Can Your Roof Help Produce Solar Energy?

March 28, 2017

solar energy MiddleSouth Systems

When it’s time to replace the roof on your existing home, or it’s time to choose a roof for new construction, it’s time to think about the impact of your roofing decision on your future energy use. Don’t miss this opportunity to avoid costly rework or expensive energy.

Every Roofing Decision Affects Your Future Energy Demands and Energy Costs

At MiddleSouth Systems, we’ve taken steps with Classic Metal Roofing Systems and our installation processes to ensure energy efficiency with the reduction of heat gain. Our roofing products address radiant, conductive and convective heat transfer to bring you a roof system with maximum energy efficiency.

A Classic Metal Roof and Solar Installation

If you as a homeowner have plans for solar in the future, discuss those plans with your roofing contractor the next time you roof your home. Depending upon the type of roof you choose to have installed, it may be possible for the installer to take steps now that will simplify solar installation in the future.

Using a metal roof to save energy while producing energy at the same time with solar, is a perfect energy solution.

For homeowners who want to create energy with their roof, as well as manage heat transfer and air-conditioning demand, we have engineered methods for attaching solar panels to our Rustic Shingle product. Traditional solar panels can be integrated nicely with metal roofs. Penetrations of the roof will be necessary but there are many commercially available fastening brackets designed for water tightness that work well.

Classic Metal roofs are ideal for solar installation. The durability of the metal roof will hold up to roof traffic when the solar array is installed and serviced. The metal roof will also easily last as long as the solar panels themselves. Additionally, a cool metal roof can help to increase the efficiency of the solar panels.

Investment in Solar Energy Systems vs. Performance and Life Expectancy

When considering products that will allow you to use your rooftop to produce energy, it’s important to keep in mind that solar production continually gets more efficient with technology advancements. Because of this, it is wiser to buy a solar system with a 20-year life expectancy rather than one with a longer term life expectancy. Any solar production equipment made today will be sadly outdated in 20 years, likely not making any sense to even operate it beyond that period of time.

Cost-Effective Solar Energy

The reality is that traditional crystalline photovoltaic panels offer the most cost-effective solar energy production. Their modular nature is very helpful in allowing repairs and replacement. Additionally, while they are durable and built to last 20 or so years, they do eventually need to be replaced, allowing property owners to step up to even more efficient energy production at that time.

What will the future bring?

Today, some tech companies are creating glass “solar shingles”. Though a good idea, the life expectancy of the shingles, cost of the glass, and other factors contribute to high cost and a very low ROI for homeowners. This at the same time that other solar products become more available, more advanced, and more affordable.

While our current recommendation is to stick to the tried and true traditional photovoltaic panels (which keep getting better all the time), we are pleased to say that there are other things on the horizon. At some point in the future, we believe that the coatings on metal roofs themselves will be suitable solar collectors. This truly will be a fully integrated solar roof that makes sense.

More questions about improving energy efficiency with your roof, or producing energy with your rooftop? Just ask. We’re always happy to help homeowners make the most of their energy dollars.

Ask An Expert: Todd Miller

Todd Miller, roofing expertTodd Miller is President of Isaiah Industries, an organization that is recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers, and manufacturer of Classic Metal Roofing Systems.

Todd has over 30 years of experience in residential metal roofing and is internationally recognized as a roofing and ventilation expert. Passionate about using his experience to help homeowners make the best roofing decision for them, he can help you navigate the issues encountered in roofing or reroofing your home or commercial property.

Use the form below and you'll receive a response directly from Todd or his team.

Thank you, Mr. Stouder, for your very informative presentation...we would be more than willing to share with anyone how much we love our new Rustic Shingle roof... Donald and Mary Metairie, LA

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