Solar Metal Roofing



Solar Metal Roofing Guide:

In this solar roofing guide you will learn about the pros and cons of metal roofing with laminated thin-film 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 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 free electricity is produced right away:

Benefits of Solar Metal Roofing and Roof-Integrated Solar Systems

Installing a solar metal roof is the most cost effective way to get a lifetime roof together with a solar PV system. The savings come 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 $0.50 per watt for the installation of the racking system and solar panels. With thin-film solar PV laminates, the installation is reduced to cleaning the inside of the metal roof panels, applying and rolling in the 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 systems).

Instalaltion of Solar Metal Roofing

Why use a 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 homeowners will be faced not only with the re-roofing expense, but also with complete removal re-installation of the solar array. 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 to install (materials included).

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 manufactured 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 an ideal, long lasting and affordable solution for your Solar Electric and Solar Hot Water needs.

Solar electric, hot water and heating

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 landfills from getting more shingles dumped there in 10 years or so. With metal, you get a beautiful, permanent roofing solution that you can combined with a solar system, and if you choose to add a Geothermal system, you can design a 100% energy-free home!


22 thoughts on “Solar Metal Roofing

  1. Pingback: Solar Roofing | Roofing Blog

  2. Bob Clark says:

    The solar electric and hot water metal roof looks interesting. Can you provide details on its construction and source for materials? How will this system be expected to perform in northern New England?

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  4. The solar electric and hot water roof is a good idea, but I think I would go with a geothermal system for my hot water. Actually between geothermal and solar you really wouldn’t ever need to be on the grid again.

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  6. Eggert BOEHLAU says:

    Hello,
    thank you for article. I have a home with two problems, failing geothermal system, done in about 1990. It appears to gobble a lot of electricity & is becoming expensive from this perspective. Also failing cedar roof, again after only 20 years. Do you know someone in Ontario I could contact to have metal roof work done with integrated thin film solar? What are approximate costs per sq ft? Do you know a good geothermal co?

  7. Great article! We are taking the same approach in the Atlanta, GA market with a product we’ve dubbed the “SmarterROOF” which is a package of Energy Star rated Kynar coated metal roofing combined with affordable solar technologies.

    Sunny regards!

    -The Energy Roofing Systems team

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  9. Sally Peterson says:

    I am looking to install a new metal roof on a cottage near Winchester, VA. I would love to get more info on this system and also the name of an installer in the Winchester or Clarke County, VA. area.

  10. Hello Sally,

    You can find a metal roofing installer in the directory of roofing contractors, suppliers and manufacturers. You can also try metal roofing contractors directory. You can also search for solar metal roofing in Virginia.

    Good Luck,

    Alex

  11. Ken Downen says:

    Is there a company that I can contact about the metal roofing combined with the thin film?

  12. Depends what company you need to contact, where you are located and what you need to find out…

  13. Your photo of the standing seam / PV system appears to be set on top of PEX tubing inlaid into aluminum supports, I am assuming this is a hot water and PV in one system? Where can I get additional info on this set up? We are building a home this spring in southern NJ and want to incorporate solar. Thank you.

  14. richard boston says:

    many questions. This thin film need to be have more info length width and output… Size of inverter for 10k system, how many batters and what amps Most green metal roofs are rib about 8 inch span then a 3/4 rize so how do the adhisive panels install

  15. Hi Richard,

    As far the inverter – I’d recommend using multiple inverters – say 4 at 2500 watt each. Reason for this – inverter will probably have the shortest life out of all your components (except for maybe batteries, but this is more dependent on who manufactures them). Therefore, if one 2500 watt inverter goes, it is much cheaper to replace than the 10kW inverter, and most of your system would still be operational.

    Batteries – I don’t know that much about them, and if you are tied into grid, it make no sense to have batteries… or maybe just a little system if grid goes out for a day or two.

    Now the metal roof – you can have flat pan on standing seam panels, and it is actually required for proper adhesion of the solar panels. The stiffening ribs are put in when panels are made, and it is easy to not have them put in.

    Are you planning to have this done soon?

  16. Pingback: Uni-Solar’s Bankruptcy and what it reveals about the state of the Solar Industry in US | Solar Panel Prices – research the cost of Solar PV

  17. Hello, could you send some more info on prices and tech specs of the PV film used. I am from Lithuania and would like to start importing these films. As for the metal part, I think it will be less expensive and easier to get it here. Thanks in advance.

  18. Tim Mooney says:

    I love this metal roof/solar panel idea. Do you know who can install this in the greater Phoenix Arizona area?

    Thanks!

    Tim Mooney

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  20. Does your roof have to face a particular direction? Does the wiring go into your box or do you have to get a special box or rewire? Can the lamenent be applied to an existing metal roof?

  21. Nice tutorial and to answer the person above I think they are meant to be South facing so a south facing roof would be best.

  22. Jamie Lipsett says:

    I am interested in this roof system.My thinking is the entire back roof facing south being solar. House is expected to be 1500 sq ‘ so looking at about 850sq’ of solar. Is it possible to get a ball park figure.?

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