Can solar panels be installed on metal roofs in 2023? The solar panel is a device that uses energy particles from the sun called photons to transform light from the sun into electricity. After that, electrical devices are powered by this electricity. The solar panel is a collection of photovoltaic cells arranged together which are mounted on a frame and a collection of PV panels. Solar energy conversion dates more than a century.

However, it was only with Edmond Becquerel’s discovery of the Photovoltaic Effect that solar energy was converted to electricity. Becquerel’s finding laid the groundwork for the invention of selenium-based solar cells in 1893. The well-developed solar panel used in space satellites was created in 1954 as a result of years of advancement in solar panels. Today’s leading company, Google’s California headquarters, uses solar panels. 

Benefits of solar panels

Installation of solar panels is very useful in off-grid areas where the main electric grid is not supplied. The homes and offices utilize these solar panels for their electric supply. This avoids the expenditure of setting up utility poles. On the other hand, setting up this solar panel is less expensive and maintained properly thus can serve for 3 decades. Generally, electricity is generated in large quantities from non-renewable sources of energy so overutilization of these kinds of resources causes the depletion of resources. Also, it causes serious side effects to nature like global warming, and climatic change. On the other hand, solar panel utilize a renewable source of energy and doesn’t cause harm to nature.

In the modern era, monthly expenses, particularly the cost of electricity, account for a sizable portion of monthly income. Installing solar panels can reduce monthly expenses by reducing to cost of installation of solar panels while enabling a person to avoid paying electricity bills for roughly 15-20 years, depending on the quality of the material he has installed. This feature is solar panel is more appealing. Additionally, if a person uses very little of the electricity generated by a solar panel, he or she may be able to sell it to a business. 

Can I Install Solar Panels on Metal Roof?

Once decided to install solar panels. The following concern is whether solar panels can be installed on metal roofs or if they need to be RCC-mounted solar systems. The answer is Yes, solar panels can be installed on metal roofs but the only short come is the amount of electricity generated is significantly less than that of RCC-mounted solar panels if the installation is done with pitch and in the direction of the metal roof.

The solar panels can be mounted in one of two ways: directly on the metal roof using mounting rails, or on a specially-made frame that allows the solar panel to be mounted at a given angle and pointed in a particular direction. The angle at which solar panels are installed and the direction they face determines how much power they produce. like the North-South roof or East-West roof.

For maximum power generation, if you are in the Northern hemisphere then the solar panel should face the direction and if you are in the southern hemisphere then the solar panel should face the north direction. 

Ultimately, the angle of installation of sat panel is not necessary but the direction in which the solar panel face is most important for the maximum outcome of electricity from the solar panel. 

When a metal roof is not suitable for solar panel installation

  • Weak metal roof frame: when the metal roof of your house is weak to withstand the weight of the solar panel then installing solar panels on a metal roof should be avoided. The weight of a 330Watt polycrystalline solar panel is nearly 25kg therefore you need nearly 16 such panels arranged together for a 5KW system, then the total weight of such a system will be nearly 400kg and to mount it you need a mounting structure that weighs nearly 50kg overall the metal roof should have the capacity to hold nearly 450kg weight. 
  • Old Metal Roof: If the metal roof present in the house is nearly 10-15 years old. Then the practical assumption is that it won’t last for the next 25 years. So installing solar panels on this roof should be avoided as the solar panel last nearly 25 years once installed. So when you planned to install solar panels then it’s better to replace the old roof with a new one. 

Metal Roof Best suited For Solar Panels

We have so far observed roof conditions that are unsuitable for mounting solar panels. Which metal roof is better for solar panels is the following query that typically arises.

Although the quality of the metal roof appears to be the primary consideration, installing solar panels is not solely dependent on it. The environment and proper solar panel installation are two additional factors that must be taken into account. If all of these factors are met, installing solar panels on a terrace will be the best choice because it offers many benefits like the ability to install solar panels in any direction and at any angle and the ease with which they can be maintained once installed.

In this standing seam metal roofs are best suited for solar panels as it is a concealed fastener that has vertical legs on either side and flat space in between them. As these fasteners are invisible and are not exposed to the weather, these standing seam metal roofs are weather tight and durable among all metal roofs available. Install solar panels on standing seam doesn’t require any holes to be made on the roof. So the weather tightness of the roof is not compromised even during securing the solar panel.

All these factors make the standing seam roof the most compatible metal roof for solar panels. Additionally, the lifetime of the standing seam is nearly 40- 60 years which is twice the lifetime of a solar panel with a lifetime of 25-30years.

Advantages of Installing Solar panels on Metal Roofs

  • Durability: usually all solar panels except thin film have a lifetime of 25 years. In such cases, the surface on which the solar panels are installed needs to last 25 years. generally, a metal roof lasts for nearly 25-30 years that why metal roofs are suited for solar panels. 
  • Installation Cost: Typically, solar panels that are mounted on metal roofs cost less than the ones mounted on the RCC roof and a ground surface. This cost reduction is due to the light structure used for mounting solar panels. 
  • Cooling: As most of the sun rays will hit the solar panel, not the metal roofs so the overall temperature of the house will be less and this will reduce the load on the air conditioner. 
  • ThinFilm Panels: There is a secondary option to traditional crystalline solar panels. If your roof cannot hold the heavy weight of traditional solar panels then thin-film solar panels can be installed as they would direct stick to the metal roof. If you think the solar panels hinder the look of the house then thin film solar panels become the only solution. Related articles here.

How are solar panels installed on metal roofs?

  • Usually, all the houses have corrugated metal roofs. To install solar panels on these corrugated metal roofs, a mounting rail is attached to the panels then these solar panels are mounted on the rails using end clamps and mid clamps.
  • Among all the metal roofs the standing seam is the best metal roof for installation. A standing seam that does not require any penetration for securing solar panels.
  • other than corrugated metal roofs if your house has another roof then it needs a mounting structure to attach the solar panel to the roof.
  • A solar mounting system is a device that is used to attach the solar system to the roof without making any changes to the roof.
  • This solar mounting system is fitted to the roof on which stands the solar system.
  • If you choose to use an exposed fastener other than a standing seam which is concealed fastener then the solar foot is the perfect solution.
  • This solar foot serves as an L-foot attachment of the mounting rail in the solar system.