Attaching solar panels to a traditional pitched and tiled roof is pretty straightforward using roof hooks. We mentioned the roof hooks in this blog.

However, we often need to attach solar panels to flat roofs or pitched roofs with a non-tiled covering. Typical roof types include:

  • PVC
  • TPO
  • EPDM
  • GRP
  • Build up bitumen membrane
  • Liquid applied
  • Hot melt monolithic

The big question is how can I attach something safely and WITHOUT causing leaks? In other words it must maintain structural integrity.

There are ballasted solutions in which systems are held down by weight and friction. However, for the purposes of this blog, I am looking only at permanent structural attachment.

Our preferred solution is the RoofTrak system by Nicholson. This is a highly engineered component and provides a completely waterproof connection by using a section of the same roofing material factory bonded to the fixings. It works with both warm and cold roofs (this essentially refers to whether the insulating layer is on the inside or the outside of the roof structure).

How it Works

The following diagrams show a typical cross section for a flat roof.

Typical Cold Roof Cross Section

Typical Warm Roof Cross Section

The fixing solution varies a little for the two types of roof. The following images show a typical fixing process for the cold roof case with a classic felted roof membrane.

The factory bonded section is directly attached to the roof

In the above diagram the cross section is clearly shown.

The load resistance is actually far higher than the warranted resistance shown in the diagram above so giving the customer large safety factors.

The result is a very firmly attached stainless steel disc onto which almost any sort of fitting can be attached.

And finally a couple of fitted examples on two different roof types.