Can solar panels be installed on a flat roof?

Both residential and commercial properties can present with flat roofs. So, does that mean they can’t benefit from solar power solutions? Of course not! In fact, a flat roof can provide a fantastic starting point for a highly effective installation. When installing panels to a flat roof, they are generally fitted on free-standing frames that are able to be tilted to optimise array performance when employing the ideal angle and directional orientation.

Whether your roof is flat or not, solar panels need to be at the perfect tilt and positioning for your particular latitude to ensure superior generation of power. Slightly tilted panels are best practice for solar in Australia, as they need to have some sort of ‘self-cleaning’ ability.

flat roof solar panels

However, for a truly flat roof, there are certain circumstances where installing your panels horizontally (or close) might be the best option for you, and they include buildings located in the tropics, or those with limited roof space. As the tropics are close to the equator, the sunshine is typically behind the roof and horizontally laid panels will absorb more rays. For flat roof premises elsewhere, and particularly if your space is limited, it may still work out better to lay your panels flat. Tilt frames may significantly increase the cost of your system, and if it’s not going to significantly increase your output as a result, it’s not worth it.

As mentioned above, it is important to keep in mind that while horizontal panels can still be effective, tilted panels are preferable due to their ability to self-clean with the rain. Dust and debris can accumulate on flat solar panels, and the dirtier they become, the less efficient they will be at absorbing sunshine and producing energy. Of course, if you are limited in your options, and flat panels work out to be the best fit for you, solar panels can be regularly cleaned and maintained to prevent this.

At Sun2u, we believe in providing the right design and solar solution for each job. We can talk you through your options, no matter what shape your roof may be. For more information on solar panel installation on a flat roof, call us on 4001 0505.