How to mount solar panels on a roof?

There are a lot of mounts and configurations options for all types of solar panels. They vary from simple bracket-type mount meant to put a panel on a recreational vehicle to roof mount systems. Some tracking mounts can even follow the sun to get the most out of it.

Types of roofs

It's possible to install solar energy panels on many different roof types. The panels can be tilted up or flash mounted. Installing the panels on composition shingle roofs is the easiest to do. Tile roofs can be more challenging and transporting solar panels on that kind of roof can be very hard.

Roof mounting clearance

Solar panels you want to mount on a roof must have at least 3 inches but 4 to 6 inches is better, the distance between the roof and solar panels frame. The reason for this clearance is that it allows airflow under the solar panels for cooling them. You must never mount panels in a way there isn't any airflow under them because they can become very hot in that way.

Photovoltaic installation

The best time to install solar panel mounts is while the home is being roofed. Because the solar mounts which are flashed in while roofing will eliminate the possibility of roof leaks. Besides that, it will also be much easier to discover where rafters are when the roof is still off.

We advise you to secure the mounts onto the roof with stainless steel lag bolts which are bolted through into rafters. It's smart when you install the solar panel to have structural attachment points which are flashed in. On this way, future costs of re-installation and removal of the solar panels can be avoided easily.

Mount the panels on the roof

First align the mounts on top of the rafters, after that you've to pre-drill them with a pilot bit so the rafters won't split. You can find the rafters with a stud finder. The best way to keep the mounts in a straight line is by using a laser or chalk line.

Now secure the mounts to the roof with the stainless steel lag bolts that I told you about earlier. You can apply a new layer around the mounts if the roof doesn't look nice.

Place metal flashings over the mounts and hot-mop the optional layer around the mounts. Secure the metal rails partly with stainless steel bolts.

Install the pre-assembled and hard-wired panels in groups of your choice. Don't use quick connections on your wiring.

When the solar panels are in place then apply reflective roof coating. To finish the job you've to run the conduit to connect the solar energy panels to the inverter.