According to Energy Sage, solar panels can help you save up to $97,000 during their lifespan. In addition, residential solar offers many other benefits, like tax credits and increased property value. Therefore, solar roofing can be an excellent investment for your home.
However, before you install photovoltaic panels in your home, you should consider the type of roof you have. While most roofs can support solar panels, some are better. Below is a look at the top designs that incorporate solar panels, which you can consider when upgrading your home.
Contemporary Style: Solar Panels on Flat Roofs
Traditionally, flat roof designs have been used for commercial buildings. However, they are becoming increasingly popular in residential roofing – and are one of the top modern designs you can find on the market. In addition, they are one of the top roofing designs that incorporate solar panels.
One of the top ways in which flat roofs are best suited for solar panels is that they offer more flexibility in terms of installation. According to a study by Pecan Street Research Institute, the direction of solar panels can significantly impact energy production. Therefore, a pitched roof facing the wrong direction can limit the space you can use for the solar panels. However, with a flat roof, nearly every surface can be used, allowing you to generate more energy.
Flat roofs also have the added benefit of being more accessible. Therefore, your roofers will have an easier time during solar installation. This can lead to a faster installation, which could lower labor costs. Additionally, most flat roofs are made of durable materials, for example, concrete, thermoplastic, EPDM rubber, etc. Therefore, the risk of roof damage will be minimal during installation.
Minimalist Design: Solar Panels on Sloped Roofs
Slopped roofs offer a simple but effective design for residential roofing needs. They are the most common types of roofs you’ll come across in homes. Many prefer them during their low maintenance needs and stability when dealing with extreme weather – rain, snow, ice, etc. They are also one of the top roof designs that incorporate solar panels easily.
One of the benefits of sloped roofs is that they offer a perfect angle for installing solar panels. According to PV Magazine, angling solar panels can increase their efficiency by up to 4%, translating to significant energy production. Therefore, roofs that are not angled usually require a mount to attain the ideal tilt position. However, a sloped roof allows you to install solar panels without additional struts. The slope also makes them perfect for solar shingle mounting – where the solar panels are built-in into the roof shingles.
Besides ease of mounting, a sloped roof design makes it easy to maintain your solar panel. Due to the roof pitch, dust and debris will slide off the panels, and the rain can wash away the rest. Additionally, pooling water or ice is not an issue with sloped roofs; hence your solar panels are unlikely to be damaged.
Rustic Charm: Solar Panels on A-Frame Roofs
A-frame roofs are an iconic roofing design that is becoming increasingly popular in residential houses. It’s very aesthetic and can give your home a rustic charm – the kind you see in log cabins. The roof design is also very functional, as it can withstand extreme rainfall, winds, and snow. An A-frame roof is also a top option if you are looking for roof designs that incorporate solar panels.
The large surface area of an A-frame roof is one of the top things that make the roof design ideal for solar panel installation. Therefore, depending on your energy needs, you can install as many solar panels as in your home. Additionally, A-frame roofs have a good pitch, exposing your panes to sunlight. With this design, you can even hire local roofers to install an integrated solar roof – saving you the need for on-roof solar panel installation.
A-frame roof designs can also help to reduce solar panels’ maintenance costs. For example, the pitch angle of the roof means that debris and dirt will not collect on the solar panels. Also, rainwater will not pool on the panels but will wash off, cleaning them.
Modern Farmhouse: Solar Panels on Gable Roofs
A gable roof can give your home an attractive farmhouse charm – without having to raise animals on your property. It also offers many other benefits, such as extra space, increased stability against winds, excellent rain and snow drainage, etc. A gable roof is another superb design that easily incorporates solar panels.
The pyramid-like shape of gable roofs provides a large surface area for installing solar panels. Also, according to Taitem Engineering, this design is highly receptive to solar panels. Therefore, you will have an easier time installing solar panels, with the pitch angle allowing optimal sun exposure.
Like with other pitched roof designs, gable roofing makes it easy to maintain your solar panel. Minimal dirt and debris will collect on the panels, and the remaining is easily washed off by rainwater. Additionally, the increased weather resistance of the roof makes it – and your panels – less vulnerable to water, snow, and ice damage. Therefore, if you’re looking for a new roof installation for your solar panels, a gable roof is an excellent idea.
Traditional Elegance: Solar Panels on Hip Roofs
A hip roof – with four sides sloping towards the wall – is a traditional roofing design. It was popular in French colonial-style buildings and Georgian houses in the 20th century. However, this design is still a classic, and it’s used in several homes. Therefore, it is an ideal option for a new roof installation.
Besides the appealing traditional style, hip roofs are other top roofing designs that incorporate solar panels. The four sloping roof sides offer a large surface area for mounting solar panels. In addition, a hip roof doesn’t have roof direction limitation – your panels will receive optimal sun exposure, regardless of the direction the house faces.
Hip roofs are also ideal for solar installation as they are more resistant to extreme weather. The design can withstand strong winds, rainfall, snow, and ice. Additionally, most hip roofs have gutters around the house’s perimeter, preventing water from pooling on the shingles. Therefore, your solar panels are less likely to be damaged, which ensures their longevity.
Industrial Chic: Solar Panels on Metal Roofs
Traditionally, metal roofs have been used for industrial buildings such as warehouses and factories. However, the roofing design is spreading to residential homes rapidly. According to Metal Roofing Magazine, metal roofs reached a 15% market share in 2020.
There are several reasons why metal roofs are becoming popular amongst homeowners. First, they are durable and last longer. Secondly, they are energy efficient, can be recycled, and are aesthetically appealing. However, there is another reason you should consider metal roofs – they are one of the top designs that incorporate solar panels easily.
One of the top benefits of metal roofs when it comes to solar is the ease of installation. A metal roof, especially one with standing seams, allows for easy mounting of solar panels. However, some drilling may be required, so hiring a residential roofing contractor with experience working on metal roofs may be necessary.
Besides the ease of installation, metal roofs offer a strong base for mounting your solar panel. In addition, they are durable and can withstand extreme weather elements, such as high winds. Therefore, they offer additional protection to your panels, reducing their risk of damage.
Mediterranean Flair: Solar Panels on Tile Roofs
Clay tiles are a popular roofing material that has been around for several centuries. They are aesthetically pleasing, which gives your home an elegant, Mediterranean look. They also have several functional benefits, such as durability, longevity, low maintenance, etc.
However, when it comes to solar installation, most people are afraid to consider clay tile roofs, as the tiles are brittle and can break easily during installation. However, you’ll be surprised to know that this is one of the top roof designs that incorporate solar panels easily. While it’s possible to damage the tiles, hiring reputable local roofing services for your solar panel installation will mitigate risk. Besides, any tiles that are damaged can be easily repaired or replaced.
Another idea for solar roofing is to install integrated solar clay roof tiles. These tiles have similar features and benefits to the traditional ones, with the added benefit of producing solar energy. Also, according to Interesting Engineering, new clay solar tiles have emerged, designed to look just like regular tiles. Therefore, your roof can still generate solar energy while maintaining its stylish aesthetic appeal.
Scandinavian Design: Solar Panels on Green Roofs
The Scandinavian design trend of green roofs is spreading quickly, with many residential homes now sporting them. They are popular because of their sustainability and energy efficiency. However, you can take this even further – and make your roof greener – by installing solar panels.
Green roofs are an excellent option if you’re looking for roof designs that incorporate solar panels. According to study findings published by Green Roofs, installing green roofs alongside solar panels increases can lead to more energy production. This is because of the cooling effect of the greenery, which keeps the panels cool, increasing their efficiency.
Combining green roofs with solar panels can also offer more benefits. For example, it can lead to more reflection of solar radiation. It can also increase rainwater utilization, making your home more sustainable. Lastly, they can increase the biodiversity of the surrounding area while also increasing your home’s value and aesthetic appeal.
However, combining a green roof with solar panels is challenging. First, you’ll be dealing with added weight, which can affect the house’s structural integrity. Secondly, you need to design the roof so that the vegetation and solar panels don’t block sunlight from each other. Therefore, you should only work with experienced roofing contractors for such a project.
Futuristic Look: Solar Panels on Curved Roofs
Curved roofs are a relatively new roofing design that can offer your home a futuristic, aesthetically pleasing appearance. However, besides their breathtaking appearance, curved roofs have many functional benefits too. For example, the roof is easy to maintain and resistant to extreme weather conditions. Curved roofs also require less frame structure than other roofs – making them eco-friendly.
Curved roofs are an excellent option if you’re looking for roof designs that incorporate solar panels. While the curvy shape of the roof can be concerning for many people, you can still install solar panels in your home. For example, an experienced roofing service company can create a mounting structure on your roof where you can install solar panels. This would allow you to enjoy solar energy benefits, despite the shape of your roof.
Another excellent idea for installing solar on a curved roof is to use curved photovoltaic panels. These can easily fit on any roof regardless of their design. In addition, several emerging solar manufacturers are producing curved panels, another option you can consider.
Creative Combinations: Solar Panels on Multi-Pitched Roofs
When looking at roof installations, you’ll realize that not all roofs have a simple pitch. Instead, there are several multi-pitch roof designs. Top examples include a multi-gable, cross-hipped, cross-gabled, a combination of gable and hip pitch, etc. However, even with these complex pitches, you can still find several roof designs that incorporate solar panels.
One way to handle a multi-pitched roof design is to install solar panels with mounting brackets. The mounting frame will allow you to easily attach the panels to the roof, despite the roofing shape and pitch. You can also install panels on different roof areas, allowing you to maximize your energy output.
Another creative idea for multi-pitched roofs is to install solar shingles. These will allow you to utilize the entire area of your roof – or as much as you want to – thus maximizing your solar energy output. In addition, solar shingles blend in naturally with roofing materials, thus offering a better aesthetic appeal. Unfortunately, they are pricier and less efficient than on-the-roof panels but can still provide massive energy-saving benefits.
Solar roofing can offer you many benefits, starting with massive savings in utility bills. It can also increase your home’s value, energy efficiency, and sustainability. If you’re considering solar power for your house, the above are the top roof designs that incorporate solar panels. These designs can allow for easier installation of the photovoltaic panels and better sun exposure angles, leading to optimal energy production.