Dealing with Roof Obstructions and Vents for Solar Pool Heating Panels

Solar Pool Heating with Roof Obstructions and Vents
In this picture we show a number of challenges from obstructions between solar pool heating panels on a roof in North Fort Myers, FL

When installing solar pool heating panels, it is very often the case that roof vents and other obstructions come into play. Placing panels in a way that takes advantage of the available roof space becomes a challenge. There are a several strategies that we use to deal with vents and other obstructions, which may include plumbing vents, attic vents, satellite dishes, electrical service entrances, hips and valleys, skylights, and other roof mounted equipment. Those strategies include:

  • Use solar panels with different lengths
  • Use half-width panels (we are one of the few dealers that offer a 2′ wide panel)
  • Stagger panel heights on the roof
  • Use multiple roof faces
  • Extend header plumbing to get around obstructions

There are very few roof obstruction challenges that prevent successful solar pool heating installations. It’s always ideal to select a roof with no vents, but we also want to take into consideration the best place for your panels to be in terms of system performance. We take all factors into consideration when designing and installing your solar pool heating system.

2 Foot Wide Solar Pool Heating Collector
A 2 foot wide solar pool heating collector helps fit panels between two roof vents.

These decisions are often left to installers in the field based on conditions found at the time of installation. The precise location of trusses, vents, hip caps, valley flashings, ridge vents, and other roof features are not something that is taken into account when doing design layout and engineering. Smart decisions on exact placement of solar panels and plumbing are the responsibility of the person doing the work, which is why experience, care, and training are critically important for a successful installations on roofs with obstructions and vents when installing solar pool heating panels.

  • Comment (4)
  • Dan Passmore says:

    Ah, a very important detail that I would have forgotten about until it was too late. Thank you for sharing. Do you run into a lot of problems with vents and such?

  • Britanica says:

    When is comes to the skylight windows, if they are pretty much all along one side of the roof, like the side you would have to work with, do you use smaller panels to work around these or is there a way to put them above or below the windows? I may not be asking this the right way. lol

    • Jason Szumlanski says:

      We have solar pool heating panels that come in six different sizes, so working around skylights is usually possible. Every roof is different, so different solutions exist.

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