Just How Are Those Solar Panels Attached To My Roof?
Having been hired by hundreds of home and business owners across Nova Scotia to install solar energy systems, I can confidently say that there are common concerns shared by most people who are considering a solar panel roof installation.
While most people know what solar panels are, many aren’t aware of the details involved in setting up a complete rooftop solar power system. I’m happy to explain…
But, first things first.
Before we ever begin a serious discussion with a customer about how solar panels are installed on a roof, we always ask that customer:
“Do you have a roof that can support solar panels?”
This is pretty key as the majority of solar panels are installed directly onto the roof of your house or your business. We believe that the best roof for this type of installation is southern facing (plus or minus 10 degrees to true south). The tilt of the solar panels is also important, because it helps them to work better in winter months when the sun isn’t as high. And in our windy climate, it is critically important to make sure that the way the solar panels are tilted, doesn’t create a lifting effect. An improperly tilted panel could allow the wind to catch your solar panels and rip them from your roof.
In The Shade?
Another key consideration is shade. If your roof is covered in shade most of the day throughout the year, it might not have a favorable enough solar exposure to justify the costs of panels. That’s something which the Aztek Solar team will assess with you before you move forward.
If you do have a suitably sunlit rooftop to work with, we ask our customers to first make sure it’s in good shape structurally. Customers are comforted by the fact that solar installations these days can come with warranties for 20 or 25 years, but, if your roof will need a renovation a few years down the road, it’ll be easier to take care of that before the solar panels are installed. That way, you won’t have to pay in extra time and money to disconnect your panels during the roof renovation and put them up again afterwards.
The Install Process
The actual installation is an exciting day for every solar homeowner. We begin each installation by prepping your roof and making sure the shingles or tiles are properly attached. Then, we install the electrical wiring that will connect to your electrical panel and general power system.
After the electrical wiring is complete, we install racking to support your panels (this is the only piece of equipment that will actually be attached to your roof). The racking mounts are placed four feet apart and on rafters. Holes are drilled into the rafters and the mounts are secured with steel bolts. To prevent energy loss and potential leakage, we carefully seal the surrounding area.
Once the racking is level and safely attached, the panels are placed onto the racking. Finally, your inverter(s) are connected to the panels to convert direct current (DC) energy into the alternating current (AC) energy used in homes and on the electric grid.
The timeline for the installation will range from one to three days and is completely dependent on the size of the system you are installing. One additional factor that can add time to your installation process is putting in a power meter for net metering. If we need to add a power meter, this will add a few hours to your solar panel installation.
We want to remind you that while these steps may sound easy, it is very easy to cause damage to your roof, which often happens with the do-it-yourself approach. And keep in mind too that depending on your roof, these steps might change. It’s always best to call a professional! The team at Aztek Solar would be pleased to meet with you – reach us at: azteksolar.net/contact-us
Thanks for Reading!
aka “The Solar Guy”
For more information about a Solar Energy Solution for your home or business, please contact AZTEK SOLAR for your free on-site evaluation and ask about the $8,500 cash-back rebate now available.
AZTEK SOLAR is a leading Nova Scotia residential and commercial solar installer, serving urban and rural Nova Scotia.
With expertise in a wide variety of systems, including Solar PV (grid-tied) systems, solar hot water and solar pool heating systems, AZTEK SOLAR has helped hundreds of Atlantic Canadian homeowners, farm operations and business owners alike lower their energy bills while reducing their carbon footprint. Contact us today for a free, on-site assessment.