Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight into electricity. These systems have been successfully installed on residential asphalt shingle roofs for many years. The two common attachment methods are rack-mounted and roof-integrated (RIPV). The latter is sometimes referred to as building-integrated (BIPV) method. Framed rigid PV panels/modules are commonly mounted on racks attached to the roof’s supporting structure. Some PV panels are also shaped like asphalt shingles to be integrated into the shingle roof system.
Proper installation of the PV system is critically important. As with any roofing project, consideration of factors such as safety, design, codes, installation, and integration with other building components is necessary to obtain the desired results. Consult the PV system manufacturer, local building codes, and the asphalt shingle manufacturer for specific requirements. In the event that the specific shingle manufacturer is unknown, generally accepted roofing practices should be followed.
Safety and Product Handling
If the proper precautions and protective equipment are used, PV systems can be installed safely and without incident. Several areas requiring attention are listed below:
Design, Installation, and Maintenance
Important Legal Disclosure
This Technical Bulletin is not intended to provide a comprehensive list of all safety cautions, design considerations, installation practices, or maintenance requirements relating to PV installation on asphalt shingle roofs. Rather, it provides an overview of some important concerns one should consider when contemplating PV installation. Asphalt shingle roofs can provide a suitable substrate for commercially available PV systems. It is important that the roof system and the PV system be constructed to comply with all requirements of the building code(s), the shingle manufacturer, and the PV module manufacturer. CASMA makes no warranties or recommendations otherwise regarding the suitability or performance of PV systems installed on roofs in conjunction with asphalt shingles.
NRCA Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic System Installations Guide
For additional information on photovoltaic systems on asphalt shingle roofs, see the National Roofing Contractors Association’s Guidelines for Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic System Installations.
The information contained in this bulletin is for general education and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified contractor or direction on usage/installation from the manufacturer. Consumers should be aware of the safety hazards associated with work on roofs and, before doing so themselves, should consider following CASMA s advice of using qualified contractors. This bulletin may be reproduced with permission on condition that it be reproduced in whole, unedited, with attribution of copyright to CASMA.