Does Your Roof Have Space for Solar?

You generally need at least 5 panels (~2 kW) to make solar worthwhile in Ireland. But not every roof has space enough space for 5 panels

Let’s look at some examples…

Here are some roofs that don’t have space for 5 solar panels:

Dormer window leaving no space for solar panels
These dormer windows leave no room for solar panels
Complex roof, with little space for solar panels
Windows, chimneys, vents, and ridges leave little space for solar panels on this roof

Here are some roofs that do have space for at least 5 solar panels:

Simple rectangular roof, which could accommodate solar panels
This roof has enough space for solar
New houses with no roof windows or vents - with space for solar panels
These roofs have enough space for solar
Large roof with few obstructions - it could accommodate solar panels
This roof has more than enough space for solar

How much solar can your roof fit?

A dimensioned sketch of your roof is key to determining how much solar your roof can fit.

You’ll also need to keep in mind:

  • A 500 mm setback is required from roof edges, chimneys, windows, etc
  • Solar panels come in two approximate sizes:
    • 1 metre X 1.7 metre
    • 1 metre X 2.1 metre

With that info to hand, this video shows the process for determining how many solar panels you can fit:

Rooftop Solar Panel Layout for Houses in Ireland

Alternative Places to Install Solar Panels:

Is your roof unsuitable for solar? All hope is not lost! Here are some other places you can install solar panels:

Ground-Mounted Solar Panels

Big solar farms generally have rows of solar panels mounted on the ground. And if you have some spare space outside, ground-mounting might be an option for you, too.

Ground mounting lets you choose the perfect orientation and tilt for your panels. This boosts energy output. You can boost energy output further if the ground-mounting system allows light to reach both the front and back of your panels. This is called “bifacial boost”. Bifacial boost requires a special type of solar panel (bifacial) and can give you an energy increase of around 10%.

The downside of ground-mounting is increased cost (around €1,500 for a typical solar panel system).

The space requirement is around 5-10 square metres per kilowatt of solar.

Solar Canopies/Carports

Solar canopies and carports use space efficiency, providing both energy and shelter with a single structure. They typically cost around €2,000 more than an equivalent roof-mounted solar panel system.

Solar Carports

A solar carport requires an area of around 4 metres by 7 metres. Consider one if you would like to:

  • Have fewer frozen windscreens in Winter
  • Prevent your car from overheating in Summer
  • Reduce corrosion by keeping rain off your car
  • Have a handy place to install an electric car charger
  • And save money on electricity!
Solar Carport
Solar Carport from Solitek

Solar Canopies

Solar canopies generally cover an area of 10 to 50 square metres. Here are some of their benefits:

  • A solar canopy can provide shelter for drying clothes in Ireland’s changeable weather
  • A solar canopy can provide a shaded area to relax in your garden during the summer
  • A solar canopy can shelter bicycles, keeping them rust-free for longer
  • And save you money on electricity!

Ready for Some Solar Quotes?

If you have a suitable location for solar panels, and you’re ready for some quotes, then enter your Eircode below to get started: