When you plan to install solar panels on your roof, you must consider the weight of the solar panels because this is not possible with all roofs.
This is because most types of solar panels are quite heavy and not all roofs can support their weight. That may mean that your roof construction needs to be tight and reinforced.
And that naturally entails additional costs.
Solar Panel Weight
The weight of the solar panels is an important aspect when installing solar modules. How much does a solar system weigh? How much does a solar panel weigh?
These are questions that are very important, as your roof will have to support the weight of the solar panels. If your solar panels turn out to be too heavy for your roof, there is a danger of it falling over.
What is the weight of the solar panels per m2?
The weight of solar panels is around 15 to 25 kilos per m² of roof area and that is too much for some, often old, roofs.
In addition, you also have to work on the roof, so the weight of the roofers installing the solar panels is also temporarily added.
We also got a question about this, so below you will also find the answer and step-by-step plan.
The weight of solar panels is not only important for your overall roof. The weight of the solar panels also plays a role in the type of roof.
After all, with a sloping roof, a supporting structure must also be mounted, which will increase the weight of the solar panels and their installation.
With regard to flat roofs , the weight of the photovoltaic modules is even more important. After all, the weight of solar panels on a flat roof is even more important.
Solar panels on a flat roof are mounted through shingles and an aluminum frame, which together give the solar panels great weight. The person who will install the solar panels must therefore ensure that
But there are also other solutions that can be cheaper. You will learn how this works in this article.
Tile Solar Panel Weight
The weight of these solar tiles is around 16 kilos per m² and with that they are a bit heavier than loose tiles but not much heavier.
Can your roof handle the weight?
An average solar panel with an aluminum frame quickly weighs around 25 kilograms per square meter.
Solar panels are also available in various sizes of solar panels. However, the size of an individual solar panel does not have much influence on the weight of the total solar panel installation. This is the total area required to generate the desired power.
If you want to know if your roof will be able to support the total weight, you should also include the weight of the roofers and the counterweight.
With most roofs you won’t find any problems, but especially with outdated roofs, it’s still a risk.
If you are unsure whether your roof can handle it, it is best to consult with a solar panel installer.
When you come to the conclusion that your roof will not be able to support the weight, there are a few things you can do. You can decide to replace the entire roof. Or you can go for lightweight solar panels or tile solar panels.
If you want to put solar panels on a flat roof, you have an additional difficulty.
You angle the panels on a flat roof. That way they catch much more sun than if they were lying down. The problem with this is that they also trap a lot more wind.
To make sure they can’t fly, you need to secure them safely with construction material, which we also call ballast.
The counterweight may consist, for example, of tiles or a container with gravel. The amount of ballast you need will depend on the wind zone and the height of the ceiling. But on average, this is an additional weight of at least 20 to 50 kilograms per square meter.
Lightweight solar panels
If your roof is too weak to support the weight of standard solar panels, your roof is likely outdated.
Completely replacing your roof is probably a good idea. If it’s busy, you can directly install the solar panels on the new roof. This is, of course, a major and expensive renovation. If you don’t like this, you can also go for lightweight solar panels.
There are several manufacturers that produce special lightweight panels. These weigh only about 10 kilograms per square meter. A great alternative when regular solar panels are too heavy.
Tile solar panels
Lastly, you also have the option of going for roof tile solar panels. These are the roof tiles with small integrated solar panels.
These will replace your current standard shingles or at least part of them.
These specialty solar shingles hardly weigh more than regular shingles, so there is not much extra weight on your roof. Therefore, no special support structure is required.
An additional advantage of solar tiles is that you are more flexible in the area you want to cover with them and that they are much more discreet than large solar panels.
They look almost the same as regular tiles, so the appearance of your roof is still more pleasant.
Weight of solar panels: Relationship to roofs
A standard solar panel in an aluminum frame weighs approximately 10 to 25 kilos per square meter. To see if your roof can support solar panels, it is important not only to pay attention to the weight of the panels. You should also take into account the weight of the roofers and the counterweight.
Most roofs can carry solar panels, but some outdated roofs cannot. If you want to be sure of your case, you can always hire a builder.
Solar panels on a flat roof are generally sloped. Because the panels are angled steel, they catch a lot of wind. To prevent the solar panels from falling off, they must be secured with construction material, also known as ballast.
The ballast can be, for example, gravel or tiles. The ballast required depends in particular on the wind zone your home is in and the height of your ceiling. In general, the counterweight has a weight of 20 to 50 kilos per square meter.
Is your ceiling too weak?
If you have concluded that your roof cannot support the weight of the number of solar panels you want, there are three things you can do:
- replace the roof
- light weight panels
- tile solar panels
These three promotions will be briefly explained below.
Replace the roof
Perhaps the most obvious option is to replace the roof. If your roof is so weak that it cannot support solar panels, the roof is likely outdated. You can replace your roof and have solar panels installed directly on it.
Today there are some companies that make special lightweight solar panels. These solar panels only weigh 10 kilos per square meter. So if your roof just doesn’t support normal solar panels then go for light solar panels.
So average roofs can usually carry solar panels, but some older homes can’t. Please check this in advance, because it is your own responsibility. If your roof cannot support solar panels, opt for lightweight solar panels or tile solar panels.