $3 to $5 per watt with the average 5-kW residential system ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 (prior to tax credits).
With so much at stake, it’s not only wiser but safer to leave your solar system design and installation to solar professionals.
At Airis Energy, you can trust you’re getting the best. With more than 2,000 completed projects spanning 40 countries, we understand the unique challenges you face while keeping your solar investment safe with our best-in-class warranty. From design, in-house financing, to installation, trust Airis Energy for all your solar needs.
To find out more, speak with one of our specialists today.