Ideal Rooftops for Solar

If you live in an urban area like Austin, San Marcos or New Braunfels, placing solar panels on your roof may be the only option. Roofs raise the solar panels elevation, minimizing shading from nearby trees. This maximizes output and can even create passive air flow under the solar panels, slightly lowering the amount of heat in your attic.. The following information will allow you to identify ideal rooftops for solar:

Roof Condition – Will new roofing be required?

worn rooftop

Solar Panels should never be placed on a worn rooftop

  • We recommend evaluating your rooftops condition before placing solar panels on it.
  • Asphalt shingles older than 5-10 years should be visually inspected for wear. Depending on the quality of the shingle, you may want to wait before investing in a solar power system.
  • It is worth noting that the solar panels will protect the rooftop below from UV and weather damage.
  • In Central Texas we experience hail every year. Solar Panels are resilient in hail storms, in-fact HESOLAR has never had a customer lose a panel to hail. However, we have pulled systems down for roofs to be replaced. That is why it is very important to add the solar panels to your home owners insurance policy and make sure this cost is covered by your policy.

Solar Installation and Maintenance Access

  • A well installed system will not require minimal maintenance.
  • The rooftop should be clear of obstructions. Solar output is around 17+ watts per sqft.
  • Solar system size is dependent on the available space on the roof. The system can be placed on multiple locations of the rooftop.
  • Solar panels installed at an angle greater than 10° will be cleaned adequately with a good rain fall in most conditions.

Rooftop Direction

The direction your rooftop faces is very important for solar design. Solar should be placed on East – South – West facing roofs in Texas. Easter and Western systems produce about 7% less than southern systems but produce during peak demand times.

Northern roofs will very low slopes can be utilized with tilt leg systems.

Shade Analysis

Evening shade can be minimized with micro inverters

Evening shade can be minimized with DC Optimizers or Micro Inverters

Shade caused from tall trees and nearby buildings can lower your system’s solar power output

During the initial design, consumers should think about future tree growth and possible urban development.

Shading can be managed with certain solar inverters.

Rooftop Types

The rooftop material will be a factor in overall system design, output and cost..

  • Residential: Home rooftops range from asphalt shingle, metal, clay and Spanish tile. Each have their pros and Cons which are covered in our residential solar section.
  • Commercial and Industrial: building applications have a wide range of common materials, with metal, TPO and modified bitumen being ideal. Pros and Cons of most roofing material types can be found on our commercial solar section.