Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panel Roofs

Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panel Roofs

renogys blog Nov 8th 2022

Are you thinking about installing solar panels on your roof? Fitting these devices to your property can transform your energy usage and help to reduce your bills. Or are you thinking about installing solar shingles to replace your existing ceramic tiles? If you are new to the world of solar panel roofs, you may wonder which to choose, and how to install, maintain, and use your new solar panel kit.

Table of contents: 

Installing a solar panel system or using solar shingles? 

You might not be a stranger to solar panel systems, but you might hear of solar shingles for the first time. The two types of solar panel roof function similarly. Sitting on the top of your house where sunlight is abundant, they absorb sunlight and turn it into electricity. Below we will tell you the differences between the two types of solar panel roof equipment in more detail.

Solar efficiency

Solar panels have better performance in terms of solar conversion efficiency. Several reasons can explain this. Most solar shingles are made of copper indium gallium selenide, which is thin and flexible. But that also means they produce less electricity with an efficiency rate of 10% to 12% than traditional solar panel systems, which come with an average percentage of 15 to 20. In addition, solar panel systems can be installed on a place where is not shaded, but solar shingles cannot avoid that if your house is surrounded by some tall trees. Shading is an important factor to consider when you choose between the two solar panel roof types.


With their relatively low efficiency, solar shingles have to cover a large area to produce the same amount of electricity as their counterpart. That is why if you choose solar shingles, you’d better make sure cover your whole roof is covered with solar shingles. On average, to cover a typical American house’s roof, it needs about 350 tiles.


Solar shingles can easily blend into the existing style of your house. They are perfect for homeowners who really care about how their house looks.



Solar shingles are a more exorbitant choice to go with, averaging about 15,000 to 70,000 dollars. In contrast, a residential solar system is said to be about $20,498 on average. Specific costs will depend on your energy need, and many other factors.

Either type of solar panel roof can help you do your bit to reduce carbon emissions and protect the planet. But for most people, going with solar panel installations on their roof is still their top choice, considering their value and efficiency.

How to install solar panels on roof?

Installing solar panels on roof can seem like a major project, but it is not as disruptive as you first think. The vast majority of the assembly occurs on the ground outside, and it only requires minimal work inside your home, placing a cable into the property to connect to the inverter and the rest of the system.

Once your panels are constructed, the next step is to mark out where you will be installing them on your roof. To do this, carefully measure out and mark the tiles that you will need to remove in order to mount the brackets that will hold the panels.  

You will then add rails to these brackets before installing the panels themselves. To attach the panels to the rails, you will need to use the specially designed clips that bolt onto the edges of the panel. This ensures you can quickly remove any for maintenance or repair as required.

The wiring from each panel is then linked together to form a string, with the end cable then being fed into the roof. You will then be able to connect this to the inverter, which will convert the Direct Current that is generated into usable Alternating Current, which can then be used to power your home.

If you are not confident in your DIY skills, or you want to ensure the very best fitment, make sure that you contact the professionals.

How to clean solar panels on a roof?

Solar panel roofs are a fantastic way to reduce your impact on the environment and lower your energy bills. However, in order to ensure that they are working as effectively as they are designed to, you need to ensure that you are keeping them maintained.

Over time, exposure to the elements and wildlife can lead to panels becoming dirty and preventing them from capturing as much sun. If you are wondering how to clean solar panels on a roof, then thankfully, it is very easy to do. You can simply wipe the panels clean using a soft brush and water – making sure that you avoid using high-pressure water.  

Will solar panels work on an east-facing roof?

When it comes to installing solar panels on roof, one very common question that homeowners have is whether they can be fitted to an east-facing property. While those solar panels that are facing south with receive the most sunlight and therefore produce the most power, they will still work on homes facing east. East-facing roofs will still receive a lot of sunlight, especially in the mornings when the sun is rising.

Can you put solar panels on a metal roof?

Are you wondering whether you can put solar panels on a metal roof? This is another very common question that homeowners have, and it is a valid query. Solar panels are able to work very effectively on a metal roof, but there are some important things to keep in mind.

The main thing to remember is that it is best to use standing seam options when installing solar panels on roof made of metal. This will ensure that you will not need to drill any holes into the structure, ensuring it remains watertight. If you are looking to create a solar panel roof on a corrugated roof, then you will need to use special mounting brackets, but they will require drilling into the roof, so you will need to ensure it remains watertight.

How many solar panels can I fit on my roof?

Solar panel roofs are incredibly varied, and they can come in all ranges of shapes and sizes. Working out how many solar panels that you can fit on your roof is essential to ensuring that your home is able to get all the power that you need.

Photo by Matt Bango on StockSnap

The number of panels that you will be able to install on your roof will depend on the types and efficiency of solar panels that you choose, but on average, a solar panel is around 79cm x 158cm. This is a good basis to start measuring your roof to work out how many panels you will be able to fit onto your property. 

You will also need to work out how many solar panels your home will need. To do this, you will need to work out your daily consumption of energy, the size of your roof, and the number of hours it will be in sunlight for. This will allow you to establish how much energy you need to generate to power your home. Or you can utilize solar powered calculators to help you estimate how many solar panels you need.

Do solar panels damage a roof?

Another very common question that homeowners ask is whether installing solar panels on roof will damage it. If installed correctly, then there will be no damage to your roof, and you can have complete peace of mind your family will still be protected from the elements.

However, if they are installed incorrectly, then they could cause significant damage. Solar panel roofs require drilling, so a misstep here can cause water to leak through the gaps. The weight of the panels can also cause structural damage if they are too heavy, so it is always best to speak with a professional installer first.

Do solar panels void roof warranty?

Your roof is the most important part of your home and is essential in helping to protect you and your loved ones from the elements. That is why you want to ensure that you will always be covered should something go wrong. Most roofing contractors offer a warranty on their work, typically covering the installation itself, which is usually around ten years, and then a materials warranty which is several decades.

Ensuring that you are not voiding the warranty on your roof is essential, and thankfully installing solar panels on roof will not trigger this. However, it is always wise to double-check this with your contractor before beginning to ensure that it will not void your warranty.

How much are solar panel roofs?

One of the most common factors putting individuals off from installing solar panels on their roofs is the misconception that they are too costly. However, over the last decade, technology has advanced rapidly, and it has helped to significantly reduce the costs of solar panels for roofs.

Research undertaken by the Solar Energy Industries Association has found that the average cost of residential solar systems has dropped by 60% in the last ten years. While it once cost over $50,000 to have a standard system installed on your property, nowadays, this has dropped considerably to $11,000 on average for a 5 kilowatt solar power system. 

The overall cost of your roof solar panels will depend on a range of factors, including the number of panels you are looking to install, the brand you choose, the kW system that you need, and your location. There are more factors you might want to know, and you can find them in our another article How Much Does a Dolar Panel Cost?

Although installing solar panels on a roof does require a large initial investment, they are a worthwhile cost as they can provide a huge array of benefits. The biggest of these is that they can immediately cut your electricity bills, which can lead to large savings over time and seeing your solar panels pay for themselves.

How to replace a roof with solar panels?

Is your home in need of a new roof? If you are wondering how to replace a roof with solar panels, there are now options on the market that allow you to enjoy integrated systems that redefine how your home looks, such as solar roof shingles.

These shingles, often called Solar Roof Tiles, are slim photovoltaic sheets that can either replace existing shingles or overlay your original ones. These tiles are then able to work in the same way as a panel, reducing your overall energy bills. Compared to a whole solar roof, shingles are quicker option to install and also cost less upfront.

Do solar panels have to be on the roof?

Not sure if you want to have solar panels on your roof? Many homeowners do not like the visual appearance of installing panels on their property, so do solar panels have to be on the roof? Thankfully, the answer to this is no, and there are various other ways that you can install them on your property and enjoy the benefits.

The most common alternative to roof panels is to place them on the ground. This allows homeowners to set the angle and orientation of their panels, helping them to maximize their output. Alongside having the freedom to position them wherever you like, ground solar panels are also able to be installed in smaller batches, which makes them a great choice in properties where only small amounts of energy are required.

However, ground-positioned solar panels do take longer to install as they require a more complex racking and support system. This means that they can also cost more while requiring a large amount of space in your garden.

How do I outfit a narrow roof with solar panels?

Solar panels are designed to work across a wide range of roof styles, although some are more effective than others. One question that many homeowners have is whether their narrow roof would be suitable for solar panels or not. These are roofs similar to the hexagonal or pyramid styles shown below:

Image courtesy: Architecture & Engineering on Facebook  

If this is a similar style to your home, then there are still options available to you. When space is limited, then a high-voltage and compact panel will be able to provide your home with all of the energy you need. Alternatively, you could check out our range of portable solar panels.

Of course, in some instances your roof might not be able to fit the required number of panels to provide you with the power you need. In this instance, you could consider installing ground-based solutions instead.

Ready to start installing solar panels on roof?

Are you looking to discover the many benefits that come from installing solar panels on roof in your home? Here at Renogy, we are dedicated to helping change the way we use energy, and our entire team is committed to making a positive impact on the planet by removing the many barriers that prevent people from living sustainably. By 2030, we want to help empower over 50 million people with energy independence through our reliable and DIY-friendly renewable energy products.

Our solar panel roofs are made from the highest quality materials to ensure unrivaled monocrystalline cell efficiency, maximizing your energy production. We are incredibly proud of our industry-leading solar panels offer fantastic weather resistance and waterproofing, ensuring that they can continue to operate effectively for a long time.

Utilizing the latest technology, our Renogy framed solar panels offer fantastic efficiency and performance, coming with a 25-year warranty to give you complete peace of mind. While all solar panels lose efficiency over time, with our unique products, you will still be able to enjoy 95% performance after five years and 80% after 25 years.

There can be no denying the huge impact that we are having on the planet, and climate change is affecting our way of life. That is why we are pushing to reshape the future and make it easy and affordable to become energy independent. So if you are looking to live more sustainably and discover how solar panels can transform your home, check out the full range today or get in touch with our friendly team, who will be happy to help. 

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