Installing solar panels - April 17th 2000



Question from: Bob
Winnipeg, MB

Dear Shell,

I'm planning on installing solar panels to help heat my pool. The panels I have are 4 X 8 extruded aluminum glazed solar collectors. They have 2" copper headers and weigh in at about 140 pounds apiece and are about 5" thick. I want to put 4 of these units on my roof. The house is a 1450 sq.ft. L shaped bungalow with plenty of roof space facing south. What's the best way to mount these to my roof? Should I lay them on the roof or build a frame to have them still on the roof but not directly on the roof shingles.
Thanks, Bob

Dear Bob,

1. Never attach solar panels directly to your roof fabric. The heat generated will damage the roof membrane and also debris will form on the under side.
2. Build racks to support the panels using treated lumber supporting racks on top of truss or rafter system. This will enable proper flashing and sealing as well as air circulation to the under side.

Itís just that easy.

Shell Busey