Solar Metal Roofing Guide:
In this solar roofing guide you will learn about pros and cons of metal roofing with laminated thin-film solar PV panels manufactured by Uni-Solar Ovonics, or simply UniSolar which is an Energy Conversion Devices company/brand.
UniSolar thin-film solar panels have been specifically designed to be installed with a standing seam metal roof and have a nominal width of 15.5 inches, which fits perfectly into a 16″ standing seam metal roof panel. With a special butyl adhesive backing, the installation of thin-film solar panels is very simple and fast.
Watch how the the solar metal roof is installed and how solar panels start producing free electricity right away:
Benefits of Solar Metal Roofing and roof-integrated solar systems:
Solar metal roofing is the most cost effective way to get a lifetime roof installed together with a solar PV system. The saving comes from the fact that the installation of the solar system is greatly simplified, because there is no need to install the racking system, which holds conventional solar panels. This saves you about $1 (one dollar) per watt DC of solar system, and eliminates an additional $.50 per watt for the installation of the racing system and solar panels. With thin-film solar PV laminates, the installation is reduced to cleaning the inside of the metal roof panel, applying and rolling in the solar PV laminate and installing the metal roofing panels.
Later, when all the standing seam metal roofing panels have been installed, the solar integrator connects the mom and pop contacts on each solar panel to form one, two or more strings of solar panels, and runs the wiring down to the inverter, which then converts the DC power from solar panels into AC power at 240 volts and feeds the electricity into your home’s power network. All excess electricity is sent into the grid (for grid-tied solar systems), or to your storage batteries (for off-grid solar systems).
Why use roof-integrated solar system vs. conventional solar panels?
The main problem associated with general Solar PV systems that you can now see on many homes around the country, is the fact that an asphalt shingles roof will fail much sooner than the Solar panels. When that happens, those home owners will be faced not only with the re-roofing expense, but also with complete removal of the solar array and re-installation. This MUST be performed by both the roofer and the solar integrator, as the roofer alone will 99% of the time screw things up. And bear in mind that a roofing warranty will usually not cover damages to the solar equipment, let alone all the possible short-circuit type situations.
Solar Metal Roof Installation video:
The additional cost associated with these procedures should be at-least the same as the cost of the new roof itself. Think about it: Electricians unlike roofers have to be licensed. An apprentice electrician needs at-least 4 years of schooling/work experience. This is like an undergraduate degree. A master electrician needs another 4 years. Therefore, electricians usually charge $75-100 per man-hour. You’ll need at least two electricians for this job, which will take a whole day to remove the panels and another day to put them back, if not more.
The math is simple: 2 guys * $75/h * 8 hrs. * 2 days = $2400 plus any possible parts and supplies that may be required. So let’s say it costs you $2500 extra. In some parts of the country that is how much an average 1200 sq. ft. cape house roof will cost today with the material.
Thin Film Solar Panel Installation video:
Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt shingles
Unlike very “popular” asphalt shingles, metal roofs are pretty much permanent. They are for the most part, produced from recycled metals, and when installed by a trained professional, they will not leak for decades. More Info: http://www.newenglandmetalroof.com
Metal roofs combined with Renewable Energy technologies can create a perfect combination of light, long-lasting and affordable solution for Solar Electric and Solar Hot Water, as demonstrated in the image to the below:
There are other numerous benefits to having a metal roof combined with Solar PV and other renewable energy technologies. When looking at a metal roof vs. asphalt shingles, also consider that a metal roof will save our land fills from getting more shingles dumped there in 10 years or so. Combined with beautiful looks, you get a permanent roofing solution, various solar technologies, and when paired up with a Geo-thermal system, you can easily design a 100% energy-free home, with great curb-appeal.
Check back in a couple of weeks for a complete Solar Metal Roofing Guide.