Solar Power and Roofs: Information Guide

Roof Online Staff

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Solar installation on a commercial low-slope roof.
Solar installation on a commercial low-slope roof.
Solar installation on a commercial low-slope roof.

1. General: “How Does Solar Work?” is available at the US Department of Energy website, and is a good place to start if you’re new to the subject.

2. General: An introduction and overview of residential solar energy, “Building America Best Practices Series for High-Performance Technologies: Solar Thermal & Photovoltaic Systems“, is available at the US Department of Energy’s Building America site. The article is from 2007, so some information may be out of date.

3. General: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory website is a great source of information about the latest developments in solar power technology.

4. GeneralMapdwell has a free and easy-to-use interactive tool which allows visitors to their site to get a detailed assessment of the solar energy potential for any building within the areas they’ve mapped. Currently only available for a few cities, including Boston and Washington, DC; their database is expanding.

5. Financial: “Solar Investment Tax Credit“: see this for an explanation of the US federal tax credit granted for solar energy installations. Made available by the Solar Energy Industries Association.

6. Financial: State tax credits and other incentives and policies can be seen by going to the DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) website, which is funded by the US Department of Energy and operated by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.

7. Technical: A good introduction to photovoltaics is available at the Whole Building Design Guide site, which is maintained by the National Institute of Building Sciences.

8. Technical: “Photovoltaic Systems and Asphalt Shingle Roofs” has some very basic information. Available at the Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers’ Association website.

9. Technical: See this product data sheet for the technical characteristics of photovoltaic panels at the SunPower Corporation website. This is only an example and other products and brands may be different.

10. Manufacturers: See this list of solar power product manufacturers.