How Close Solar Panels Can Be to the Edge of a Roof?

Posted 11 months ago by Manual Thomas

A solar panel is an attractive option for generating solar power on your roof.

Additionally, Solar panels are easy to install and they don’t take up too much space, so you can place them close to the edge of your roof.

How close solar panels can be to the edge of a roof depends on some different factors.

Let’s go into details and answer you how far away from the edge solar panels should be placed to optimize efficiency!

Solar Panels Edge Of Roof

The solar panel installation must be mounted to the roof surface itself.

There are no industry standards or best practices for how close to put your panels near the edge of the roof, but it will depend on what you want out of your system.

For example…

If you would like enough space for other roof equipment, such as an air conditioning unit or ventilation fans, you might want to keep the solar panels at least 3 feet away from the edge of your roof.

This will leave enough room for all of your equipment and maximize energy production.

If there is no space for other equipment on the roof, it may be possible to set up panels closer to the edge, but only if the roof material is high enough quality and strong enough to handle the weight of both panels and snow.

It is important to discuss your options and requirements with a solar installation professional before you make any decisions about what will work best for your home.

Related Article: How Much Roof Area For Solar Panels?

How Close To The Window Can Solar Panels Be?

Again, there are no industry standards or best practices for how close solar panels can be to windows.

The same basic rule applies here as it did with the edge of the roof: if there is enough space, you should leave at least 3 feet between your solar panels and any windows to protect against overheating and maximize energy production.

If there isn’t enough space, it will depend on the type of glass in your windows.

Regular glass is extremely heat-absorbent, so you should keep your solar panels at least 6 inches away from any surface that contains regular glass.

Other types of glazing materials are not as heat-absorbent, so they can be closer together. You can read more about different types of glass here.

Related Article: How Are Solar Panels installed On Tile Roof?

Can Solar panels Be Placed As Close As Possible To The Front Door?

You can place solar panels as close to the front door of your home as you want, but they shouldn’t be placed directly in front of it.

If solar panels are too close to a building’s entranceway, there is a risk that pedestrians walking by will accidentally kick or trip on them and damage either themselves or the solar panel system itself.

You should leave at least 24 inches of space between solar panels and the edge of an entranceway or path.

That way there is enough room for people to walk around it without accidentally kicking solar panel parts into other things.

This will help protect your solar system from damage while also making sure pedestrians can easily get by!

Related Article: Can You Put Solar Panels On A Shake Roof?

Factors That Influence How Big This Roof Space Will Be:

The pitch of the roof: The steeper the pitch, the more area you can cover given the same height/length at the edges.

Keep in mind however that you need room for your equipment.

The shape of your roof: It will also be a big factor as it can have an impact on the available space.

For example, if you have a gable roof, you will have more area at the edges than in the middle. If your roof is long and flat then the opposite is true.

Having a shed/barn roof is a good solution.

The overhang of your roof: if your overhang covers all the area that you want to cover, then you cannot place solar panels there.

In this case, you might end up needing more panels than expected to get enough power for your house.

Related Article: Do Solar Panels Damage Roof?

What Is The Most Efficient Way To Place Your Modules On A Roof?

Place them flat with full exposure to sunlight (south-facing, of course).

Have about 2 feet in between modules.

This will give room for wires and equipment without blocking too much sun exposure per module.

The first row should be about a foot off the edge of the roof to ensure that there is no overhang.

The other 7 rows should go across the roof, each one 1 foot from the edge of the last row.

This way, you only have 1 row sticking out from under your lower eaves and it makes installation easier as you only need to worry about clearing the eaves on your lower roof.

Keep in mind that you will need to clear at least 3 feet underneath your panels when planning your installation if you are placing them flat (not tilted).

If they are tilted, I would recommend giving yourself at least 4 feet clearance in case you want/need to tilt them up a bit to adjust their angle or in case you want/need to replace a broken panel.

Last Words

It’s important to ask a professional solar installer to help you with your solar system installation.

They won’t only be able to tell you how much power is coming in at different times of the year.

But also whether or not it’s possible for your roof space given all these factors when planning out where best to place panels on a house.

Do you have any questions?

If so, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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Manual Thomas