Rooftop Solar Power: Useful Information Guide

By Roof Online Staff • Updated October 8, 2022

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Solar power installation on a commercial low-slope roof.
Solar power 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 The article is from 2007, so some information may be out of date.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.

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.