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Can You Install Solar Panels on a Garage Roof?

Installing solar panels has become the trend because of their environmental and financial benefits: cutting monthly energy bills, high usage and low maintenance costs, contributing to energy independence, and reducing pollution.

As we turn to solar power as our homes' source of electricity, we come to the question of where we can properly place the solar panels.

A common question is Can a solar panel be mounted on the garage roof?

SPOILER ALERT: Yes, it can.

Let's discuss the factors you need to consider when getting solar panels installed for your home.

Can I Install Solar Panels on My Garage Roof?

To set the record straight: Yes! You can install your solar panels on your garage roof. That said, there are important factors to consider, such as:

  • Solar installation must expose solar panels to enough sunlight from the sun
  • The garage roof must provide enough space for your solar panels

These are essential things to note if you want to generate solar power efficient enough to power every room and space inside your house.

More importantly, the solar grid is one of many parts of the system that generates electricity.

You can get the full benefits once you have an established system with the following components:

  • Grid
  • Inverter
  • Mounting equipment
  • Battery storage

TAKE NOTE: The battery in the system helps store unused electricity and can produce it once needed. That said, it does increase the weight of the whole system.

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    Solar Panels for a Detached Garage

    You can install solar panels on a detached garage as long as you install them correctly, giving them appropriate access to sunlight after considering the proper roof structure and installation procedures.

    Make sure to place your grids and the system that comes with them in an unshaded area. By doing this, the grids can work as designed.

    Solar Panels on a Flat Garage Roof

    As with the detached garage, you can install solar panels on your garage roof even if the roof orientation is flat, provided it has ample sunlight or heat.

    However, you must ensure that the roof drainage system or the gutter is well-placed and functioning. This will reduce the possibility of having subsequent technical issues with your solar panels.

    Factors to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels on a Garage Roof

    Before installing solar panels on your garage roof, you need to consider several things, ranging from the roof type to the overall available space, and the government permits you must comply with.

    Before installing your solar power panels and becoming one of the 1,231,125 (as of October 2022) solar-powered households in the UK, here are some specifics to consider:

    #1 Roof Type

    You'll first need to look at your roof type, which involves considering the material used and the roof orientation (which way it is facing).

    For the materials, here are the recommended roof materials required to securely install your solar panels on your roof:

    • Standing seam metal roof
    • Asphalt shingles
    • Tiles
    • Tar and gravel

     When considering the orientation, the roof can meet any of the following criteria:

    • Horizontal or vertical
    • Face south when you're living in the north
    • Face north when you're residing in the south
    • 30 degrees to 45 degrees panel angle

    It is also recommended that how much shade or light your roof is getting is assessed to calculate the proper positioning and the materials needed.

    #2 Roof Space

    After the materials, you need to get the exact measurement of your roof spaces. The spacing is critical as it determines the following outcomes:

    • How many panels are needed
    • What size of solar power panels can fit in the roof space
    • How much solar power and energy can be produced

    Consulting a professional is the best option for measuring your detached roof space.

    #3 Shade

    Although focusing on the roof specifications is important, it is equally essential to check the amount of shade that covers your garage roof before mounting the grids.

    It is vital to place your grids in places where the sunlight and heat directly hit them to produce electricity in your UK household.

    Positioning your grids in partially or totally shady places will affect how much current they can generate. It will still work, but not to its maximum potential.

    #4 UK Government Permits

    Before buying and installing your panels on top of your detached garage, ensure that you have followed the rules set by the UK government, including the planning permission you need to comply with.

    • The detached garage must be 5 metres or 500 centimetres from the property's boundary.
    • The garage roof solar panels must be one metre (100 centimetres) or more distant from the roof's edge.
    • The overall PV system installation must be within four metres or 400 centimetres.
    • The placement of a solar system must only cause a few notable changes to the house or garage's overall visual appearance.
    • If the solar panels aren't needed, you should remove them as soon as possible.
    • Planning permission is not needed for the primary stand-alone solar panels, but the succeeding ones are required to acquire the said permission.
    • Prior approval of the Local Planning Authority is mandated if there is to be a second (or more) solar PV system. This is to assess the impact of glare and other considerations that can affect your neighbours.

    Why Should You Install Solar Panels on Your Garage Roof?

    You should install solar panels on your garage for practical, economic, and environmental reasons. These reasons include the following:

    For practical reasons:

    • Installing solar power panels on the garage roof instead of your house roof will increase your property value as the visual aesthetics of the home will be maintained.
    • You can properly position the solar panels without worrying whether they damage your house roof.

    For economic reasons:

    • Solar cells and a solar system save electricity bills
    • Solar energy is an excellent choice for investment as solar panels generate additional power and help you save money

    For environmental reasons:

    • When you put solar panels, solar batteries, inverters, and other parts of the solar system into your electricity generation system, you move one step forward towards helping the environment and the government's efficiency in:
      • Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases caused by the use of fossil fuels in a conventional power grid
      • Reducing air pollution and its effects

    Cost of Solar Panel Installation

    An installed solar system (including a panel, battery, inverter, and racking unit) can have a high initial cost of between £400 and £8000, depending on the following factors:

    • Materials
    • Size of the panels
    • The number of panels used
    • Electricity or power generated
    • Professional installer fees

    Other Locations to Put Solar Panels

    If you want options other than roof-based installations, here are a fewother installation ideas:

    • Window-mounted
    • Ground-mounted
    • Integration into the building

    Conclusion: Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

    Now that everything's been laid out, are solar panels worth the investment? The answer is YES. 

    Solar power efficiently supplies enough electricity for your property or house thanks to the sun.

    The more sunlight you have (through employing proper angles and slopes), the more power your panels can absorb.

    Having enough power from solar energy can lower your UK energy bill and support environmental efforts, all while supplying your house efficiently and safely.

    You become instrumental in creating a positive environmental impact compared to the households that account for 14% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions (2019 Committee on Climate Change).

    So, wait no longer, and grab the chance to get your solar power project done as soon as possible!

    Did you know that Solar Panel Installation can match you with 3 local installers who will provide you with a free quote? Fill out our form today to get in touch with installers.

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    Mark McShane
    Content Writer
    Mark McShane is a seasoned professional in the solar industry and the owner of Skills Training Group, a leading provider of solar training and education. With years of experience in the field, Mark has developed a deep understanding of the latest trends, technologies and best practices in the industry. His expertise and passion for solar energy have helped countless professionals develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the fast-growing field of solar energy. Whether you’re an aspiring solar professional or an experienced industry veteran, Mark is an excellent resource for anyone looking to enhance their skills and knowledge of the solar industry.
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