How To Anchor Tiny Solar Panel To Roof?


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Old 02-23-08, 12:17 AM
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How To Anchor Tiny Solar Panel To Roof?

Hello,

Got a question. I have a small solar panel I need to mount on my roof (for a solar powered security light connected via wire).

The panel has a bracket that attaches to a surface (in this case my roof) with three roughly 1" screws. My roof is asphalt singles on top of an older wood shingled roof.

My question is, how do I attach the bracket to the roof? Can I just screw right into the roof (straight through the asphalt shingles into the wood shingles)? Do I have to take care to do it over a stud or does it not matter? How do I find the stud - I'm guess there's always one near the edge? Do I goop the whole thing in caulk? Silicone or some kind of roof tar?

I'm fairly handy...and can kinda guess a way that would seem pretty solid. But I just have little actual experience with roofing and, given the consequences of a mistake, I just would like to check with an expert...

 
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Old 03-03-08, 09:08 PM
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For asphalt shingles on cedar, 1-1/2" screws are about right. And goop all over the screws, yes. Better if you don't penetrate the roofing...

I would screw a bit of wood to sheet metal, and slide that under some shingles (above and hooked below) with roof tar to glue it. Then mount the panel bracket to the wood.
 
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Old 03-04-08, 10:11 PM
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Kobuchi,

Thank you for your reply. I didn't set my email notification and I just remembered this.

A few things, though. If I do the first option - screw into roof - you said use goop.

1) What kind of goop? Roof tar or some kind silicone?

Also, if I could repeat an earlier question regarding placement...

2) Can I just screw right into the roof (straight through the asphalt shingles into the wood shingles)? Do I have to take care to do it over a stud or does it not matter? How do I find the stud - I'm guess there's always one near the edge?

I may end up doing your suggestion (great one, thanks) but it depends on the answers to the first.

Also, regarding your suggestion, you wrote: "slide that under some shingles (above and hooked below)" -- could you further describe what "hooked below" means?

Thanks,
S
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:11 PM
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1) The black tarry "roof patch" etc. has affinity for asphalt shingles which silicone does not. It will never lift off any surface. A small container, opened and resealed, will keep for ages too.

2) Since the panel bracket came with only 3x 1" screws, I assume the panel's small and won't require serious fastening. 1" into mostly asphalt seems too weak though. But 1/2" or more into cedar shingles should be plenty. Anyway you can tug on the installed panel to confirm that. There's no danger of using too long a screw.



"Hooked under"... I meant the lower part of metal would fold upward so you can slide it ...up... between shingles... just as the top part slides up between shingles. That way it's glued in, top and bottom, and wind won't lift it.

A piece of galvanized steel or aluminum folded like so:

|
|
|/

Why anyone would want to bother? Maybe they're uptight about puncturing the roof membrane. Or maybe they're loath to smear tar on the solar technology bracket.

Maybe seat the bracket on roof goop, then screw it down tight? That will leave a blotch if the bracket is removed someday.
 
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Old 03-05-08, 08:38 PM
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Thank you! That is great info!

"Maybe they're uptight about puncturing the roof membrane. Or maybe they're loath to smear tar on the solar technology bracket."

That would be me. And me.
 
 

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