Best Roof Design for Solar Panels
For those building or planning a civil construction, there are important details about installing solar panels on the roof that can be foreseen in the project. However, if you already have a property, nothing prevents you from installing a 3kw solar system. This can be done without or with few changes since the versatility of photovoltaic projects guarantees its realization.
If the architectural project is in progress, there is no doubt that planning facilitates the installation, making the whole process more efficient and straightforward. Thus, to dimension the solar energy project during construction, it is necessary to consider the most appropriate orientation of the roof to optimize energy generation and the best positioning of the photovoltaic panels. It is these details that I will talk about in this post. Follow along and learn more!
The best types of solar structures for photovoltaic system
It is essential to clarify that the photovoltaic panels are attached to the roof structures using fastening systems. Each type of roof has a different system, representing a relevant part of the budget. Therefore, this factor must be considered when a property is prepared to install solar energy and a solar panel on the roof.
The most common covers for installing solar panels on the roof
Metal tile roofing, or corrugated, sandwich, or galvanized roofing, is the most common option in commercial and industrial establishments. They facilitate fixing, in addition to having the advantage of offering more security for the installation of photovoltaic panels.
Clay tiles and French or colonial-type concrete are more common in residential roofs. These tile models require the professional to carry out some manipulations to fix the rails that will support the solar panels, but this does not make the process unfeasible, as there are currently several types of structures for these applications that offer a lot of versatility to facilitate installation.
Flat roofs such as precast concrete tiles and slabs are great for installing panels. The fixing system for these roofs compensates for the low slope existing on roofs with these characteristics to guarantee the best incidence of sunlight.
Fiber cement tiles, the famous “Eternit ” tiles, are ubiquitous in commercial and residential establishments. Here, the preponderant factor for choosing the most suitable structure is whether the tiles are fixed under a wooden or metal structure. Typically, these tiles are attached to wooden structures, but it is necessary to assess to apply the appropriate screws for each material.
The position of the roof tiles
The north face is the best orientation to ensure maximum solar energy production with photovoltaic panels. And the degree of inclination must be equal to the region’s latitude. For example, if a specific location is at latitude 24°, the ideal angle of inclination of the panels is 24°.
The required area on the roof
The installation area of a roof is one of the most critical factors in any photovoltaic system installation. This happens because the size of the area is directly proportional to the number of panels that can be installed and, consequently, to the system’s power as a whole.
In other words, the greater your demand for energy production, the greater the space required for installation. For example, a system with a power of 1.5 KWp occupies an average of 10.5 m².
During the calculation, it is important to consider from 7 m² to 10 m² for each KWp of energy to be produced.
In this process, it is also essential to consider whether there are structures on the roof that could shade the photovoltaic panels, impairing their performance.
Roof fixing system
The fixing system for the photovoltaic panels needs to be of good quality and have its installation done correctly. Otherwise, they can present problems during periods of high winds and storms.
There are several ways to fix the plates, varying according to the composition of the roof. For example, the technique differs for a ceramic roof and a concrete slab.
The fastening structures are made of lightweight materials such as aluminum and stainless steel. In this sense, it is essential to highlight that, despite being light, these are highly durable materials and offer excellent protection against corrosion. It is also important that specialized companies make the fastening systems used. Otherwise, the losses can be huge.
Best solar panel steering
When installing photovoltaic panels, it is also essential to pay attention to the position of the parts of the sun. The best position for installing solar panels is towards the North region.
This happens because the Sun rises in the East, ascends in the North region, and sets in the West. In this way, the production of photovoltaic energy is optimized.
Homes that do not have north-facing roofs or have obstructions that prevent installation should not be concerned. The directional losses of installed systems for the Northeast and Northwest vary between 3% and 8%. As for the East and West regions, losses increase, ranging from 12% to 20%.
These variables must be resolved by your solar installation company, which will have trained professionals to analyze the positions and determine the best installation location.
Size of solar panels
When deciding on the layout of photovoltaic panels, always consider even numbers. This helps achieve an excellent aesthetic balance and simplifies the solar inverter setup.
There are two main sizes of commercially used solar panels: 166 cm x 99 cm and 198 cm x 99 cm. The former is more common in panels from 270 to 290 Watts and has 60 cells.
Those measuring 198 cm x 99 cm are more common in panels from 330 to 375 Watts, having 72 cells – most companies prefer, as they are more efficient in energy generation.
Weight of panels x structure
The structure for fixing photovoltaic panels is not very heavy. The estimate is that the extra load is 15 kg/m². Most roofs are prepared to support this weight without problems.
An important variable to be considered during the installation process concerns the structure’s ability to withstand winds. The structure must withstand the impact of winds – they can reach up to 150 km/h, especially in coastal areas.
Therefore, it is necessary to consider whether the fastening structures comply with the standard that regulates the safety issue of fastening systems.
Finally, research the best solution to complete your photovoltaic solar energy project with maximum durability and efficiency.
It is worth mentioning that, in practice, achieving the perfect direction and incline will not always be feasible. But this is also not a reason for concern since the loss in energy production is not significant and, therefore, entirely acceptable.
Remember that the most important thing is to ensure that you get as much sun, without shadows, during the day. In addition, the plates facing north, with the angle of inclination identical to that of latitude, will have practically 100% utilization.
Photovoltaic solar energy is a solid ally to ensure the growth of large industries. Thus, technology evolves all the time, and it is becoming more practical to fix solar panels on the roof, with so many options for different needs.