Roof-Integrated Solar Panels

There are two types of solar panel installation on a roof, ‘in-roof’ panels and ’on-roof’ panels. The difference between the two is that on-roof panels sit above the tiles of the roof whereas in-roof panels are integrated into the roof, so they sit within the pitched elevation of the roof.

In-roof Solar Panels

‘In-roof’ panels are more commonly referred to as ‘roof-integrated’ solar panels. The main benefit of in-roof solar panels is they are more aesthetically pleasing than on-roof panels, mainly due to the integrated style of the panel on the roof, as opposed to a later add-on. The panels used on both in-roof and on-roof installations are generally the same type of panels, the main difference being the fixing/mountings.

In-roof solar panels operate at a higher temperature than on-roof panels due to less ventilation around the panels where it sits flush with the roof. As such, in-roof panels are slightly less efficient, with electricity generation being between 5-10% lower than on-roof panels. Typically using a mounting system that is directly mounted to the roof frame, the panels lay directly flat on the mounting frame. There are also several options for mounting in-roof panels alongside velux windows and other window systems that are integrated into the roof.

Due to the in-roof panels being flush with the roof, tiles are not required under the panels which can save money if the panels are being installed when the house is being built. This means that in-roof panels act as both a roof covering and for electricity generation.

On-roof Solar Panels

On-roof solar panels are often the most popular choice for those choosing to install solar panels on their house, due to ease of installation often making a cheaper and more viable option. Panels used during on-roof installations have become much more aesthetically appealing, with the panels now becoming slimmer and available in several colours to match the surrounding roof. That said, however, they do protrude off the standard elevation pitch of the roof, which some say aren’t as aesthetically appealing as some other installation types. Due to the slight protruding nature of the on-roof solar panel, this means that it can run at a slightly reduced operating temperature which makes the panels more efficient and therefore generated more electricity and therefore savings.

On-roof solar panels are mounted directly to the roof frame by way of roof hooks that slide under the existing tiles and bolt directly onto the secure roof frame.

Both in-roof and on-roof solar panels offer the same compatibility with home energy batteries and optimisers such as SolarEdge. Aside from the cost difference between the two types of installation, the main consideration in the aesthetics and energy efficiency between the two installation types.

Solar Panel Installation

At SolarTherm UK, our expert technicians can install both ‘on-roof’ and ‘in-roof’ solar systems. To find out more or for a free quote, contact our team today.