Metal Roofing Details: Photovoltaic Panels

As demand grows for alternative energy systems, roofing contractors will inevitably learn ways to integrate solar technologies into their roofing products. This is how Dan Perkins of Dan Perkins Construction in Ishpeming, Mich., attaches standard photovoltaic modules to standing seam metal roofing.

The goal when applying any type of product to a roof is not to interfere with the function of the roof it’s applied to. It’s not good if a nicely working energy system causes a roof leak.

The mounting system shown here does not penetrate the roof. It consists of clamping blocks (in this case S-5! metal roof utility clamps from Metal Roof Innovations) clamped to the ribs in a way that provides ample support for the module while preserving the integrity of the roof.

This photovoltaic system is comprised of four 190-watt multi-crystaline silicone modules. It represents a relatively small array designed to keep a relatively large battery bank topped off at a remote camp in northern Michigan.

The distributor of the PV modules also provided the clamps. The modules come pre-wired with quick-connect exterior plugs so they can be connected and wired into a single home-run circuit run through the ridge cap and down the gable end wall. The installation took less than half a day.

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