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Community and Q&A

Installing Solar Panels on a SIP Roof

achsja | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

What is the best way to put solar panels 0n a SIP roof? My home has 12 inch SIPs for the roof made by Extreme Panel. I’m looking to add solar but do not have a steel roof.

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  1. Expert Member

    Each manufacturer has proprietary mounts. They should be able to tell you whether their systems would work on your roof.

  2. Expert Member
    Deleted | | #2


  3. tommay | | #3

    Why the roof? Do you have any good ground area?

  4. Peter Yost | | #4

    Hi Jack -

    Penetrations in a SIP roof need to be "belt and suspenders" in terms of flashing. Make sure that you don't rely solely on sealant to keep water at bay.

    I have a SIP roof on our kitchen addition and frankly would not put PV panels there if roof penetrations were required.


    1. achsja | | #5

      Peter and all those that replied,

      Thank you. I contacted Extreme Panel, not much help other than what screws to use and pull pounds. They did not tell me what to do. Very disappointed. I have no ground area due to subdivision regulations, panels must be roof mounted.

      I agree with Peter, don't put solar on a SIP roof with asphalt shingles.

      After going through many case studies, examples of Net-Zero homes, they all have a steel roof. This was a red flag when I asked my local contractor if they ever put solar on a SIP roof with asphalt. Answer, a resounding "NO"!

      Consequently, my wife and I will put a steel roof on this house and then add solar with s5! connectors. This was in my original plan but as our construction costs went over budget we started cutting things out. First to go was the steel roof at $25k. This house was built in 2015, I will use this roof for 10yrs then go steel.

      Thanks again for all your advice. There is too much risk in putting solar on a SIP roof with asphalt shingles. I will not let go of my dream to build a net-zero home, just will take a bit longer.

      1. GBA Editor
        Martin Holladay | | #6

        You might want to read the information on this relevant web page: "How to Mount Solar on SIPs."

      2. Expert Member
        Akos | | #7


        When I was looking for solar at my cottage, I didn't want to deal with finding rafters. Found these guys that make mounts that can also be deck mounted (ended up going with ground mount in the end). Deepening on your wind and snow loads, something similar might work:

  5. tommay | | #8

    What's the pitch? How high? What type of load/number/weight of panels? Particle board/ plywood sips? Post and Beam? Rafters, trusses....There are other ways to secure panels in a non penetrating way. Peter, though he probably doesn't know, hinted at it in his reply.

    1. Fettke | | #10

      Could you please provide some examples of ways to secure solar panels on a SIPs roof in a non-penetrating way? I haven't been able to find any. Thanks.
      (Mine is a typical vaulted ceiling SIPs with OSB sheathing- no trusses, I assume there are rafters between the panels and the interior sheetrock. Two story, relatively steep pitch. Load could be adjusted based on what the roof could safely support but I'd like to install a large system if possible.)

      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #11


        There are a few different clips that attach to the ribs of metal roof panels. This is one:

  6. DavidJones | | #9

    I have used this mounting system on SIP roofs successfully. Very happy with it.

    Its designed to allow fastening solar racking to the roof sheathing only by spreading the loads over a wider area. (this is the same concept we use for lifting SIPs during construction using a crane).

  7. DavidJones | | #12

    I have used the following mounting system on several projects designed to mount solar to SIPs. I have a high level of confidence in this system assuming the installer is following install instructions.

    We install the solar mounting hardware at the same time as roof shingle installation. So there is no chance of damaging a shingle by lifting it after it has been installed.

    I am a fan of belt and suspenders approach and I use ice and water membrane across the entire SIP roof. That approach is supported by some but not all SIP manufacturers.

  8. DC_Contrarian_ | | #13

    If the roof is not too steep the panels can be ballasted with no perforations.

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