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Solar City, Solar Panels, and Metal Roofs in Texas

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by NoPetrolDream, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. NoPetrolDream

    NoPetrolDream Member

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    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    My home in North Texas has a reflective standing seam metal roof. Last year my wife contacted Solar City about solar panel installation on our house. They were all up for it until she mentioned we have a standing seam metal roof. Suddenly they're referring to some rule or law that prevents them from installing their panels on this type of roof.

    That makes no sense to us, as standing seam metal roofs are ideal for solar panels, being there are no penetrations required through the roofing material to hold the panels fast to the roof. I have searched extensively online for any Texas code, statute, etc. that Solar City might be referencing as to why they're balking at our roof choice.

    Solar City calls us every six months to see if we're still interested, and as soon as we mention the metal roof their enthusiasm dies off. Last time I had the guy on the phone I asked him to ask his boss what source they are relying on for this decision and there was no verdict.

    Texas is a HUGE market for solar, and more of us are waking up to the fact that asphalt shingle roofing is a stupid choice in a hot climate, where the shingles soak up heat all summer long, punctuated by severe storms with hail any time of the year. We have stock in Solar City but are disappointed they won't service one of their stockholders with their product citing reasons they can't justify with Texas law or building code.

    Has anyone heard of this, or know of any similar experience either in Texas or elsewhere?
     
  2. GregTexas

    GregTexas Member

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    College Station, TX
    I have a standing seam metal roof in Texas but Solar City doesn't sell here.
     
  3. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    My only experience with Solar City is that they wouldn't do a flat gravel roof. I don't think it is a code or statute issue. I think it is a business decision based in some bean counter risk management decision. There are plenty of other installers out there that will do standing seam roof. I even saw special clips on one racking supplier's catalog. In the end the other bids I got were also cheaper than Solar City so stop worry about your stock investment and get a better price from someone else.
     
  4. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Solar City's business plan is to install as many arrays as possible with minimal crew training, inventory and design costs, so they install only on the most common roof types; pitched roofs with composition shingles or tile.

    Although there are good mounting and flashing solutions for cedar shake, metal, etc., they are less common and require different skill sets as well as some different installation hardware, so Solar City passes them by.
     
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  5. idoco

    idoco Member

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    #5 idoco, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
    Not in Texss. But I have metal seam roof with solar installed. No problem.

    In fact the roof was cedar shake. Would have needed replacement in a few years. Solar company suggested metal since it wouldn't be visible under panels and would negate need to re-shingle in 20-30 years.
     
  6. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I saw such a roof with solar during the north Texas solar home tour. Based upon my discussions with them, I believe this is just Solar City aiming for the middle of the bell curve.
     
  7. renim

    renim Member

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    there are 2 types of metal roofs,
    conventional screw fit roofs
    and the more modern, holeless roofs.

    the conventional screwed down metal roof is the easiest and best of all roofs for adding solar to.
    but
    the holeless metal roof (such as standing seam metal roof) break warranty if a hole is drilled through them.) Since it might have be a 2 decade warranty, that is a lot of value to break. Banks etc may not be pleased.

    a reputable solar installler will not touch a holeless metal roof while it in in warranty.
    but a more 'flexible' solar installer would.

    horses for courses, yes it can be done, but you got the wrong type of metal roof.

    around me there are close to zero residential standing seam roof, but lots of commercial/industrial standing seam roofs, those are basically off limits to solar. the main residential roofing style around me is conventional screw fit metal roof, thats one of the enablers why 1 in 4 homes around my state have solar,
     
  8. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    I'd get installer references from NTREG.org, or call Axium Solar or Universal Solar to see what they say.
     
  9. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    It is not necessary to drill through standing seam roofs to install solar. They have mounts that clamp to the seams.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I had a roof in Texas that had upside-down V shaped seams. The standard clamps didn't fit, because they're intended to pinch the seam. We had custom clamps machined, but it wasn't a straightforward operation. Perhaps this is the situation for OP?
     
  11. NoPetrolDream

    NoPetrolDream Member

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    Fort Worth, Texas
    I'll need to reconfirm but I'm pretty certain there's nothing unusual about the shape of the seams on our roof.

    Also, as mentioned above no need to penetrate the roof with either mounting requirements or conduits to inverter and etc. It can all remain external of the building enclosure.

    So it's a matter of skill set that Solar City may not wish to invest in to sell a system to a metal roof homeowner? If that's true then I did not appreciate it being suggested some standing statute or code in my home state was the reason. If they prefer not to install on metal roofs, just state that as policy. I'll move on and find a different provider who will install on my roof.
     
  12. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    You dealt with a sales guy whose veracity is subject to the "are his lips moving" test. My experience in talking to about half a dozen sales reps from solar contractors is that they are pretty uniformly ignorant of the product beyond what is in the script and/or pricing spreadsheet.

    I would contact SolarWorld, a German-owned solar panel mfr in Oregon and see whom they deal with in Texas. They make high efficiency panels and you know that they are made with minimal environmental impact (unlike Chinese or Korean panels) because the factory has to meet Oregon environmental standards and the power used in production will have been mostly hydroelectric, so little or no carbon impact.
     
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  13. jeremyz

    jeremyz Member

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    I have solar panels on my standing seam roof in Texas. Standing seam roofs are ideal for installing solar panels because you can attach the racking without penetrations using S-5! clamps. I would guess that Solar City doesn't install on standing seam because only a small fraction of homes have them. If you install the S-5! clamps correctly, you have to torque them down with anti-seize; that takes time and some small amount of skill. Plus, the clamps are probably much more expensive than putting a lag bolt in the roof. I talked to 3 or 4 installers (not Solar City) and none of them had a problem installing on standing seam.
     
  14. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

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    Solar City also wouldn't provide an estimate on our Spanish clay tile roof either... but SunPower and other solar installers would since they'll just remove the tile roof where the panels are being installed and "picture frame" the tiles surrounding it.

    Elon are you listening? Solar City is missing out on a LOT of customers...
     
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  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Solar City didn't want to do mine either--metal roof but not a standing seam. The excuse they gave was that they couldn't install on a slope greater than some amount that I have forgotten the number. However, the slope on my roof isn't greater than most other houses around here. There were other difficulties as well. They could only provide 40% of the power required (and that was before two electric cars). Last month's bill was $100 for the 100% renewable energy plan and I expect the hot months to be around $150. I can't see any solar system that would only cost $40 to $60 per month.
     
  16. MrSid

    MrSid New Member

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    Location:
    california
    Hello,

    Let's talk to the Metal Roofing Guru/
    Solar City Knows what the rest of them do not and that is to attach solar panels to a standing seam metal roof is asking for problems.
    Metal Expands and Contracts like no other roofing materials. "DRAG LOAD" IS SOMETHING THAT ALLOWS FOR THE EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION.

    Solar Companies know nothing about it and the S-5 clip system Manufacturer counts on it. "They" Both the Solar Companies and the Manufacturer of the clips used to attach to the seams point at each another for the Liability. Understand that a properly installed standing seam metal roof is screwed down under the ridge cap at the top and the rest of the panel freely floats on the concealed clips under the panel this allows the entire length of the roof panel to grow and move when it is hot and I mean "TEXAS HOT" A 40' foot long panel will grow 3/8" of an inch and when it gets cold in the winter it will shrink 3/8" there for the roof will have an expansion and contraction rate of 5/8" over all and if the installation is not done correctly the expansion will happen anyway and the roof will tear itself apart. Understand when you add the weight of the solar panels to the roof it becomes very heavy "GRAVITY" WILL PULL ON THE ROOF AND DRAG IT PULL IT FROM THE ATTACHMENT AT THE TOP AND IT WILL ALL LAND IN YOUR YARD.

    When I am done your Steeltech system 3000 Aqua/Solar will reclamate, Filtrate, and circulate fresh drinking water. There will be a battery bank in you garage the size of your double door freezer/ your roofing system will charge the battery while you are at work. You will plug your electric car into the battery bank in your garage./ the roofing system will also collect filtrate and circulate fresh drinking water to a tank also in your garage and flush your toilet./ Your roofing system will run the air-conditioner in your home during the hottest part of the day. When you get home you will have power to charge your car, fresh water to drink and flush your toilet and it will cool your home all day for FREE







     

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  17. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    Location:
    Kailua kona
    A steel roof manufacturer in my state makes panels that are solar cells. You can hardly tell them from the non solar panels. Our county has used them on some new low rent housing units. Might be worth considering, depending on how your roof panels are attached.
     
  18. Brovane

    Brovane Member

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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I called Solar City a couple of years ago to get Solar Installed. I have a stone coated steel roof and Solar City told me they didn't have the expertise to handle these type of roofs. I would rather someone be honest with me than mess up my roof. I went with a local installer that had experience in dealing with the type of roof I had.
     

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