Incorrect solar panel mounting may void the manufacturer’s warranty!

Incorrect solar panel mounting may void the manufacturer’s warranty!

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It is important to know that solar panel warranties typically include installation requirements to comply with to uphold the warranty. These requirements can vary between manufacturers and products, but more than often specify that solar panels must be mounted on rail systems when installed on roofs.

Therefore, be safe when investing in roof-mounted solar panels. Read the fine print!

What can go wrong?

Solar panels mounted flat onto, or too close to roof surfaces with unsuitable or substandard mounting systems, create incorrect clearances between the solar panels and the roofs. This could lead to serious risks and shortcomings:

  • Reduced solar panel efficiency: Heat builds up between the solar panels and the roof. With no or little heat dissipation, the trapped heat exponentially decreases the performance of the solar panels and their lifespan.
  • Risk of fire: The risk of fire increases as heat builds up underneath the solar panels.

The benefits of rail-mounted solar panels

Mounting solar panels on rails offers a range of benefits that enhance the efficiency, durability, and overall performance of panel systems. It also comes at only a small added cost, compared to the total cost of the installation.

Here are some key advantages of using rails for roof-mounted solar panels:

  • Ease of installation: Rails are designed to facilitate straightforward installation processes. They provide a structured framework for securely attaching the solar panels to the roof, thereby reducing the complexity and time required for setup.
  • Enhanced airflow and cooling: Rails elevate the solar panels above the roof surface, allowing air to circulate beneath them. This airflow helps dissipate heat, preventing the panels from overheating and maintaining their efficiency, especially during hot weather conditions.
  • Increased energy efficiency: The ability to fine-tune the angle of the solar panels means that they can be adjusted to capture the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the day, and operate at peak efficiency. This results in higher energy output and better overall performance compared to fixed-angle installations.
  • Improved robustness and roof integrity: Properly installed rails distribute the weight of the solar panels evenly across the roof, minimizing the risk of damage or leaks that could occur from panels that are directly mounted. Rail-mounting, furthermore, improves the structural integrity of the solar panels, and the ability to withstand high wind speeds.
  • Water drainage: The gap that rail systems create between the panels and the roof surface prevents water accumulation. This design feature ensures that rainwater can easily drain away, reducing the risk of leaks and damage to both the panels and the roof.
  • Reduced debris accumulation: Elevating solar panels on rails minimises the accumulation of leaves, dust, and other debris. With fewer obstructions, rain or wind can naturally clean the panels, maintaining their efficiency over time.
  • Protection against pests: Elevating solar panels can deter pests such as rodents and birds from nesting underneath them. This protection prevents potential damage to the panels and maintains their efficiency.
  • Ease of maintenance: Elevated solar panels are more accessible for routine maintenance tasks such as inspections, cleaning, and repairs. Often technicians can perform these tasks without needing direct access to the roof, thereby reducing maintenance costs and time.
  • Compatibility with various roof types: Rail-mounting can accommodate a variety of roofing materials and configurations. This versatility makes them suitable for a wide range of buildings, from residential homes to commercial structures.
  • Design flexibility: Solar panel rails allow for flexibility in panel placement, enabling the installer to make the most of available roof space. This adaptability is particularly useful for roofs with complex shapes or obstructions.
  • Modular design and maintenance: Rails enable a modular setup, making it easier to replace or upgrade individual panels without disrupting the entire system. This modularity simplifies maintenance and reduces downtime. It also allows for expanding the solar energy system in the future without significant alterations.
  • Aesthetics: Solar panels mounted on rails are designed to have a sleek and integrated appearance, enhancing the visual appeal of the property, rather than detracting from it.

Avoid mistakes

Avoid mistakes when planning to install solar panels on a roof by getting multiple quotes from different solar installers, reading reviews about them before deciding, making sure that the solar installer is licensed and insured, and getting everything in writing, including the solar panel warranty.

Also, make sure you understand your solar panel warranty. Read the warranty carefully and ask the solar installer any questions you may have, make sure you understand what is covered by the warranty and what is not, keep a copy of the warranty in a safe place, and contact the manufacturer or solar installer under the terms of the warranty if you have any problems with your solar panels.

Get a second, professional opinion!

Managing the installation of your solar panels need not be stressful. If you are inexperienced or unsure, or if you do not understand, involve a consultant. Their role is to give guidance, make sure that installations are done according to statutory and technical requirements, and to oversee the workmanship to ensure compliance to warranty requirements.

We at Secure Tech Solutions offer a solar energy consulting role to home and business owners, and can manage and oversee the installation of your solar energy system on your behalf. We also have strategic partners across Africa who do solar energy installations, and who can provide in your solar energy needs. 

Contact us at or on +27 21 276 2290. We are there to help!

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