Pergola with flat roof

JJJJ

Aspiring apprentice
My apologies in advance since this is probably not a new topic.

I am envisioning building a pergola to hold solar panels. My hope is to create a footprint that looks more like a roof than a solar panel array when viewed from the front or side.

Because of this, the tilt on the panels would likely only be about 5 to 8 degrees instead of the ideal (for my area) 41 degrees.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
There are thousands of RV's out there with panels mounted flat on the roof (or close to flat). That works fine as long as you understand that flat mounting is going to have less production than tilting the panel at the optimal angle.
 

Harlen

New Member
My apologies in advance since this is probably not a new topic.

I am envisioning building a pergola to hold solar panels. My hope is to create a footprint that looks more like a roof than a solar panel array when viewed from the front or side.

Because of this, the tilt on the panels would likely only be about 5 to 8 degrees instead of the ideal (for my area) 41 degrees.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
I’m planning on doing the same thing although I am going to be able to get a good angle and orientation going because I have some vines that will partially hide the panels and go across the front of the Pergola without blocking the sun

How do you find out optimal angle and orientation for a given ZIP Code?
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
I have an app on my phone called, "Optimal Tilt". I use that when placing my ground deployed panels. It tells me direction and tilt for my specific GPS location.
 

GVSolar

Solar Addict
Really nice work. Stout. Love the inverters mounted to the rafters. Panel/inverter type? How did you mount the panels? Not much space for attachment inside most panel frames...
 

wattmatters

Solar Addict
Because of this, the tilt on the panels would likely only be about 5 to 8 degrees instead of the ideal (for my area) 41 degrees.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

A minimum 10 degree tilt is generally recommended so panels will self clean with rain. But if you don't mind doing a clean every so often, it's not big deal. Might be an annual job, or if you notice something particularly nasty. Some panels have drain channels built into the frames which will be something to look for so water doesn't pool at the lower lip of the frame.

I'm putting 2.2kW of panels on my small garage roof and they are only on a 2 degree tilt.

It's not ideal for a couple of reasons but I didn't want to put tilts frames up for aesthetic reasons. Performance in terms of production isn't critical as it only needs to keep my off-grid backup batteries on float as well as power the pool pump during the day. Pump needs 320W for that.

But I will be keeping an eye on how they go with rain and drainage. I expect every so often I may need to give them a clean. If I think it's causing an issue of concern then I'll look at ways to tilt the array.
 
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