Learn how a solar array on your school's roof impacts the life of the roof and what maintenance is required.
Will putting the solar array on the roof reduce the life of the roof or add other costs to the project?
A rooftop solar array should be installed on a new or newer roof. The typical layout of a school is ideal for a solar installation because of flat roofs that provide plenty of unshaded space for the installation, maximizing solar panel output and efficiency.
The lifetime of solar panels is usually 20-25 years, but they can last far longer than that, sometimes outliving the roof they were first installed on. Solar panels are more durable than most roofing materials. As a result, when you pair solar with a roof replacement, the panels actually extend the lifetime of the portion of the roof that they cover. The PV array will protect the roof in two ways. First, it will shade portions of the roof, protecting it from weather aging. Second, pieces of rubber membrane, or slip-sheets, are located between the base of the racking and the existing roof, protecting it from any wear and tear. Minimizing foot traffic on the roof and laying down extra roof mats will help protect the roof in high traffic areas.
The other benefit of pairing solar and a roof replacement together is that if you’re installing on a new roof, it’s unlikely you’ll need to re-roof during the lifetime of the system. This can help save you money in the long run, because you can avoid the costs associated with removing and reinstalling the solar panels on your roof. READ MORE →
Last Updated: 6/18/2020
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Generation180 has toolkits, guides, reports, and more to help your school go solar. Visit SolarForAllSchools.org for even more resources.