Installing solar panels on the roof is a challenge. There must be enough space on the roof, but you also have to make sure there is enough space between each panel. But how much space is needed and why is it necessary?
There must be at least 4 to 7 inches of space between each row of solar panels, as the frame contracts and expands with the weather. Additionally, there must be at least 12 inches of space between the solar panels and the edge of the roof to comply with building codes and ensure the safety of the array.
Why is There a Gap Between Solar Panels?
The frame and glass of a 30W monocrystalline solar panel are constantly contracted and expanded under the influence of temperature. If there is no space, the panels will press against each other, causing damage.
It's tempting to place solar panels next to each other to accommodate as many solar panels as possible, but it's not advisable. Solar panels are designed to work in specific environments. Solar arrays can only stay a certain distance from the house before performance suffers, as is module spacing.
Both the solar panel frame and the glass covering the battery are durable, but they don't bump into each other. Modules can also get quite hot depending on the weather, so make sure you have enough clearance between them.
Space Between Solar Panel Rails and Support:
There should be 12 to 16 inches of space between the solar panel track between the first support and the end of the track. Too much space between the rails and the panels can bounce back, dangerous during heavy rain or strong winds. Both track pieces must also have a track joint for stability and support.
The average spacing of the rafters is 16 inches, while the spacing between each post is 48 inches. If you were to install four PV modules, each measuring 65 x 39 inches, the combined size would be 160 inches.
Each solar panel must be fastened to two rails, and the rails must be long enough to accommodate all panels. In other words, the rails must be at least 160 inches long. If the rails are too long, you can cut them off, which is easier to deal with than getting stuck on short rails.
The solar panel brackets must be secured with the correct flash panel bolts. This will prevent the track from moving and putting pressure on other parts. The clamps must also be the correct size and quantity to ensure proper fit. The thing to remember is that your panels are resting on the stand, so they have to be as strong as possible.
How Many Panel Rows Can Fit on My Roof?
For solar panels installed in vertical mode, divide the length of the array by the width of the panel in inches. To find the panels for each row, divide the array width by the panel length.
Array length / Panel width = Number of panels per row
Assuming each solar panel measures 5 x 3 feet, the available roof space is 14 feet wide x 38 feet long, and two rows can be installed. This assumes that the modules are installed in portrait style and at the same angle as the roof. At 3.5 feet wide, 10 panels can be installed.
These formulas can give you a rough idea of how many panels can be installed. But those numbers have to be adjusted based on hardware specs. That's why you need a few inches of space at the end of each rail. The longer track is taken into account in the calculation as it can be sawn off at any time.