CAN SOLAR AND SPF ROOFING SYSTEMS WORK TOGETHER TO COMPLETELY ELIMINATE YOUR HEATING ELECTRIC BILL?
Solar and SPF roofing systems don’t often get installed together, but when they do, the energy savings are tremendous. Rather than only utilizing the benefits of a SPF roof or of solar panels, solar and SPF roofing systems can work together to create an ultra-efficient roofing system. The St. Petersburg SunTrust Building was recently outfitted with an SPF roof that was sprayed around mounts that solar panels were attached to. You can watch the full slideshow about the SunTrust Building, or keep reading here for a higher level summary.
Solar and SPF Roofing Process
The first step in installing a solar + SPF roof is verifying that the roof is secure enough to handle the system. You can’t install an SPF system over a structurally weak roof and you certainly can’t add the extra weight of solar panels to it. Once that is verified, the real work begins. The next step after verifying roof fitness to receive a solar and SPF roofing system is to install anchors in the roof to support the solar panels. There are many different types of anchors and methods of installing them so we won’t get too detailed here, but no matter your system, anchors must be installed. These anchors MUST be installed before the SPF system to ensure you still achieve a seamless membrane.
After you install your anchors, you will install the SPF roofing system as you would on any other roof. You may need to do some prep work such as laying down foam board, but the steps will be the same as on any other roof. The only special consideration regarding the installation of your SPF is that you will need to spray additional foam around the anchors to ensure your roof is seamless. Outside of taking special care when applying foam around anchors, the SPF system on a roof to receive solar panels is identical to that of any other SPF roof. That means you will still realize the benefits of fast and easy installation of the SPF system despite the increased “complications” of adding the solar panels.
Next, the solar panel rack system is installed on the anchors to allow the panels to rest on the anchors securely. The panels do not install directly on the anchors, a racking system is first installed to give the panels more fastener flexibility. As you lay down the solar panels, ensure they are at the proper angle to receive optimum sunlight. Once the racking system is installed and the panels are installed on top of that, you are done! You now have the most technologically advanced roof available today.
Benefits of Solar and SPF Roofing
We have written extensively about the benefits of spray foam on our blog, see here and here. It is already well known that spray foam roofs have the highest R-values on the market, and you will now receive those benefits on your building.
On top of the benefits from the spray foam system, you now have solar panels producing energy for you on a daily basis, and when your solar and SPF roofing systems work together in the summer sun, you may find that you pay no heating bill that month.
For the SunTrust Building, the high insulation value of the spray foam coupled with the solar panels producing energy from the sun mean their electric bill will be significantly lower in the future. We don’t know exactly how much, but we do know that it will be lower thanks to their solar and SPF roofing systems.