ver 2 billion square feet of metal roofing are being installed annually in the United States, and this figure continues to rise. These roofs are the second most popular solution after asphalt shingles, and the high price is probably the only factor that prevents them from taking over the first place. Aluminum and steel roofing is commonly chosen for commercial buildings including shops and offices, but they are quite popular among householders as well.  

Are solar panels on metal roofs a good idea?

Yet when it comes to solar, many people wonder if their metal roofing is suitable for installing solar panels. You might be surprised to find out that it is actually a perfect option for solar, but more on that later. First, let’s look at the types of metal roof solar panels available on the market.

Types of solar panels for metal roof

When choosing solar panels for metal roof, you should consider the roofing type. Below, we take a quick look at the main three of them and how you can fit them with solar.

Standing metal roof solar panels

Standing seam roofs consist of flat panels with raised vertical seams at the ends. These panels are interconnected using a clamping system instead of screws – such construction allows them to withstand extreme weather conditions and creates a polished look. In addition to this, standing seam roofing is durable and fire-resistant, which makes it the first choice for metal roof solar panels.

To set up a solar panel, the installer screws a series of aluminum clamps to the vertical seams and places a mounting rail. This technique allows for the installation of solar panels on metal roofs without drilling, which keeps them waterproof.

There are even technologies that make solar panels blend in with the roof for a sleeker appearance. For example, a thin-film solar manufacturer Sunflare produces solar modules that are placed in between seams of the roofing, so that they are nearly inconspicuous.

Tile metal roof solar panels

Tile roofing represents a series of interlocking sheets that sometimes have polymer or stone coating. These systems are valued for their high reliability and durability.

The mounting rails for tile metal roof solar panels have pre-attached tiles, and the installer swaps existing tiles with the ones on the rails. These new tiles have the same shape as the original ones and thus do not ruin the overall appearance.

Corrugated metal roof solar panels

A corrugated roof is the cheapest option available, representing large sheets shaped into a wavy pattern. In the case of a corrugated metal roof solar panels are a little more difficult to install because unlike the previous two types they require drilling holes in the roof. Solar mounting systems for corrugated roofs include special brackets attached to the top rib of the sheet. These brackets come in various shapes and sizes to fit any type of corrugated roofing.

The advantages of metal roofs for PV systems

So why should you consider combining a metal roof with solar modules? Let's take a quick overview of the benefits a metal roof with solar panels can offer.

PV modules can be easily installed on the roof

The first advantage of metal roof solar panels is the simple installation process. Metal is far less fragile than asphalt shingles and easier to drill into. Additionally, a metal roof makes it easier for installers to place the cables.

A panel makes the roof even cooler

Metal roofs are known for their excellent cooling properties. They reflect sunlight keeping the temperature inside a house down even in the hottest summer months. But a metal roof with solar modules makes your home even cooler as they create a shade across its surface.

The roof serves as a durable base for solar

Roofing replacement becomes much more complicated when you have a rooftop solar system installed, so the best solution is to opt for a roofing type that lasts longer. The average lifespan of an aluminum or steel roof is 40-50 years, but some of them last up to 70 years. Meanwhile, solar panels usually last for 20-30 years, which means you are unlikely to have to replace the roofing before your solar modules.  

The roof and the panels make an ideal eco-friendly duo

And finally, such roofs are the best choice for those who seek environmentally sound solutions. They are 100% recyclable and considered the cleanest and most sustainable option. Therefore, green solar energy and a metal roof together make up a perfect combination for environmentally conscious homeowners.

Jun 12, 2023

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