solar panels on metal roof

Discussion in 'Green Energy and Sustenance Living' started by genxer67, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Mar 1, 2014 #1

    genxer67

    genxer67

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    I was all set for a company to put solar PV panels on my roof. I had told the sales guy it was a metal roof, and he indicated that should not be a problem. But it was determined that they cannot install to my roof at all, even though their company has installed panels to other metal roofs in the past.

    The problem is that those metal roofs are the more common ones with a smooth surface and solid color. Mine has metal shingles designed to closely resemble traditional tar shingles. So their surface is not as smooth.

    The installers say they don't have a (I think the word they used was 'bolt' or something) that would properly attach the panel leg to the beam on the inside of the roof. Something about it would slip due to the nonsmooth shingle surface and that rainwater would leak through.

    So do you know what kind of bolt they should look for? They claim they've asked around and don't know anyone who has this. The roofing company is Erie Construction of Toledo, OH. The solar company is Missouri Sun Solar. I'm sorry I don’t know the brand name of the roof.
     
  2. Mar 1, 2014 #2

    oldognewtrick

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    Post a picture of your roof please.
     
  3. Mar 2, 2014 #3

    genxer67

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    here is the pic of the house

    myHouse.jpg.jpg
     
  4. Mar 3, 2014 #4

    nealtw

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    not helpfull
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  5. Mar 3, 2014 #5

    oldognewtrick

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    There's several MFG's of stone clad metal shingles. http://www.decra.com/ is one around here thats has some presence in the market place. The problem for solar installers is making a penetration into the metal shingle and making a waterproof seal at the attachment point. Any time you try and go back and retrofit a fastener, you create a weak point. If you are still wanting to install solar, contact a roofing professional in your area familiar with this product, that will work with the solar installer to create a anchor point and proper flashing. Drilling a hole in the roof and applying liberal amounts of silicone caulk is NOT the proper method of making a watertight seal.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2014 #6

    bud16415

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    I understand the allure of solar on the roof being green and all that but I personally would never want something hovering above my roof poking a bunch of holes thru it made by two different company’s and installed by two different installers. I have always said from the beginning of this solar stuff the solar should be a total roofing system and when it comes time to replace your roof one company provides that type of system and someone trained comes and installs it. From what I have seen none of this is yet cost effective so we get these add on systems. I’m far from an expert but I would think adding this would void everything you had from the roofing system and also those that installed that.

    Just curious where you live as to what is projected as solar payback.

    Sorry I was of no help with the OP question of how to mount and type of bolts. I really don’t have an answer to that.
     
  7. Mar 3, 2014 #7

    oldognewtrick

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    Working for a roofing company, we have inquired on several occasions about providing and installing solar roof systems and found there is little if any solar MFG's willing to talk or provide info to a small, local installer. At this point in time, my personal opinion is, a bigger return on GREEN dollars would be weatherization of the house structure. Seal air gaps, adding insulation and higher efficiency heat/cooling systems, provide for a better investment than the introduction of solar panels on a roof.

    Just my :2cents:
     
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  8. Mar 3, 2014 #8

    genxer67

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    Thanks for the replies.

    On another board someone mentioned that one option would be to have the roofing replaced with regulard shingles on the area where the panels will go. Does that sound feasible? Won't they be a different color and stick out like a sore thumb? I know the panels will cover them, but I would think at least a little bit would be noticeable. I got the current roof in '08 and it is warranteed for 50 years. They said the warranty is invalid if any other company does anything to it, like put panels on or replace some/all of the metal shingles.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2014 #9

    oldognewtrick

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    I would suggest to NOT try and blend different type of roofing materials. It will look worse than awefull. please re-read my previous post, and good luck with what ever choice you make.
     
  10. Mar 10, 2014 #10

    Wuzzat?

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    Why doesn't this work?

    What are a few proper ways of penetrating roof coverings for solar panels or the higher efficiency panels that circulate water?

    Since vent pipes penetrate using flashing, maybe somebody makes little standoffs with little cone shaped flashing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
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  11. Mar 11, 2014 #11

    Wuzzat?

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    IMO they don't want to take on an iffy job. They can make plenty of money doing routine jobs.
    I think if you found bolts that would work they would find some far-out reason why they won't work. Another option may be to abrade small areas on the shingle surfaces to make it smooth where the bolts pass through.

    Two or three times in my life I've found companies like this but there are probably many out there. It might be a rational & logical way to do business but the marketing dept. is not about to tell anyone up front.

    I'd prefer companies like this just say "No bid."
     
  12. Mar 12, 2014 #12

    inspectorD

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    This is ALWAYS the first things you do to a home. Solar is fine, but if you do not have your other systems up to their efficiencies, you are just spending $$ on a show piece. Its like having a brand new electric motor installed with new batteries on a rusted out truck. What's the point.:D

    However , if you do have a good efficient home, I would look at installing the panels on the ground area, or on a pole. We have done many this way due to the less expensive fix when you need to replace your roof someday. Those panels come down again. Not to mention its easier to install, less $$ there. And if you get snow, you can clean them off.. but you can't on a roof unless you want to risk your life for a little savings on power.... a little crazy if you want my :2cents:
    But good luck!!
     
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  13. Mar 12, 2014 #13

    nealtw

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    Or put them on the garage.
     

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