Saturday, February 25, 2012

solar power, installation details

Some detail photos of the solar panels, up close.

These are peel-and-stick, amorphous silicon, thin film panels that arrive rolled up with a plastic backer sheet. The installers washed the roof and made chalk lines to align the panels down the center of each roof panel, laid out the p/v panels one at a time, rolled them back up and peeled the backer off as they laid them down permanently. The whole process looked like they were installing giant bumper stickers.

The advantages to using thin-film panels are significant: we did not have to build a separate structure to support the panels, which means no penetrations through the roof surface to mount the panels, and little chance they'll come off in a hurricane. These panels also generate electricity from a broader range of the sunlight spectrum than the rigid panel p/v systems, and these work better in the high temperatures sustained by the roof (today, it was too hot to touch the galvanized roof surface without getting burned). The wires at the top of the panels will connect to a wire concealed behind the steel flashing, which in turn will connect to the dc-to-ac inverter in the garage.

A really clean installation. Can't wait to start drawing power off our roof.


  1. Haha, giant bumper stickers! That's a nice way to describe them. I'm glad you've had yours installed. Investing in renewable energy systems is always worth it. I assume the roof you've installed is also durable and long-lasting, since solar panel systems can last up to 25 years? But most flat roofs have to be replaced by then, so you have to make sure the roof you installed is also as long-lasting.

    Maggio Roofing

    1. Thanks. These roof panels should last the full life of our house. They have galvalume finished steel exterior surfaces, and should resist category 5 hurricane winds.

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