What is the Best Roof for Solar Panels?

Installing solar panels on your home or business premises is a great way to generate your own electricity, saving you money and helping the environment. While you may be tempted to think that fitting solar panels is a complex and difficult process, if you work with the right people it’s really fairly straightforward. In most cases, solar panels are fitted to the roof of a property, so if you have a roof over your head, chances are you can fit solar panels to it.

When you choose to consider installing a commercial or residential solar panel system, you may wonder whether the roof type is suitable for installing solar.  Solar panels may be installed on any rooftop type; however, the installation procedures, as well as mounting this hardware, may differ from roof materials.

A tilted roof is ideal, as the solar panels work best when fitted at an angle. A tilt of between 30-50 degrees is optimum for maximum year-round performance, but the panels will still work outside of this. If you have a flat roof, you can choose to mount the panels on a tilted frame in order to optimize their efficiency.


Composite roofing material is a popular roof type in overall. Due to this, many people look to installing solar panels on the composite roofing. The asphalt or composite shingles are used in this type of roof and made from cellulose mat or fiberglass. Asphalt minerals are then added to the shingles in producing the final item.

Several benefits come from using composite roofing. Some of the benefits include durability, cheap costs, and flexibility in its perception and may be adapted to look like many materials. This type of roof is one of the optimal alternatives for solar panels to go for.


This type of roofing is another popular roof type that may be found in about every neighborhood. Tiles may be made from various materials, which is why it is crucial to precisely determine what materials the tiles are made of prior to proceeding. For instance, the installation of solar panels on clay tiles can be costly compared to installing concrete tiles.

If an array of a solar panel is installed on a tile roof, the panels will be attached to brackets, which will lift the solar panels on top of the roof. The distance in which the solar panels need to be raised will depend on the material itself as well as the cost is affected grounded on the material the tiles are.

Flat rubber and concrete

Certain homes or even commercial constructions are topped with a flat rubber or concrete roof. Here, one can install a solar panel effectively and safely on both rooftops. For this flat roof, the solar panels should be tilted facing the sun for good production, and your solar installer needs to install slanted metal racking while propping up the solar panels.

This system does not have to get attached to the roof where the installations of flat roof use a ballast system other than standard mounting which residential roofs require. The concrete systems are weighted wrenching setup, which holds the panels well. While installing, you have to drill into the flat roof in installing the solar panels where you ensure that the holes drilled are small and sealed well to avoid roof leaking and damage.

Wooden roofs

Like composite grits, installation of solar panels on a cedar or wood roof comprises drilling to a roof stud and slipping flash in underneath the wood pieces in preventing leaking. Wood grits may brittle, and the installer will have to take more precautions while mounting these panels to make sure that no parts of the roof end up cracked or even damaged in a way.

Gravel and Tar

They will likely be the gravel and tar roof type for a homestead with a flat roof. The gravel and tar tops are made out of sheets layers attached with roofing felt and hot tar. Certain mineral coatings are added. The flat rooftops can need more brackets, which may be tilted at a certain slant.

This is easy to do; however, this will be costly compared to installing a slanted roof or even with a unlike material. However, it is a feasible roof type during the installation of a solar panel.

Metal roofs

Reliant on the type of metal roof one has, the installation will vary slightly; however, the notable take-out is that panels work good on metal roofs. In case one has a seam metal roof, the solar installer will not have to drill holes on the roof as the solar panels’ mounts may be clamped to the elevated seams.

Some of the advantages of metal roofing are that the metal roofs are eco-friendly. These roofs are made out of recycled material, which is durable for a long time. The metal roof of these seams may allow one to installation of thin-film and standard PV solar panels. The metal roof types reflect a notable amount of sun where it cannot be absorbed by the solar panel that results in a cooling impact.

Factors that can affect Efficiency of Solar Panels on a Roof


Solar Panels should be tilted between 30-50 degrees is optimum for maximum year-round performance, but they would work outside this. For flat roofs you can use titled frames to optimize their efficiency. If you have a flat roof, you can choose to mount the panels on a tilted frame on a 10 degree angle in order to optimize their efficiency. This also ensures self cleaning in case of rainfall.

Anywhere between 20 and 40 degrees ensures good power generation across the course of the day. In some places a 35 to 50 degree roof tilt is optimal for year-round energy production. In Seattle, for example, solar panels produce the maximum power annually when mounted at a tilt of roughly 30 degrees.

Flat roofs also work relatively well for solar systems because the PV panels can be mounted flat on the roof facing the sky, or mounted on frames tilted toward the south at the optimal angle would be the best. But a minimum tilt of 10° is recommended to ensure self cleaning by rainfall.

Roof shape

Solar panels are generally rectangular in shape and roughly measure between 1m x 1.5m each. This means they can easily fit into any roof shape and size. You can choose to mount them horizontally or vertically (portrait or landscape).


If you are in the Northern Hemisphere the panels will be most effective facing due south, but will work perfectly well facing to the south east or south west depending on time of day. And, in the Southern Hemisphere the panels should face north.

Light and shade

When assessing the suitability of your roof for solar panels, you need to take into account any surrounding features, such as trees or chimney stacks, that might cast a shadow on the panels. It’s generally not advisable to install panels in direct shade as they won’t work as effectively.

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