We have a lot of tile roofs in Florida. Sometimes known as barrel tile, S-tile, Roman tile, Spanish tile, or Mediterranean tile (among other names), these roofs are popular, especially in gated communities. Installing solar pool heating panels presents challenges on tile roofs, and we like the aluminum rack method. This method uses structural aluminum channels to act as a nice flat location to hold panels in place and to anchor straps to hold panels down. Many people think these aluminum rack systems are designed to keep the panels off the roof and prevent damaging abrasion on the bottom of the panel. That is a secondary benefit, and a minor concern. In reality, the aluminum channel is really there to keep a full body panel with welded tubes flat horizontally.
The aluminum rack method does add cost to the installation, but it’s the best method for longevity of panels, and it looks fantastic. Split tube panels do not require racks, but conform to the shape of the tiles. As a result, you can see the roof between the panel tubes. Over time especially, separated tube panels done’t look great on tile roofs. A full body panel with a rack will perform and look great for years.
Some full body panels with a tube-on-fin design sit right on the tile roof, which can cause abrasion damage, and leaks at the fin-tube weld. It’s not an ideal mounting method, and there isn’t a good place to mount attachments for straps, which means some attachment points end up in tile valleys between panels. They look better than separated tube panels on a tile roof, but there are risks.
If you are looking for the only company that installs aluminum racks under full body welded tube solar panels on tile roofs in Southwest Florida, contact us today!
Below are design-to-reality photos showing solar pool heating panels on a tile roof in Bonita Springs, FL.
Solar Pool Heating Panel Design on a Tile Roof