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Solar Panels On A Tiled Roof: How Are They Installed?

Solar Panels On A Tiled Roof | How Are They Installed? How Are Solar Panels Installed On A Tiled Roof?

Solar panels are a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. And, fortunately, most roofing materials are capable of accommodating them. This brings us to why you’re here. How are solar panels on a tiled roof installed? 

Well, they’re installed in about the same way any solar array is—with mounts, racks, and cables. There are, however, a few things you need to consider first, such as the condition of your roof tiles, risks, cost, and alternatives. 

Having said that, all the topics regarding installing solar panels and whatnot that this article covers are listed below. Feel free to tap on any of the bullets to jump sections.

How Are Solar Panels Installed On A Tiled Roof

How are solar panels installed on a tiled roof? 

Some specifics about solar panels and either wooden, concrete, or metal roofs will vary from installer to installer, but, in general, this is the workflow you should expect:

Locate the tiles where the mounts will be installed under. 

The mounting brackets that secure your solar panels to your roof won’t be mounted on the tiles themselves. Rather, they will be mounted on your roof’s frame. Thus, it is important to have mounting brackets in the first place.

And, for that to happen, your installer will first have to locate the tiles he has to work with to get access to the frame. 

Remove tiles.

After figuring out where the mounts for your solar panels will be bolted on, it’s time to remove the tiles that cover them. 

This is where the specifics will vary. Some tiled metal roofs will be easier to work with, and removing tiles is just a matter of removing the nails that hold them in place and sliding the tile out. Others, however, will be a bit more complicated. 

That being said, every solar panel installer will have their own techniques that deal with these different scenarios. 

This brings up the importance of hiring a CEC-accredited solar panels installer because these tradesmen and women have been trained to deal with these difficulties. Thus, ensuring that both your solar power system and roof last a long, long time.

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

Bolt the mount to your roof’s frame. 

Here, a stud finder is going to help locate your roof’s frame. After that, your installer places the mounts where they need to be, drills pilot holes to make sure that nothing cracks or breaks, and finally, bolts the mounts in place. 

Cut the tiles as necessary, then reinstall. 

The tile-cutting process will depend on the shape of your mounts, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all fix. 

Generally, though, your solar panels installer will use an angle grinder to shave off a part of your tile that’s just a bit wider than your mounts. This is to account for the shrinking and expanding of your roof tiles under different weather conditions. 

After cutting solar panel tiles as necessary, your installer will then install the removed solar panel tiles back in place. 

Depending on the condition of your roof as well as your installer’s discretion, he might also use a sealant to make sure you don’t get any leaks, which is a common problem with poorly installed panels. 

Attach everything else (racks, solar panels, cables).

After all the mounts and tiles are in place, everything else follows. First, your installer bolts the racks to the mounts. Next, the solar panels are bolted to your racks. And, finally, all the wiring and final touches are done to get your system up and running. 

This entire installation process can take anywhere from one to five days, depending on how many solar panels you want to install, how accessible your roof is, and the complexity of the entire process.

Things you should consider before installing photovoltaic panels on your tiled roof

Your roof’s condition.

Depending on how big your solar panels are, each one can weigh anywhere from 40 to 50 lbs. Maybe even 60+. 

So, if you plan on having 20 solar panels for a 6.6 kW system (which is the most common in Australia), you’re looking at roughly 900 lbs of additional weight on your roof. 

Hence, you need to check the condition of your roof before you even have people up there. Consider the age of your roof, too, and how long before your tiles and flashings need to be replaced/repaired. 

Your roof’s tilt and where it’s facing. 

Your roof’s—and consequently, your solar panels’—tilt and orientation both play a huge factor in how much solar power your system will be generating. 

In Australia, north-facing solar panels produce the most solar power. Installing solar panels that face south, in contrast, generally produces the least.

For tilt, 10–30 degrees is a safe bet, but it will also depend on where you live. If your tile roof isn’t tilted or oriented that way, though, it might not be that big of a deal. 

East– and west-facing panels also generate an adequate amount of electricity. You could also opt for tilt racks to change the angle of your solar array if you have a flat roof. The catch is that both solutions might increase your solar installation cost a little. 

For further reading:

How much space do you have on your roof? 

The space you have on your tile roof also determines the size of your solar panel system. The more roof space you have, the larger the system you can install. 

That being said, shade reduces the efficiency of your solar system. So, you have to include the shaded parts of your roof in the equation, too. 

If you don’t have enough space on your tile roof for the size you want to install, though, there are always alternatives, but more on this later. 

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

Your budget for installing solar panels.

As with almost anything, how much you’re willing to spend on installing solar panels also puts a limit on your plans. 

The bigger your budget, the more solar panels you can install. This also widens your options to include higher-quality solar panels that are both more efficient and more durable.

Regardless of your budget, though, what I always recommend is to get the best solar panels you can afford.

The more efficient your system is, the more power it generates, which means you rely less on the grid. All in all, better solar panels will save you more money in the long run, despite being more expensive upfront. 

How many installers did you ask for quotes from?

Installing solar panels can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s just that different solar panel installers will give you different quotes.

So, if you want to save money when you install solar panels on your tile roof, it’s crucial to get multiple quotes. One of them just might give you a significantly better deal. 

You shouldn’t just ask any installer, though. Installing solar panels from CEC-accredited solar installers is important because they’re the ones who’ve been proven to know what they’re doing. 

On that note, we have a network of pre-vetted solar installers that we trust with our team’s solar systems. If you’re interested, we can get you 3 FREE quotes right away.

Other solar alternatives you should consider

Other Solar Alternatives You Should Consider

Solar Panel roof tiles

Solar panel technology has come such a long way that we now have solar tiles instead of just panels.

So, if you’re going to replace your entire roof anyway, consider installing solar roof tiles instead of the usual tiles. This route might save you more money while making your entire home less dependent on the grid. 

Tesla’s Solar Roof is a good place to start but there are other options for solar shingles and tiles as well. 

Ground-mounted solar panels

If you don’t have enough space on your tile roof for installing solar panels, or if you just don’t like the way it’s going to look, a ground-mounted system is another option. 

Needless to say, you also need to have adequate space on your property for your entire array. 

You could also have both roof-mounted and ground-mounted panels if you so choose. Hybrid solar panel installations might cost you more, though. 

Solar panels on your garage’s roof

Your solar panels don’t have to always be on your home’s roof, regardless of whether it’s tiled or not. You could also consider installing solar panels on a detached part of your property, like your garage, for example.

Although, in most cases, your system will likely be smaller if you opt for this option because of the available space. Regardless, it’s an option you might want to consider. 

Also, the same considerations you should take before installing your system apply here. 

Recommended: Installing solar panels on a garage roof. 

FAQs:

Are there any risks to installing solar PV panels on my tiled roof? 

Yes, but installing solar panels on any roof type poses a risk, even if it’s a minute one. Leaks due to heavy rain are the most common, but they also only happen due to poor workmanship.

How do I choose the right solar panels?

The right solar panels for you will largely depend on your budget, your available space, and your power requirements. As a rule of thumb, though, always get the best solar panels you can afford. The better efficiency and durability will save you more money in the long run. 

How Much Will It Cost to Install Solar Panels on My Tiled Roof? 

Given that your roof doesn’t need to be replaced or repaired, expect to spend around $1,000 per kilowatt. So, if you’re planning to install a 5 kW system, you’ll be spending roughly $5,000. 

Conclusion

Installing solar panels on your tiled roof will have its own set of challenges, but it is still entirely possible, especially with a skilled and experienced installer.

Just never forget to account for the weight your roofs will have to bear for a long period of time. Also, although it may be time-consuming, proper maintenance will ensure that your solar panels perform well over time.

And, even if it’s not, there are always other alternatives, like solar panel roof tiles, ground-mounted solar, and even panels in your garage. In any case, our network of pre-vetted installers is ready to give you 3 quotes for free.