Put solar panels on the roof of the house: the subtleties of choice and installation

Are you considering putting solar panels on the roof of your house? Making this choice can help you save money in the long run in addition to lessening your carbon footprint. Solar panels are an environmentally friendly option for powering your house because they use the sun’s energy to create electricity. In selecting and setting up solar panels, there are a few crucial factors to take into account.

First of all, it’s important to choose the appropriate kind of solar panels. Many technologies are available, including thin-film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline panels. Polycrystalline panels are more affordable, but monocrystalline panels are renowned for their effectiveness and elegant design. Even though they are less effective, thin-film solar panels can be more flexible and simpler to install on some kinds of roofs. Your decision will be influenced by things like your spending limit, energy requirements, and roof design.

Secondly, the efficiency of your solar panels is greatly influenced by where you install them on your roof. Installing panels where they can receive the most sunlight possible all day long is the ideal configuration. It is important to carefully consider elements like roof orientation, tilt angle, and possible shading from surrounding trees or buildings. In the northern hemisphere, south-facing roofs typically receive the most sunlight, but you can modify this depending on your location and the features of your roof.

It is imperative to have a professional evaluate the structural integrity of your roof before installation commences. It’s important to make sure your roof can sustain the extra weight added by solar panels. Additionally, the state of your roof will influence the installation procedure and might call for pre-installation reinforcements or repairs.

Finally, the secret to a successful installation is selecting a reliable solar panel installer. Seek out qualified experts with solar panel installation experience. They can offer knowledgeable guidance on panel placement, selection, and system upkeep. Reputable installers will also take care of the paperwork and permits, making sure your solar panel system complies with building codes and local laws.

Choosing the right type of solar panels Consider factors like efficiency, durability, and cost when selecting solar panels for your roof.
Placement and orientation Ensure panels are installed where they receive maximum sunlight throughout the day, typically facing south in the Northern Hemisphere.

"There are a number of important choices that you must make when installing solar panels on your roof, choices that can affect both cost and energy efficiency. Every stage needs to be carefully considered, from picking the best kind of panels to comprehending installation logistics and planning placement for optimal sun exposure. This article examines these subtleties and provides helpful guidance on how to make decisions that meet the energy requirements and environmental objectives of your house. Understanding these nuances can help you harness solar power efficiently and sustainably, whether your goal is to lower your carbon footprint or your electricity bills."

Briefly about the bases: what are solar panels, and how they work

Numerous photoelectric elements connected in series or parallel make up solar panel modules. The photoelectric element starts to generate electricity as soon as light hits it; the more intense the lighting, the more electricity you can generate. Superior solar panels for residential use can generate up to 150 W/m2 at maximum power and roughly 120 W/m2 during summer months in the middle of Russia.

The principle of the work of solar panels

A stream of photons, which are basic particles with very little energy, makes up light. When light falls on a colliding object, the material it collides with becomes less in number. As a result, an electric current flows between the contact layers and electrons are liberated. A private home’s solar panels can generate thousands of kilowatts of power despite the fact that each photon has a small amount of energy. The power of large solar power plants is measured in megavatts.

There are seven primary layers in the solar element:

  • anti -glazing glass;
  • front contact;
  • silicon n-type;
  • dividing layer;
  • Silicon P-type;
  • rear contact;
  • substrate.

The upper anti-mesh layer improves the panels’ capacity to absorb light while shielding the photoelectric components from harm and moisture. The distinctive blue color of many solar batteries is caused by glass. The appearance of the difference in potential when photons are used to knock out electrons requires the presence of two types of silicon. A direct current with a voltage of roughly 0.5 V removes this potential difference from the front and rear contacts. Similar to glass, the substrate serves as the foundation for the installation of solar elements and shields the panel from moisture.

Because of their straightforward design, solar panels last for 35–40 years. Moreover, the darkening of the lining EVA—which is positioned between photocells and glass—is primarily linked to the deterioration of premium batteries rather than the breaking down of silicon crystals.

Types of solar panels

Silicon (SI) makes up the great majority of solar panels, but telluride cadmium (CD-TE) and gallium-media batteries show promise. They might lower a home solar power plant’s cost dramatically, but that will only happen in the future. Since non-rem photocells are still produced by a small number of companies worldwide and are more expensive per watt, Russian homeowners hardly ever use these solar panels.

There are three kinds of solar panels, regardless of material:

  1. Monocrystalline. These solar panels are made of one crystal of pure silicon. They have the largest efficiency – up to 22% – with a bright sun, and the degradation of the structure occurs more slowly than that of batteries of a different type – manufacturers give at least 25 years of guarantee for monocrystalline elements.
  2. Polycrystalline. As the name can be seen, these panels are made not from one, but from many multidirectional silicon crystals. This affects the efficiency – usually it does not exceed 18%, and at the service life – polycrystalline panels are aging faster. Nevertheless, in Russia, it is most often that polycrystalline solar panels are installed on the roof of a private house, since they are significantly cheaper than monocrystalline.
  3. Thin -fiber or amorphous. This type of solar panels is the cheapest, because their production needs the smallest amount of silicon. The efficiency of the final solar panels of the latest generation is only 8-12%, but they work better than crystalline elements in the conditions of multiple light-in cloudy weather or under the conditions of shading from nearby wood, amorphous sun panels are given 10-15% more electricity than monocrystal modules.

Not only do "clean" panels use the same kind of material for their operation, but hybrid heterostructural (HJT or HIT) solar batteries have also emerged in recent years. They employ both crystalline and amorphous silicon, which boosts the panels’ effectiveness and allows them to operate in a variety of high-temperature and light-dependent environments.

How to choose solar panels

Most people choose solar panels on the roof of the house by about the same principle as a coffee machine or vacuum cleaner. That is, they are focused mainly on the price, advertising and reviews on the Internet. But this approach is fundamentally incorrect: no one expects a vacuum cleaner that it will last at least 25 years, and even all this time working on the street under the scorching rays of the sun. With such a long service life, reviews of people who put solar panels on the roof of their home a maximum of a year or two ago simply do not bear any value. Not to mention the fact that this is a non-forces, which is why the reviews of real people are literally drowning in the mass of custom.

Therefore, we suggest that you consider the following features when selecting a set of solar panels:

  1. Manufacturer. This is a key factor. The manufacturer of the solar battery must be included in the rating of the largest and, it is desirable that he has a full production cycle: from silicon to the batteries themselves. Yes, you will have to overpay for branded panels, but relatively few-10-15%, while when buying noname panels there is a risk of losing the entire amount. At the same time, do not be afraid of Chinese manufacturers, large companies like Ja Solar, Suntech or Helios House produce high -quality solar panels. Although, of course, it is better to choose European or North American companies: First Solar, Canadian Solar, Solarworld, Viessmann Group. Great characteristics and solar batteries from Japan and South Korea: Hanwha Solar One, Sharp, Kyocera, Sanyo.
  2. Tolerance. This is the difference between the passport and real power of the solar battery. If the real power is less than the passport, then tolerance is negative, if more, then positive. Tolerance should be zero or positive, since with negative tolerance you still pay the full cost, that is, pay non -existent watts. The cheap panels will accept negative tolerance, but only if it is not more than 2-3%. This means that with a rated power of 100 kW/m2, the panel should issue at least 97-98 kW/m2.
  3. Temperature coefficient. With an increase in temperature, the power of the solar panel decreases. The temperature coefficient displays how much power drops with an increase in temperature, so the smaller it is, the better.
  4. MeaningPTC. So that solar panels of different manufacturers can be compared, they are tested under standard conditions (STC). These conditions are far from real, therefore an independent PTC standard was developed, which better reflects the operating conditions of the panels. The closer the attitude of PTC/STC to one, the better the solar battery will work on the roof of your home.
  5. Efficiency of panels. Everything is simple here: the higher the efficiency, the better the panels convert solar energy into electric. The efficiency of 15%is considered permissible, but the optimal indicator is higher-18-20%.
  6. Guarantee period. We have already talked about the warranty on the panel of 25 years. This is the minimum period and the actual standard of the industry. Therefore, if you want to buy a solar panel for a home, and not a portable solar module for camping, pay attention to the warranty period and always carefully study the conditions.

Now about the price. For most people, this is the main parameter of the system, but we recommend looking at it last. At a long distance of decades, branded and expensive equipment is often more profitable than cheap. Such solar panels are growing slower, give out great power per unit area, often they have not even zero, but positive tolerance. All this in total compensates for a large initial cost after 5-8 years of work. Of course, we are talking about justified expensive equipment. For example, it is better to buy a solar battery on a roof of monocristallic elements of a top manufacturer than the same panel made by a small company. If you buy panels that are made using the latest technology or fashionable modules in the form of tiles and other roofing materials, then it can hardly be called a rational purchase.

Additionally, consider the cost of 1 W Energy rather than the battery’s total cost. Given that the power of solar panels of the same size from different manufacturers frequently varies by tens of percent, this is a more informative indicator.

Which affects the performance of the solar power plant

The efficiency of the solar panels determines the home solar power plant’s maximum productivity. However, a number of factors that are not always clear to the buyer determine how much electricity the system will develop in actual conditions.

Equipment quality

At least two additional devices, the controller and the inverter, are added to the solar panel. Additionally, the residual principle is typically used to select them. Losses on them can therefore amount to 20–25%. In other words, because you neglected to give adequate consideration to the selection of the inverter and controller, you will only obtain 75% of the energy produced by your solar panels. Comparatively speaking, the standard of loss shouldn’t go above 5%.

First and foremost, a high-quality inverter is an apparatus with high efficiency, starting at 95%. Furthermore, actual efficiency rather than just case numbers should be considered. For instance, inverters made by medium-sized and small Chinese manufacturers frequently have indicators that are overstated; in actuality, their efficiency can reach 85% or even 80%. Selecting controllers and inverters made by European, Japanese, or American manufacturers is therefore preferable. With the exception of very large manufacturers, purchasing goods from Chinese factories should only be done if it is possible to verify that the nominal and real efficiency levels match.

Furthermore, the controller and inverter will eventually need to be replaced. Additionally, the need for a replacement will arise later the better he performs. For instance, top-tier devices need to be replaced every 15–16 years, whereas inexpensive inverters frequently fail after just 5 years of use.


The corner at which the sun’s rays strike the panel determines how well solar energy can be converted into electricity. This angle is greatest in Russia if the panels are pointed only southward. The home SES will exert the most power in this scenario. Although the direction toward the southeast and southwest is marginally worse, it is still a good choice because the power will be slightly lower there. It is not advisable to face solar panels towards the west, east, or north as this will significantly reduce the efficiency of the solar power plant at home.

It is more advantageous to install the panels directly on the ground if the house slopes in either the west or the east. Because the foundation must be filled and a strong frame is required, installing solar batteries requires a little more money, but the panels’ increased productivity makes up for these costs.

The level of insolation

Not every part of Russia is suited for solar panel installation. The amount of insolation in the northern regions of the nation, which includes St. Petersburg, is insufficient for solar panels to operate at an acceptable efficiency. This is also related to the angle at which sunlight falls, but this time it has to do with the vertical rather than the horizontal. Additionally, there will be more sunny days and a higher sun elevation the closer one is to the south.

Geographical coordinates also affect the solar panels’ angular position. They must be positioned at a steep angle in the north, which gets smaller as you move south and approaches zero at the equator.

If solar panels are mounted on rotary platforms and linked to a sun monitoring device, their output can be enhanced regardless of the degree of insolation. During the day, the gadget rotates the solar battery to keep it pointed toward the sun like a sunflower. The panel is fastened to the holder, which is in line with the polar axis, for this purpose. The final line of the table is explained by this installation technique. The home solar panels seldom have the rotary devices because they are costly despite their high effectiveness.

Shading of panels

You built a house right in the forest in the shade of tall trees? Congratulations – it is beautiful and environmentally friendly, but it is unlikely that it will work to put solar panels on the roof of such a house. More precisely, you can install them, only the effectiveness of the panels in the shade is small. It also applies to any other shadow, for example, from a nearby apartment building or a large cottage of a neighbor. If there is a shading, then you need to either remove the obstacle, for example, a tree, or install the panels not on the roof, but on the solar part of the personal plot.

5 real reasons to put solar panels on the roof of the house

Sunny batteries: a trending topic. Proponents of this technology claim that it has numerous, frequently nonexistent benefits. Conversely, detractors dispute even apparent benefits. Truth in the midst, as usual. There are five reasons why installing solar batteries on a house’s roof is more than justified in certain situations:

  1. Autonomy. For houses far from civilization, solar panels are a real find. Unlike generators, the fuel for which can end, the sun will always shine. In any case, in the next five billion years. Therefore, on the basis of solar panels, you can build a really autonomous power supply of the house.
  2. Environmental friendliness. “Green” actively argue with the environmental friendliness of solar panels, rightly indicating that some of them are spent more energy on the production of some of them than can be obtained for all the time of their operation. Here are just made panels thousands of kilometers from your home, and the gasoline generator poisons air on the porch. Therefore, solar panels are definitely more environmentally friendly.
  3. Electricity interruption protection. For a security and fire alarm, heating boiler and even a refrigerator, a long shutdown of electricity leads to problems. Solar panels even small power provide uninterrupted power to critical consumers in any conditions.
  4. Electricity savings. Installation of solar batteries on the roof of the house greatly reduces the cost of paying electricity. Moreover, the payback period of the panels is only 7-10 years, depending on tariffs and monthly consumption. Then they begin to bring net profit.
  5. Increase in the life of the roof. Although this is a side effect of the installation of solar panels, from this it does not become less significant. With competent installation, the solar panels protect a significant part of the roofing material from precipitation and also reduce the amount of ice on the slopes, since during operation they release heat.

Naturally, these benefits must be weighed against the system’s cost and the efficiency of solar panels under particular lighting conditions.

How much does it cost to install a home solar power plant

The type and power of the system are the two main determinants of the cost of installing solar batteries on the roof. And if all is well with power—the higher the power, the more costly the solar power plant for your house—we will then go into further detail regarding its species.

On the roof of the house, there are three different kinds of solar-powered power supplies:

  1. Autonomous – expensive, but without worries. In this case, the house receives electricity only from solar panels and, possibly, a gasoline or diesel generator. For the operation of the system, batteries are needed and a lot: their capacities should be enough to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the dark.
  2. Connected to the network – budget and simply. In such a system, the lack of energy is compensated from the common power grid, but excesses are given to it in the peak time of production. In this case, the batteries are not needed, and on the given energy you can even earn. But in case of interruptions in power supply, solar panels will also not work.
  3. Hybrid – optimum for large houses. These systems are equipped with batteries, but after their full charge, the panels do not turn off in the peak time, but transmit electricity from them to the network. Also, from the network, you can compensate for the lack of electricity, including charge batteries.

In addition to being costly, battery replacements are required every three to eight years, contingent upon the battery type and application. Consequently, their existence significantly raises the system’s cost. If you use mean values, then:

  1. Autonomous system for 1 kW*h/day will cost 120-140 thousand rubles, And at a power of 5 kW*h/day, its price will double – up to 280 thousand rubles. This example shows that to assess the price order it does not matter how much the solar battery costs on the roof of a particular manufacturer. Only information is needed about the standard price of 1 W energy, which is approximately equal 60-65 rubles. The type of solar panels, their manufacturer, the brand of the inverter and controller, of course, affect the price, but give its change by tens of percent, and not by much or by an order of magnitude.
  2. A system connected to a network of 1 kW*h/day will cost 30-35 thousand rubles, And at a power of 5 kW*h/day, its price will increase up to 70-80 thousand rubles.
  3. A hybrid system costs 10-15% more expensive than autonomous similar power due to a greater complexity of installation.

Consider the cost of 1 kW of a fully assembled system with installation and without it when estimating the cost of installing solar batteries. As a result, you can rapidly evaluate the offers made by various businesses and select the most advantageous one.

Installation of solar panels in a private house

It is challenging to install solar panels on a roof because you have to properly connect and assemble the batteries in addition to mounting them there. For this reason, installation should be done by professionals. In addition, the home’s owner bears responsibility for the initial phase of the project.

In the planning phase, you have to evaluate the roof’s condition. Make sure the roof will last at least 25 years because installing solar panels on the house increases the cost of roof maintenance. It is preferable to break the roofing again if you are unsure.

Verify that the rafter system can support the added weight. The panels themselves weigh 15–18 kg/m^2, on average, which is usually not a problem. On the other hand, retaining structures are used to tilt the batteries if the roof is gentle. In this instance, snow will build up on the panels as well as the slope, at which point the load may become noticeable. If this is the case, reinforce the rafter system with more stops and supports.

Last but not least, always confirm which installation sets will employ builders. Steer clear of the offices. Manufacturers carefully calculate and, above all, test branded installation sets. Hence, unlike homemade brackets and rails, they are able to endure strong winds and the weight of the thick layer of snow.

If not, you’ll need to have faith in the installation crew. Try to maintain control over the level of work at every stage while doing this. You can watch the following video, which demonstrates the features of installing solar panels made of various materials on roofs:

Making the important decision to put solar panels on your roof can help the environment and possibly reduce your energy costs. When thinking about solar panels, it’s important to determine how suitable your roof is. The direction, slope, and shade provided by surrounding buildings or trees are some examples of factors that can impact how efficient your solar panels are.

Speak with trustworthy solar panel suppliers before installation so they can evaluate the state of your roof and suggest the best location for optimal sunlight exposure. This step is essential to ensuring that your solar panels efficiently capture the sun’s energy and produce the maximum amount of electricity possible throughout the day.

Installing the solar panels on your roof entails mounting them firmly. Professional knowledge is needed for this procedure to guarantee efficiency and safety. Installed correctly, the panels not only work better but also blend in perfectly with your current roof structure, keeping it intact and improving the energy efficiency of your house.

Other than the occasional cleaning to remove debris, solar panels usually require very little maintenance once installed. Their continued optimal performance is ensured by routine performance monitoring. Purchasing solar panels lowers a homeowner’s carbon footprint and increases the long-term value of their home, according to many homeowners.

Video on the topic

Do not mount sunny batteries until you watch this video.

How to install solar panels on the roof? 24 panels Silaslar 300W.

How to install solar panels on the roof? Reference overview and example of mounting a 3 kW hybrid station

Installing solar panels with your own hands, connection diagram, consumption calculations

What do you think, which element is the most important for a reliable and durable roof?
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Alexandra Fedorova

Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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