The first small photovoltaic (PV) predecessors to PV systems
currently being installed on roofs were introduced during the early
1970s. Many of these systems were installed with little thought or
planning; consequently, those who purchased the systems were
disappointed, government incentives were discontinued and PV
quickly fell out of public favor.
However, with energy costs constantly in flux, the recent
extension of federal tax incentives and an overall trend toward
environmental friendliness, more reliable PV products have been
introduced and more building owners are looking at rooftop PV
systems as a viable way to reduce energy costs.
We all have heard about "big box" building owners installing
50-kilowatt (kW), 100-kW and utility-sized PV systems on roof
systems larger than 50,000 square feet. However, I believe PV roof
system installations' future lies with small businesses and the
residential sector where 1- to 25-kW systems will be installed on
roof systems smaller than 50,000 square feet.
If you are interested in installing practical and efficient PV
roof systems, there are numerous factors you must consider before
Log in or register for FREE access to this article and other Professional Roofing online content.