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Solar Panel Installation for Flat Roofs: 6 Things You Should Know

Solar Panels can be the wisest investment you have made so far for your commercial building to produce energy. Solar panels for flat roofs are not more expensive than a standard sloped rooftop installation. In fact, flat roofs are the perfect location for solar panels

There are two locations you can install these energy panels: ground-mounted and rooftop panels. While both work the same way, flat commercial roof solar panels are more flexible in design than sloped roof panels, which helps yield the best results. Moreover, the installation of flat roofs is much easier as the labor does not require special equipment to move around as would do in sloped roofs. Amongst these, there are other things you must know when considering investing in solar panel for your flat roof: 

 

Ways of Installing Solar Panels

There are three ways of installing panels to your flat commercial roof with one common goal, which is to avoid leaks. 

Ballasted 

This type is the quickest and easiest. It works fine when penetrating holes on the roof is not an option; hence there is no drilling and anchoring involved in the process. It uses ballasted solar panel racking, which means using heavy-duty material to keep the solar rack in place. 

Attached

If your rooftop has no parapet walls to minimize wind speed, then attached paneling is the best under such conditions. This may be the most expensive type out of the lot due to the chemical anchoring involved in the process. During the stud insertion in the hole to hold the panel, extra strength is needed in anchoring, so Resin is used to fill the gaps. Moreover, it makes it completely airtight, preventing water leakage inside the building. 

Foundation or Footing

This type is for flat roofs with high parapet walls. Sturdy blocks are used for concrete footing, making it seem like your regular ground-mounted system, except it’s on flat commercial roofs. Another instance when this type of racking is preferred is when a building is too old for drilling holes or when you might be tampering with a waterproof roof’s insurance. 

 

No Such Thing as Flat Panels 

An inclination of at least 5 to 10 degrees is preferred when installing solar panels for flat roofs. The reason behind this is to avoid dust and debris accumulation on these panels due to the wind. This accumulation might reduce the performance of your solar panels by 10 percent or more. Furthermore, with all the dust flowing in from all sides, cleaning can be hectic, and other natural forms of cleaning such as rain might not be as helpful.  

 

High Risk of Leakage

Getting rid of water on a flat roof is a task. If solar panels are added to these roofs, it increases the likelihood of leaks. If your roof requires the attached type of installation, you must make sure you are hiring the right company to seal the gaps with chemicals appropriately to avoid any future problems. Contact our team of experts for help if you sense trouble with your roof. 

 

Wind Speed Matters

When deciding on the installation of solar panels, you must make sure to consider the wind speed received by your commercial roof. Wind speed should be considered when deciding the racking system for your flat commercial roof, as a standard power system can take up to 160 km/h. Therefore, you should check whether your hired company is doing the right job for your rooftop to avoid short-and long-term damage to the roof. 

 

Considerations Along the Way

Rooftops usually have other mechanical units that need to be considered when deciding on the correct installation process. These units include outers for air conditioning, vents, exhaust fans, parapets, pipes, drains, and more. A careful plan will avoid any shading and maintenance issues when the time comes. 

 

Optimal Performance

Irrespective of the type of racking system you choose, you do not have to compromise on the performance you get out of your solar panel system. If you carefully plan out your panels’ angle layout, you can maximize the solar energy production for your building. The planning also involves the careful placement of each row of panels and the distance between them to avoid shading. If the parapets are high, like mentioned before, you can consider elevating the system for better performance. Ensure you are aware of all the factors mentioned above and plan well with the hired company for the best possible layout and work on any drawbacks in the plan before the installation process starts. 

 

Flat commercial roofs are considered flexible when it comes to designing the placement of solar panel systems. It would be best if you considered a few aspects before you start with the installation process to maximize energy production and minimize damage to your rooftop during and after the process has finished. Solar panels for flat roofs are your one-time investment that help generate clean electricity and rid you of those hefty utility bills. Consider getting one today for your commercial property. 

 

Looking to Hire Experts?

Planning for big projects and making a final call can be a huge task but doesn’t have to be done alone. You can consider speaking with an experienced company in your area for help with the process. 

Central Roofing is a one-stop solution to all your solar panel and commercial roof concerns if you are situated in Los Angeles. Feel free to give us a call at (310) 527-6770  or write to us, and our representatives will be happy to assist you. 

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