How Close Can Solar Panels Be To The Edge Of The Roof?

Last Updated on July 11th, 2023

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This is going to be a variable situation that will depend on the geographical location you reside in; in other words, laws in different areas will have different regulations depending on the location of the home.

For example, cyclone or tornado areas will be restricted to units no closer than one meter from the roof’s edge.

Or by general United States standards, the last row of solar panels should not be within twelve inches of the rooftop’s edge, making the idea of having solar photon-collecting roof tiles more appealing.

Solar panels set up on a rooftop - How Close Can Solar Panels Be To The Edge Of The Roof?

Can Solar Panels be Installed on the Edge of the Roof?

This will be advised against, by most experts and regulators, because of the structural and physical hazard presented with such an installation. However, as mentioned above, there are certain photon collectors that will come in the form of roofing tiles that can and do reach the edge of a rooftop.

So yes, certain forms of solar panels can be installed on the edge of a residential home. Otherwise, there are going to be local, even state and federal regulations that will dictate how close to the edge of a roof solar panels can be.


Can Solar Panel Wires Touch the Roof?

Professional crews have a standard of quality that stipulates that all wiring should be safely placed in protective covering; each crew will have their own form of material they use on a regular basis, but the most common is a protective plastic-like sheath.

However, this will not prevent all of the wiring from being in contact with the roof or roofing materials connected to the ceiling inside.

The best setups will have the wiring going along with pieces that can tuck the cord itself out of the way. For example, the roof tiles mentioned above have clips and connectors that cannot come into contact with the sheet metal attached to the roof.


What Happens if You Install it too Close to the Edge?

There are regulations and rules against installing any sort of paneling over or around the roof’s edge because of the potential hazard of the unit(s) falling.

This is a potential risk to the people or pets that live there, and certainly structural damage to the roof, surrounding area, and solar panel arrays.

The integrity of the roof, the solar panels, and the electrical systems throughout will require enough space to have secure footing.

To have secure points to maintain the overall stability of the roof and the solar array is the overall goal when it comes to having professionals install your panels.


What is the Best Location for Roof Solar Panels?

This will be a different viewpoint than most, but the best location will be to install solar panel tiles and forgo panels on a residential roof.

The standard place for panels will be to have them facing the southern facing sky (in the northern hemisphere) and to the north when in the southern hemisphere.

They will be required to be twelve inches to one meter from the last solar panel to the edge of the roof. Closer to the crest of the building will provide a sunny spot than on lower sections.


Common Mistakes to Avoid

The most common mistake that is made by Do it Yourselfers is to have the units too close to certain structural points on the building itself.

Knowing where the sunlight hits the building or roof will be crucial in avoiding the mistake of allowing shadows to cover the panels during peak sunlight hours.

Another major mistake that is made can be to damage the roof, especially if an installer is unknowledgeable or a novice at construction projects. The best course of action will be to have an expert help install the solar panels the correct way.


Final Thoughts on How Close can Solar Panels be to the Edge of the Roof

Even if the prospect of getting solar power technology is daunting to you, there are going to be customizable options that will make the possibility a reality.

Newer forms of solar cell photon-collecting tech come in the form of solar tiles, panels, and even window panes, which are getting photon-collecting upgrades.

The value of solar panels is increasing as electricity needs change within the average household and diverge from oil and fossil fuel-driven energy sources.

This is true for the homeowner in that they will be able to power their own home but also get paid for the electricity they can feed back into the power grid.

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