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Is My Roof Suitable for Solar Panels?

solar panel roof installers on roof

We all know that installing solar panels at home is a great way to capture the energy from the sun and generate your own, free green electricity. However, many people put off making the move because they worry their roof is not suitable. Fortunately, you’ll be happy to hear that most roofs in the UK are suitable. (With a few exceptions, e.g. thatched, glass roofs, asbestos roofs, etc).

5 key factors

The suitability of your roof for solar panels depends on 5 key factors.

  • Orientation
  • Pitch
  • Shading
  • Structure of roof
  • Age

 

1. Orientation

One of the primary considerations for installing solar panels is the orientation of the roof. In the UK, south-facing roofs receive the most sunlight throughout the day, making them the most suitable for solar panel installation. However, east and west-facing roofs can also be viable options, although with slightly reduced efficiency. North-facing roofs are generally not recommended for solar panel installation as they don’t receive enough sunlight exposure. The easiest way to find the orientation of your roof is to stand outside your home with a compass.

2. Pitch

Another important factor to consider is the roof’s pitch or angle. Roofs with a pitch between 30 to 40 degrees are considered the best for solar panel installation in the UK. This angle allows for maximum sunlight absorption throughout the year and helps optimise the solar panel’s performance. However, roofs with pitches outside of this range can still be suitable with adjustments to the mounting system.

 

3. Shading

Shading is another critical consideration when determining the suitability of a roof for solar panels. Trees, buildings, chimneys, and other obstructions can cast shadows on your roof. This will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching your solar panels. Our free site survey would assess how big a problem this is likely to be for your installation. We would look at ways to mitigate any shading issues e.g. trimming trees back or adjusting the placement of panels.

 

4. Roof Structure

The structural integrity of your roof must be checked to ensure it can support the weight of the solar panels. Typically, pitched roofs made of sturdy materials such as concrete, clay, or metal are better suited for solar panel installation. However, it’s essential to consult with a qualified solar panel installer to assess the roof’s condition and make any necessary reinforcements.

Flat roofs can also be suitable for solar panel installations, although they may require special mounting systems to achieve the optimal angle for maximum sunlight exposure. These mounting systems can be adjustable to accommodate different seasons and optimise energy production.

5. Age of Roof

Solar panels typically last for 25-30 years so fitting them onto an ancient roof that will need replacing in the near future doesn’t make good financial sense. Ideally, it is best if your roof has a remaining lifespan of at least 10-15 years.

 

It is clear that there are several important factors to be considered in order to determine how suitable your roof is for solar panels. However, don’t worry if your roof doesn’t 100% meet all the requirements mentioned. These are ideal requirements and your roof may still be suitable.

If you are considering solar panels, consulting with a qualified solar panel installer is essential. Get in touch with us, and we will be able to carry out a site survey and advise you on the best options for your particular property.

Capital City Electrical Services is a leading solar panel installation company for homes and businesses in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian.

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