Solar panels and New Roof

2 Posts
Sep 17, 2007 02:41 pm
Solar panels and New Roof

We are coming up on needing a new roof for our house in Maryland.  What makes the most sense - installing the new roof and then adding solar panels, or using solar shingles?


52 Posts
Sep 17, 2007 08:02 pm
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

I prefer the more traditional ridged framed solar panel rather then a solar shingle. The biggest downside to the shingle in my eyes is the amount of electrical connections. Consider a 1000 watt PV array. If you were to use five 200w modules your array could consist of 4 series connections. If you were to use the shingles, at 17 watts each, your talking about 55+ series and parallel connections. While all that wiring at the beginning might not be so bad, what happens if one connection comes loose sometime in the next twenty to forty years? I would much rather troubleshoot a system with 4 electrical connections then one with 50. The trouble shooting of the system with that many connections is the biggest limiting factor in my mind.

If you are going to install the system yourself, and it's your first PV installation, solar shingles may not be the best place to start because of the complicated wiring. It may be hard to find an installer willing to work with the shingles. A lot of installers I talk to don't work with the shingles because of the complication of the wiring.

The price of the shingles is about 1$ more per watt then the most expensive 200w ridge frame modules and flush mounting combined. I don't know how much non-pv shingles cost, so it's hard to do a real price comparison.

It really comes down to opinion. Some people would argue that the building integration of the tiles is environmentally friendly because you are using less resources in constructing your home. It's hard to argue this. A lot of people like the ascetics of the shingle. I think traditional solar panels look cool- so again it's a matter of opinion.
2 Posts
Sep 18, 2007 09:48 am
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

Thank you for the advice.

578 Posts
Sep 18, 2007 07:00 pm
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

unisolar shingles are cool to me in the - wow that is cool that they can do that - sort of way.

they are more expensive and tedious to install.  electric code considerations are also trickier.  if a person has the dough, a very qualified installer (nabcep) perhaps with experience with these, and the will to have their roof be their pv and vice versa - then go for it and do the shingles.

i can tell you that at this point, that person is not me.  i have neither the money, the house, nor the patience to install solar shingles. i like boring old framed pv

more safely installed solar is always good.  get the facts and do what makes you and your fam happy.


james Alt-E staff

"Making Renewable Do-able"

Tel: 877.878.4060 x107  or +1.978.562.5858 x107
Fax: 877.242.6718  or +1.978.562.5854
1 Posts
Sep 24, 2007 01:10 pm
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

On top of the good arguments you've listed against the PV shingle (from Uni-Solar), there's now one more, which trumps them all: it recently lost its UL listing, so even if you wanted to, you simply can't use it (at least in a grid-tied system). Uni-solar says they're working on a new-and-improved shingle, but who knows when that'll be available...

52 Posts
Sep 24, 2007 07:49 pm
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

Hey Julian,

Thanks for the info on the SHR17's. Any thoughts on the Sharp 62w tiles? On a 1 kW installation 16 electrical connections seems a lot more manageable then 55. 

462 Posts
Oct 7, 2007 10:44 am
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

Daniel, to make things even easier and cheaper, if possible, why not mount panels on the ground, if you have the space, then there is no worries about new roofing or damages thereto....
3 Posts
Oct 13, 2007 12:27 pm
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

Don't overlook unisolars Unisolar PVL-136T 136W, 24V Thinfilm Rooflaminate, If you consider a standing seam roof. The only limitation is a 3/12 roof pitch.
These are still cost effective panels and you would have a fifty year roof.
1 Posts
Nov 24, 2007 10:10 pm
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

I think tom had a really good idea of mounting the panels on the ground.  Not only would you not have to worry about damage but it might look nicer as well.

1 Posts
Feb 7, 2008 06:49 pm
Re: Solar panels and New Roof

hi , i m  new here and im a roofer lol...i can tell u the roof is not a best place to install a system lol..but...iknow over there its very VERY HOT so can u catch more energy over there ...dont no im not engeneer  but i know its very hot... on the ground must be a good place but if its enought that i dont know...maybe some of u have the answer...

             nice to meet u all

Disclaimer and Disclosure

The Alternative Energy Store, Inc reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse or delete any posting or portion thereof, or terminate or block the access to this forum.

The opinions and statements posted on this forum are the opinions and statements of the person posting same, and do not constitute the opinion or act of the Alternative Energy Store, Inc (AltE). The Alternative Energy Store, Inc does not endorse or subscribe to any particular posting. No posting shall be construed as the act or opinion of the Alternative Energy Store, Inc.

Click here for BBB Business Review

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Desktop Website | Mobile Website


Click on an icon to share! If you don't see the method you want, hover over the orange "+".


What can we do to help you?

Please enter a summary
Sorry, the copyright must be in the template.
Please notify this forum's administrator that this site is using an ILLEGAL copy of SMF!
Copyright removed!!