How To Determine The Strength Of A Roof
If you want to assess whether your roof will be able to withstand a solar system mounted onto it, you will need to seek a professional.
Architects or structural engineers are rightly suited for his task. They will evaluate your property as well as the solar panel system.
Once they are convinced that the roof can support the panels, they will furnish a certified letter of approval.
In case the roof is not strong enough, they will recommend some changes or updates that can allow the safe installation of solar panels.
Some ways you could modify your roof are adding additional support to the rafters or beams or repairing or replacing the roof completely.
You can get your roof reevaluated once such changes get made. If you fulfill all the necessary criteria, you will be entitled to a letter of approval.
If Solar Panels Are So Clean Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste
Bell Labs, 1954. Solar Panel Waste, 2014
Bell Labs & PV Cycle
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The last few years have seen growing concern over what happens to solar panels at the end of their life. Consider the following statements:
- The problem of solar panel disposal will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment because it is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle.
- The reality is that there is a problem now, and its only going to get larger, expanding as rapidly as the PV industry expanded 10 years ago.
- Contrary to previous assumptions, pollutants such as lead or carcinogenic cadmium can be almost completely washed out of the fragments of solar modules over a period of several months, for example by rainwater.
Were these statements made by the right-wing Heritage Foundation? Koch-funded global warming deniers? The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal?
None of the above. Rather, the quotes come from a senior Chinese solar official, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. solar industry, and research scientists with the German Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics.
With few environmental journalists willing to report on much of anything other than the good news about renewables, its been left to environmental scientists and solar industry leaders to raise the alarm.
The Trouble With Solar Waste
Destroys Solar Farm in Puerto Rico
Maharashtra, India, 2014
How Long Will A Solar Installation Take
If you include the technical and bureaucratic parts of the job, installing solar panels takes around 90 days.
But, setting aside paperwork, how long the solar installation process takes for your home depends on five factors:
On average, most solar companies can install a rooftop residential solar panel installation in one to three days since a typical residential solar power job takes about 40 hours of installation time on the roof and about 10 hours inside the house. However, the installation process can last as long as a week to a couple of months if your home needs many solar panels or if youre installing a large commercial solar panel system.
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How Much Do Solar Shingles Weigh
Also known as building-integrated photovoltaics, solar shingles are solar panels designed to look like traditional roof tiles. Thanks to their design, these thin sheets can replace or lay on top of your current shingle. Despite their different look, solar shingles act just like solar panels by capturing and converting energy from sunlight.
Compared to traditional solar panels, the weight and size of solar shingles are actually smaller. The shingles weigh approximately 13 pounds per square foot and are usually less than one inch thick. Size-wise, they are similar to traditional roofing shingles, measuring about 12 inches wide and 86 inches long.
Future Technologies And Weights
As efficiencies of PV cells keep climbing, panels generate more power in smaller areas and hence, in lesser weights. As mentioned previously, thin film panels are already lighter for unit size.
Some innovative products such as bifacial solar panels have cells on both sides of a panel, harnessing reflected sunlight from the rear end as well. Ideally there can be twice the number of cells on a bifacial panel, meaning lesser weight per unit of power generation.
Some engineers have also perfected the technique of Building Integrated Photovoltaics. Here, panels are integrated into or replace walls and windows. Technologies such as solar roof tiles can be thought of another type of building integration, and again we no more need. This turns the question of additional weight invalid.
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Image By Charlie Wilde From Pixabay
Companies can benefit from solar power even when they lack a suitable site. They can sign a solar Power Purchase Agreement off-site, which is also known as a front-of-meter PPA. In this case, the client purchases electricity from a solar array that is installed somewhere else. When solar panels are inside the property, the agreement is called a behind-the-meter PPA.
This article will discuss some site conditions that can limit the use of solar panels. To get the best results with solar power, these factors must be considered before installing them.
Remember When The First Home Computer Was Created That Big Bulky Heavy Screen With The Even Heavier Tower Was State Of The Art But Notice How The Continuous Advances In Technologies Have Helped Us Create Skinny Laptops That Maybe Weigh A Pound Or Two That We Can Carry Anywhere We Want Without Any Strain Solar Is The Same Way
Way back in the olden days, solar energy panels were large and bulky and deemed too heavy to be particularly safe in the public eye. Why? Because we didnt have the technological advances to be able to harness all the environmental benefits of solar into one little panel. But, now we do!
Solar Panels are are now slim, sleek, and attractive designs without all the crazy wires that used to be associated with them. These new and improved solar panels only weigh roughly 2.3 lbs per square foot and I promise that is not too much for your roof! Your roof can withstand 20 lbs per square foot before professionals think there is too much weight. Our homes are solid structures and they laugh at the measly weight of solar panels. Still worried about your roof and the weight? SuperGreen Solutions of Charleston can easily tell you if your roof can withstand the weight of a solar system. Plus, when that system you buy is installed properly, you will also be able to laugh at the measly weight of solar panels as you watch your electric bill dwindle to nothing.
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Are Rv Solar Panels Worth It
The answer depends on several things including your camping style, type of RV, the vehicles age, and your budget. As we mentioned, frequent boondockers looking to eliminate generator dependence can benefit from the clean, quiet, portable power of an RV solar system.
Your budget also plays a significant role here. Solar panels can be pricey upfront to buy and install. Plus, you may have to retrofit the rest of your RV electrical system to accommodate this newer technology.
If youre trying to live the RV lifestyle without spending a lot of money, solar panels might not be worth it, regardless of how much they weigh.
What Needs To Happen Between Signing A Contract And The Installation
Your installer will draw up a detailed plan and spec sheet. Permits will need to be obtained from your municipality to pass building codes, electricity codes, fire codes, and perhaps codes specific to solar PV systems. Additional permits may be needed if you’re part of a homeowner’s association or live in a historic district. Inspections to make sure your roof and wiring are up to code and able to support rooftop solar are likely also required. Your utility company will also inspect the system before it activates the system’s connection to the grid.
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How Much Solar Power Do You Need
There are two questions that need to be answered before you buy a solar panel. One, how much solar do you need and second, can the roof rack support the solar panel weight?
Calculating how much power you need is somewhat similar to that of an RV, but there are major differences. Some people live in an RV or spend several weeks there, so solar power requirements are high. Most jeep owners spend anywhere from a weekend to a couple of weeks on an adventure trip, so it is less demanding. Let us look at a hypothetical scenario.
Suppose you plan on a two week trip. You want to run a portable fridge or freezer, a few lights and charge your phone. With a dual battery system on your jeep, 2 x 100W solar panels should be enough to run everything. 2 x 100S solar panels is 30 lbs. total which a roof rack can support easily.
If you opt for a larger freezer you will need more power. But the dual battery on your jeep should be enough for the lights, stereo and a few other accessories. The solar panel will come in handy if you want to use a fridge to conserve the battery. If you rely mostly on the battery, even a 60W solar panel will be enough for a compact fridge, lights and mobile charging.
How Will The Weight Of Snow On Your Panels Impact Your Roof
The next question for those of us that live in areas with heavy snow storms is “what about the added weight of snow?” You can rest assured the structural engineers will take into consideration the average snowfall amounts for your area when they evaluate your structure and the proposed solar system.
Your solar panels and roof will not be affected by snowfall except for rare extreme cases. Solar panels are assigned a pressure rating that measures the amount of pressure a panel can handle before the added weight will hurt the panels. This rating is 5,000 or more Pascals for most panels, which allows for the accumulation of two to four feet of snow.
Pro tip: We do not recommend cleaning snow off your panels. Here’s how to take care of snow on your panels.
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What Actually Gets Installed
A rooftop solar system includes panels, a rack that they are mounted on, sealing materials to protect your roof, an inverter which converts the DC electricity that the panels produce into AC electricity that your house uses, wiring to get that electricity into your house, junction boxes to contain the wiring, an emergency shutoff panel, and other mechanical hardware.
Tons Of Solar Panels Installed In The Early 2000s Are Reaching The End Of Their Lifecycles Posing A Serious Problem For The Industry To Contend With Current Solar Panel Disposal Practices Are Far From Being Environmentally Friendly
On paper, solar energy seems more promising than ever. Solar cells are becoming easier to produce, along with becoming increasingly compact and portable. But there are a few problems with solar energy thats seldom talked about. Questions remain about whether their production and waste creates more pollutants than the fossil fuels they aim to replace.
Manufacturing solar panels often requires the use of several noxious chemicals. To add to that, solar panels have an operating lifespan of around 20 to 30 years. Since they were first introduced in the 2000s, literal tons of solar panels are reaching the end of their lifespan. Because it’s not easy to properly dispose of the toxic metals inside the solar cells and there’s an overall lack of oversight it is often cheaper to discard them in landfills or send them to developing countries. As solar panels sit in dumps, the toxic metals they contain can leech out into the environment and possibly pose a public health hazard if they get into the groundwater supply.
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No White Goods To The Hardware Store
The collection percentage could increase if consumers throw away less small appliances in normal waste and no more discarded white goods go to the hardware store. Electronics from refrigerators or dryers often disappear in the shredder, while raw materials can still be reused.
Of the electronics collected via 13,000 so-called Wecycle points, 80 percent is converted into reusable raw materials such as iron, copper and plastic. 18 percent of the weight is incinerated with a high energy efficiency and about 1 percent ends up in landfill. Recycling chips is difficult. Although new chips are scarce, electronics that have been handed in are too outdated.
It is impossible to recycle against so many e-bikes and solar panels It is impossible to recycle against so many e-bikes and solar panels
Reduce Your Energy Usage
Solar panels can still capture sunlight and create energy for your home during the winter. But because there are fewer daylight hours, you can also expect your solar panels to produce less energy than they might during the summer. As a result, you may either need to reduce your energy usage or prepare to pay a higher electricity bill. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce your energy usage, including:
- Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. They last longer and perform better. In general, a 60-watt traditional lightbulb can be replaced with a 15-watt energy-efficient bulb.
- Turn off lights and appliances you aren’t using. While most of us know we’re wasting energy when we leave these things on, we forget that it actually impacts our wallets.
- Unplug small appliances you aren’t using. Even when they aren’t in use, they can use a small amount of electricity, which adds to your energy bill.
- Turn down your thermostat. You can save money by turning the temperature in your home down a few degrees. Wear layered clothing to make yourself more comfortable.
- Check your home’s insulation. If your home has poor insulation, more heat will escape, which will cost you money.
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How Much Rooftop Area Is Needed To Install Solar Panels:
So to calculate the rooftop area required for installing solar panels use the following equation.
Area required for solar panels = Total number of solar panel x area of one panel
Area for 7.5 kW of solar panels = 23 x 21.50 = 495 sq.ft
This is just the area required to mount all the solar panels back to back and side by side to each other.
In real life we have to leave walking space between rows and columns of solar panels so that we can easily clean the solar panels every now and then, and also have safe access to perform maintenance if and when needed.
You can use the below table to get a rough idea of how much rooftop area solar panels will cover.
|Solar System Size|
|30||750 sq.ft 900 sq.ft|
Note: Considering cleaning space and access for troubleshooting we can assume to install 1 kW of solar system on a metal roof we need 85 sq.ft of shadow free area.
Note: Considering cleaning space and access for troubleshooting we can assume to install 1 kW of solar system on your RCC you will need 100 sq.ft of shadow free area.
I Dont Have Enough Area To Install Solar Panels What Should I Do?
However switching to monocrystalline and bigger wattage panels will increase your overall solar system cost by 10-20%.
How Will Solar Panels Affect My Electricity Bill
Nearly every U.S. state has a net metering program, where solar customers get credit on their electricity bills for some or all of the electricity that they send into the grid. Over the course of a year, you’ll get credit in the months when you produce more electricity than you consume and use that credit during those months when you’re consuming more electricity to heat or cool your home.
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Roofs And Solar Panels
Usually, roofs are capable of holding much more weight than what solar panels weigh. But, this is not the case with every roof. Some roofs are old and weak and can’t hold the weight of solar panels. The same is the case with dated metal roofs, they catch rust which makes them feeble and thus they succumb to the heavyweight of the solar panels.
The best advice that I have for you if you also have an old and weakened roof is that you should get it looked at by a solar installation expert. An expert would give you their opinion of whether your roof will be able to withstand the solar panel sheet. If the solar panel installing expert is skeptical about it, then you should surely not install any heavy-duty solar panels on your roof. One thing that you can do in this situation is that if there is a possibility, installing solar panels on the ground might be a better option. However, since most houses do not have a front area or backyard that big, the chances of using this idea are pretty thin. What you can instead do here is that first get the roof repaired and strengthened out, then install solar panels so there are no chances of any roof damage.