Can You Have Solar Panels On A Flat Roof? (UK)


Can You Have Solar Panels On A Flat Roof

Yes. Absolutely! You can have solar panels roofs installed on a flat roof – both domestic and commercial. It goes without saying that complementing your conventional source of power requirement with solar energy goes a long way in saving costs and the environment.

Feed-in tariff subsidies and affordability of photovoltaic (PV) panels have massively contributed to the increased adoption of solar power. The UK’s solar power consumption in 2020 accounted for about 4% of the total electricity consumption. Since direct sunlight is not necessary for generating solar electricity, the UK is not really in a disadvantageous position despite the gloomy weather.

No wonder solar power is growing in popularity! So how do you go about installing a solar panel on your flat roof?

How Do Solar Panels Work on a Flat Roof?

The mechanism for solar panels on a flat room is not different from panels on a tilted roof. The only disadvantage of a flat roof is the panels may not be able to absorb enough sun rays and suffer damage from water pooling. But that can be overcome by having a tilted-mounting system – a clever workaround that prevents damage from water pooling.

Solar Panel Installation on Flat Roofs

Installing solar panels on a flat rooftop is relatively easy as compared to other types of roofs. However, it requires some planning and preparation before installation. Here are some tips:

  1. Ensure there is sufficient space for mounting the panels.
  2. Make sure the roof is structurally sound.
  3. Check if there are any obstructions such as chimneys or air conditioners.
  4. Consider the orientation of the panels.
  5. Plan for future maintenance.
  6. Have a backup plan in case of an emergency.
  7. Get professional help when needed.
  8. Be prepared to pay more upfront but save money in the long run.
  9. Understand the pros and cons of each type of roof.
  10. Choose the right material for the job.
  11. Know what kind of warranty you want.
  12. Learn about the best time to install solar panels.
  13. Keep an eye out for upcoming government policies.
  14. Install solar panels at the correct angle and height.
  15. Use high-quality solar panels.
  16. Avoid using low-quality panels.
  17. Buy solar panels online.
  18. Select the right inverter.
  19. Understand the benefits of solar panels.
  20. Take advantage of tax incentives.
  21. Hire a professional installer.
  22. Understand the difference between grid-tied and off-grid systems.
  23. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of each system.
  24. Design your home around solar panels.
  25. Understand the importance of batteries.
  26. Think about battery storage options.
  27. Understand the differences between PV and hybrid installations.
  28. Decide whether you need to buy additional equipment.
  29. Understand the difference between residential and commercial installations.
  30. Understand the impact of shading on solar panels.
  31. Understand the differences between passive and active cooling.
  32. Understand the importance of heat dissipation.
  33. Understand the benefits of thermal mass.
  34. Understand the importance of insulation.
  35. Understand the advantages and drawbacks of solar hot water heating.

Pros and Cons of Solar Panels on a Flat Roof

There’s no arguing about the advantages of installing solar panels. Some of the salient advantages include:

  • Energy bills savings
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Minimum maintenance costs

That being said, there are some disadvantages of installing solar panels on a flat roof too. However, they don’t outweigh the benefits by any measure. Some of them include:

  • Extra costs of installing a tilted mechanism for flat roof solar panels average about 3% of the total costs
  • Likelihood of water damage due to water pooling. But that can be prevented by installing a tilting mechanism as discussed above.

At What Angle Should Flat Roof Solar Panels be Installed?

Ideally, the panels should be installed at an angle of 10 degrees. The upward tilt is needed to ensure the panels get enough exposure to daylight or sunlight. Moreover, the slope helps the panels self clean themselves. The tilt also enhances the efficiency and longevity of the panels.

We recommend that you hire a qualified roofing service to install solar panels on your flat roof.

Is the Wind an Issue When Installing Solar Panels on Flat Roofs?

Yes, strong winds can be a potential safety hazard to flat roof solar power panels. High winds carry the risk of blowing off the panels. However, you can install some safety mechanisms in place to counter the risk. For example, you can fix the panels to the structure of your building or create support structures to secure the panels. You might also want to add weight to the panels to prevent them from tipping over.

Which Direction Should the Array Be Oriented?

The array should ideally face east or west depending upon where the sun rises in your area. This ensures maximum energy generation during the day. In addition, it reduces the chances of overheating during the summer months when the sun is high in the sky.

Ideally, your solar array should face south in the UK.


Are solar panels good on flat roofs?

Yes, solar panels are great on flat roofs because they can capture more energy than those mounted on sloped roofs. This means that you will save money on electricity bills.


How many solar panels do I need for a flat roof?

It depends on how much energy you need to generate. If you’re looking for a small scale project, then you can go with one panel. However, if you’re looking to build a large scale project, then you’ll need multiple panels.

Why are solar panels expensive?

Cost is always going to be a factor when choosing to invest in solar technology. In fact, the cost is one of the biggest reasons why people choose not to buy solar panels. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider investing in solar panels.


Does a flat roof need planning permission for solar panels?

No. The only thing you need to plan is where you want to mount the panels. There’s nothing stopping you from mounting them anywhere on your roof.

What does the warranty cover?

Generally, the warranty covers the entire installation process including the design, manufacturing, installation and testing phases. It also covers the replacement parts and labour charges for repairs. Reach out to your local roofing specialists for more information.

Do solar panels work well in cold weather conditions?

Solar panels work best during warm months. They lose their effectiveness when it gets colder. However, you can still use them even when temperatures drop below freezing point. Just make sure that you keep your panels properly insulated.

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