Today, when people think about ecology and saving energy solar panels, are becoming extremely popular, especially solar panels for mobile homes. Moreover, they help to reduce your energy bills. People who live in manufactured houses are complaining about power outages, especially those who don’t have a permanent power supply.
In this case, installing solar panels for the mobile home can be a solution, since they provide you with affordable electricity.
Manufactured home owners are asking whether solar systems can be installed on their rooftops and do they save money and are worth the effort. The short answer is yes. However, you need to know some things before putting solar panels on a mobile home.
In what follows we will tell you all the advantages and disadvantages of this decision. We will also tell you whether your rooftop is compatible with solar panels or not.
Solar panels for mobile homes will reduce your power bills
It’s more profitable to install solar panels on the roof of your mobile home than use electricity from your utility.
Mobile home solar system costs as much as any other roof installation.
You may see that you can install only 12 solar panels for mobile homes on the roof space, so they will cover only 50% of the electricity bill, but if you count, you’ll see that it is more profitable than using traditional electricity sources.
Is it possible to install solar panels for mobile homes?
Solar panels can be installed on a rooftop of a manufactured home, but beforehand you need to check whether your rooftop can support solar panels and their weight.
It’s better to ask a professional before installation. You should also examine the roof of your mobile home to see whether it has any shingles. Shingles increase the total weight being placed on the metal, which can cause some damage. When you have an asphalt or rubber roof you can install a solar panel on it without any trouble.
In addition, many mobile homes have a steep pitch which makes them suitable to support a solar installation. Usually, such houses are already at an optimal level to use sunlight, so you don’t need to readjust anything.
If you have a flat roof, you may face some problems, because solar panel kits usually go with their own mounting hardware, which can’t be installed on a flat roof. In this case, solar panels are not likely to be compatible with installation on your manufactured house.
Types of solar panels
The first type is monocrystalline solar panels. They are made of the purest silicon available. These panels have very high ratings, cause they can handle high energy burdens and they are available on the market.
The second type is polycrystalline solar panels. This type is considered to be the quickest to produce energy.
They are more expensive but the price is reasonable.
The third type is amorphous solar panels. This type consists of thin layers of silicone, which makes them bendable. This feature allows them to function in low-light environments and under high temperatures.
How many solar panels can you install?
A single panel weighs usually about 35 pounds. It also has aluminum rails and attachment points which are fixed with bolts. And of course, conduits protect wires running to the breaker box.
All that means is that you can have a 12-panels solar system which adds 420 pounds to the roof space. Plus add the weight of three solar panel installers (170 pounds each) and a weight of snow coverage during the winter. As you see you need a strong roof structure.
How much solar power do mobile homes need?
Mobile homes usually need a 2 x 300W solar panel system. It is approximately 5000 watts per day. This amount will be enough for a house between 500 and 780 square feet, which uses basic appliances.
On average, your solar power system will cover 50% of your energy needs.
Keep your roof safe
Before installing solar panels you need to ensure your roof safety. Solar companies must ensure that roof joists are strong enough to handle the weight of the solar system. They also must follow all building codes.
Roof joists must be analyzed by installers to see whether they have any damage such as mold, rote wood, and so on. The problem is that many manufactured homes have smaller roof joists in comparison with conventional properties. That is why sometimes they can’t handle the weight of the solar system.
You require a permanent foundation. Manufactured homes are not likely to be dug into the ground. In everyday life, it may not be a problem, but what concerns solar panels building codes denote that the structure must be mounted on the ground.
If you can’t for some reason install solar panels on your rooftop, you can install them on a garage, enclosed patio, or outbuilding. Local building codes make the same demands for these structures as for modular homes.
You should also consider a ground-mounted installation. You can create a structure that will be permanently attached to the ground and install solar panels on it. If you don’t have enough available roof space you don’t need to worry cause you still can perform solar panel installation.
Install energy-efficient upgrades
We strongly recommend you think about energy-efficient upgrades. This will provide the potential for cost savings.
Mobile homes tend to be energy inefficient, especially the old ones. To increase the efficiency you can seal air leaks (and furnace ducts).
To add you can install storm windows inside the house and blow insulation into the attic space.
It is also recommended to replace old lightbulbs with LEDs.
Solar power installations. New models
Since traditional rooftop solar panels are heavy and sometimes can be complicated to install you can look for some new products that were designed for your mobile home.
Tesla solar roof tiles
These solar tiles consist of textured and colored glass with a solar cell included. They are meant for replacing the shingles on the roof, which means they are not to be installed on the roof they are on the roof.
This will help to make operating costs lower and will weigh less, so they can be very useful for manufactured housing residents.
Stick-on solar panels
These panels weigh less than traditional solar panels and have an adhesive backing that sticks to the shingles. This makes them very easy to install. Their advantage is that they are not equipped with aluminum frames and don’t have any rails and L-feet.
We should admit that if you want to install rooftop solar panels you may face several difficulties.
At first, you will have to deal with the high upfront costs of solar energy. You may face some difficulties in using federal tax credits because of the low tax burden.
Also, your rooftop may not support solar panels. Of course, you are limited in the area for installation. To add manufactured housing communities usually are not the owners of the territory where they live, which can be a problem because you may want to move your house to another mobile home park.
Generally speaking building codes, the structural design of a mobile home, the inability of some mobile home roofs to support solar panels, and the foundation of a mobile home can interfere with installing solar panels, regardless of structural integrity.
To make a solar-powered mobile home more available for people of different incomes, several financing mechanisms, for example, community solar programs are now available at the local and state levels.
Mobile homes have high electric loads themselves, so the idea of reducing electricity bill can be quite favorable.
Now there is an option for a community solar panels farm, where you can get access to the panel. Then you will receive a credit on the electric bill for the produced power and the electric bills from a solar company for the amount of power generated by the panel.
Can solar panels be added to a manufactured home?
The majority of mobile homes can safely have solar installed. However, your mobile home must be structurally sound and have a concrete foundation and a roof that is capable of supporting solar panels.
Are solar panels too heavy for mobile homes?
Before solar panel installation, you need to check whether your rooftop can handle the weight of panels. It’s better to ask for a professional to examine your rooftop. If your mobile home’s roof can’t support the weight of the panels you can install them on a garage, enclosed patio, or outbuilding.
How many solar panels do I need to power a mobile home?
To power, 1000 to 1500-square-foot manufactured home you will need 30 panels. But more often you require 12 solar panels for mobile homes because they are usually s 500 to 800 square feet. Remember rooftop solar can cover only 50% of your energy needs.
Are solar panels required for manufactured homes in California?
It is required that all mobile homes that were built after 2020 must have solar rooftops. The CEC will also introduce additional requirements, known as the 2022 Energy Code, requiring single-family mobile homes to be ready for electricity starting in January 2023.
If you install solar panels for a mobile home, you will get a lot of benefits. Many people are asking “Can a solar roof save me money and energy?”. It definitely can. However, if you install solar panels for mobile homes, you need to know that they will cover only 50% of the energy needs. But this is still more profitable than using traditional energy sources.
You may face some difficulties using solar panels for mobile homes. For example, your roof can be incapable of supporting the excess weight of the panels and you are likely to deal with high upfront costs of solar energy at first.
Nevertheless, there are special programs that allow people of different incomes to take advantage of solar energy for their mobile homes.
It is strongly recommended to perform several energy-efficient upgrades. To increase the efficiency of your mobile home you can seal air leaks, install storm windows, and blow insulation into the attic space. To add you can replace old light bulbs.
Don’t forget to examine your roof before installing panels. It is better to ask for professional help. Solar companies must ensure that roof joists are strong enough to handle the weight of the solar system.
If you can’t put solar panels on your rooftop, you can replace them in the garage, patio, or outbuilding. Also, think about ground-mounted installation. You can create a structure that will be permanently attached to the ground and install solar panels on it.