Most properties in the UK have roofs that are entirely suitable for a solar panel system, and this is fortunate for those thinking about having their systems for their properties. But in the same vein, solar panel systems are quite an investment – so you also want to make sure that you can maximise your investment with a roof that’s good enough so it can generate as much energy as you expect. But how can you properly determine if your roof is suited to a solar panel installation? Here’s what you should remember and consider.
The direction of your roof
Roofs that face south are usually the best suited for solar panel systems because they face the sun when it has the most intensity. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have a roof that faces west or east, a solar panel system is no longer a worthwhile investment. Even if you have a roof that faces west or east, they are still acceptable for a solar panel system because the system will still produce a good amount of energy throughout the day. For instance, if you have a roof facing east, it will get the most sunlight during the morning hours, whereas a roof facing west can get more sunlight during the afternoon into the evening.
The pitch of your roof can make a difference, and the best pitch or rise is between 30 to 40 degrees. However, even if your roof’s angle is above or below this, your panels can still effectively produce energy. A solar panel will still be able to absorb energy from the sun even if it is placed horizontally, but if your solar panels are below 12 degrees in placement, it will not be easy for them to self-clean, and dirt is more likely to build up, so keep this in mind as well.
The roof material
The material of your roof can also have an impact because it can affect your installation’s cost. But one of the foremost factors you should think about is the strength of your roof. A good installer can assess to see if the structure needs strengthening. Alternatively, you could opt for integrated or in-roof solar panels, which can serve as your solar panel roof that will replace a portion of the tiles or roof slates, eliminating the burden of added weight on your roof structure.
The most suitable material for an installation is composite roofing or asphalt, which is durable and reliable. If you have a metal roof, it is also an excellent material for use with a solar panel system. However, if your roof is made of tar, it may be flat, so you may need brackets that can tilt the panels at a more optimum angle.
The roof space
Another factor is the available space on your roof. The available open space will also matter, but this will depend on the size of your system. For example, if you choose a standard system with a size of 4kW, your roof would have to have an available space of 28 sq. metres. You should also think about some portions that may interrupt the solar panel layout, such as turrets, vents, or skylights. Whilst most installers can deal with these obstructions; this could affect the cost of your installation as well.