Commercial solar panels are energy efficient and low maintenance. Due to their environmental and fiscal advantages, they’re becoming requirements within some cities. Here’s everything you need to know about solar roofs and how they benefit your building.
Solar panels are roofing mechanisms that convert sunlight (photons) into electricity (voltage) by a process called the photovoltaic (PV) effect, which was discovered by scientists in 1954. Essentially, solar panels are an array of rectangular solar cells strategically mounted into a framework, which help create the PV process. Professional roofing contractors install solar panels on top of flat commercial roofing structures during initial building operations, or they retrofit the panels on to the existing structure.
More cities across America are beginning to require new commercial buildings to accommodate rooftop PV systems for future solar renovations.
Most roofing types, residential and commercial, are compatible with PV roof systems. As long as your roof has an equivalent or longer lifespan than the PV system, your building is eligible for a retrofit. Business owners can choose from three PV system installation options for their commercial building: attached, ballasted, or a hybrid of the two.
An attached PV system relies on surface penetrations and connections to the building’s framing. The ballasted option relies on the weight of the system, including the panels, racking, and other material to hold down the panels. A hybrid is a minimally attached structure that involves penetration and ballasting.
If your city has PV mandates, now is the time to discover if you’ll need a new system or if you can have panels installed on your existing roof. Flat PV roofing systems have many advantages over conventional structures that don’t convert sunlight into electricity. With specialized PV solar panels, your company benefits from:
Installing PV roofing systems lowers your company’s energy bills. Since the sun’s energy converts to electricity, your company benefits from reduced energy consumption. Also, the reflection of sunlight keeps the building cool during the summer months, stabilizing your thermostat and keeping indoor climates comfortable.
Over one third of US greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels for residential and commercial properties’ electricity usage. Conversely, solar energy produces clean, emission-free energy.
The only ongoing maintenance required for flat PV roofing is keeping panels clean and free of debris. Solar panels rarely break, and if they do, most installers and manufacturers offer 15- to 25-year warranties on parts and installations. This keeps business owners from paying out of pocket for repairs.
Companies that utilize solar panels show their commitment to a cleaner environment and contribution to sustainability. Helping the environment leads to positive PR and marketing strategies.
Although your commercial roof’s surface is flat, solar panels on flat roofs must be installed at an incline to avoid unnecessary maintenance and lack of proper energy preservation. If solar panels are laid flat instead of tilted up toward the sun, they accumulate a lot more dust. With a thick layer of debris and dust mites covering the panels, solar energy production decreases by 10%.
Cleaning the panels also becomes more challenging if they aren’t tilted. That’s because with flat solar panels, your building can’t benefit from natural cleaning from the rain as it slides down the panel’s surface, washing away buildup from outdoor elements. For this reason, flat roof mounting systems are necessary. Solar panel roof mounts ensure your panels are facing upward at a 5- to 15-degree angle. They’re installed relatively easily, commonly ballasted with a few penetrations.
For your flat commercial roof solar panel needs, New Image Roofing is your industry expert. Our dedicated contractors and knowledgeable consultants make the perfect team to help you save money and preserve energy. Whether you need flat roof PV racking or you’re unsure what you need and you’d like a free inspection, we are proud to deliver professionalism and long-term solutions. Call New Image Roofing today and ask about our 5% price match guarantee and our lifetime labor warranty.