Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

The Best Roof to Use Under Solar Panels

Our previous post on the best roof to use under solar panels has been very well-received, and we thought we'd tackle the topic again with one of our handy lists. Here are the top four reasons why metal roofing is the absolute best choice to use with any type of roof-top solar component:

  1. The environmental reasons for solar energy collectors are complemented by the most environmentally friendly roof material: metal. If you even give it a passing thought, it makes zero sense to use eco-unfriendly, petroleum-based products like asphalt shingles with a green and energy-efficient solar panel system.

  2. Metal roofing offers profiles that allow installation of solar panels with literally no holes punched in the roof. No other material can make such a claim.
  3. Metal roofs are the best roofs for resisting damage from high winds - a VERY important consideration if one wishes to avoid the potential damage of solar panels from flying roof debris.

  4. Long-term costs. Removing and re-installing a solar panel array because the roof beneath it needs replacement (a necessity roughly every 10 to 20 years with a comp roof, by the way, which is much shorter than the expected lifespan of your solar panels) is an added expense above and beyond the roof cost itself. Choosing a long-lived metal roof eliminates this costly maintenance issue down the road.
UPDATE - Just stumbled across this interesting article, "Cool Roofs and Solar Panels - A Natural Marriage of Sustainable Technologies." It's a discussion of how - surprise! - cool metal roofing is an ideal choice for use beneath solar components. Here's an excerpt:
"One company reports that the output of its solar power system when combined with a cool roof increases 20 percent due to the improved collection of reflected and diffuse light. How do cool roofs designed to reflect sunlight work with solar panels, which are designed to absorb it? Rather than working against the panels, the reflectivity of cool roofs sends more light to the panels from all directions...

Energy-efficient, cool roofing systems can significantly reduce roof temperatures during the summer, which does in fact improve the performance of the photovoltaic system.  Another benefit of a cool roof is that it can significantly enhance the performance of solar panels by lowering a building’s interior temperature, thus reducing the power load necessary for air conditioning during hot summer days. This has many benefits including cutting energy costs by keeping attics and ducts cooler, improving occupant comfort, cutting maintenance costs, increasing the life cycle of the roof, and reducing urban heat islands along with associated smog."

Have more questions about metal roofing and solar components? We've worked on several projects that incorporate both, and we've assisted on the design and specifications to make them successful, so we're happy to chat. You can talk or email with our resident roof expert now, or fill out our contact form and we'll be in touch soon!