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Is My Roof Suitable for Solar Panels?

Solar panels are a great investment for any property. They allow you to generate your own clean energy and minimise reliance on the national grid.

The most popular place for those panels is the roof. Not just because it eliminates the space factor, but also because it maximises exposure. Other than particularly large trees, there are no obstructions between your panels and the sun’s UV rays.

However, a common point of uncertainty for property owners is whether their roof is suitable to have solar panels mounted on top of it. In this post, we’ll explore the key considerations when deciding if your roof is suitable for solar panels.

Roof direction

The first thing to consider is how solar panels work. They generate the most electricity when the sun is shining directly onto them. With that in mind, they work best on south-facing roofs, as these get the most sun.

That said, they are still effective on East and West-facing roofs, just slightly less so. Most homes will have some part of their roof facing South, South-East, South-West or at least East or West, meaning you can usually find a good position for them.

Structural strength

The other issue is whether your roof is strong enough to hold solar panels. Fortunately, the panels themselves only weigh around 2kg per square foot. That weight is distributed evenly using a frame which the panels are then installed into.

Needless to say, we wouldn’t recommend installing solar panels on roofs which are already weak or even sagging. On top of that, solar panels would need to be removed and reinstalled if you needed your roof replacing, so it’s best to check your roof is in a decent condition before having panels fitted.

Flat vs pitched roofs

When discussing solar panels, most people picture those which are mounted to a pitched roof. However, there are many properties – particularly commercial – which have a flat roof. Can solar panels be installed on these too?

The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, flat roof solar installation could even be easier given that installers can move easily around the roof without scaffolding.

However, instead of laying the panels flat on the roof, installers will most likely use an angled mount which puts the panels in the optimal south-facing position to get as much sunlight as possible.

So, is my roof suitable for solar panels?

The best way to check if your roof is suitable for solar panels is by having it inspected by a team of solar panel specialists. With a professional inspection, installers will be able to assess your roof’s condition as well as recommending the best position for the panels.

As South Yorkshire’s renewable electrical specialists, NBEC can provide all the advice and assistance you need with solar panels. If you want any more information about solar panel installation or grants, feel free to get in touch with our team.

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