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How to Measure Roof Pitch for Solar Panels

Here are instructions to measure the roof pitch or slope for solar panels. The pitch will impact the amount of tilt toward the Sun for the PV array. Most arrays are flush-mounted, meaning they follow the same pitch as the roof, but are raised a few inches above. There are times with flat or nearly flat roof, or to improve Sun exposure, that additional tilting is desired. To measure the pitch of a roof, all that is needed is a tape measure, pencil, paper and some common sense. These instructions will guide you through the process. If you need help we offer PROFESSIONAL SOLAR DESIGN SERVICES.

Roof pitch or slope refers to the amount of vertical rise a roof has compared to 12 inches of the horizontal run measurement. The illustration shows the pitch of a 7:12 roof slope meaning that the vertical rise measurement (roof rise) is 7" and the horizontal run measurement (roof run) is 12". Using illustrated reference at the right, you can see that a 7:12 roof pitch has a 30° angle.

Roof Pitch Example

Now that you understand the fundamentals of roof pitch, this measurement can be used to determine the angle of your roof pitch in degrees for a solar panel installation. If the roof is flat or nearly flat, it may be desired to tilt the solar panels on the roof to achieve optimal angle toward the Sun. The PV mounting system can often include standoffs of various heights to increase tilt.

The illustrations at right depict common roof pitches and their angle degrees for quick reference in identifying your roof. This information will be used by the solar installer or when choosing the mounting rack components.

For more information visit how to measure a roof for solar panels

Common Pitched Roof Angles
12-12 Solar Roof Pitch
12-12 pitch
45° angle
11-12 Solar Roof Pitch
11-12 pitch
42.5° angle
10-12 Solar Roof Pitch
10-12 pitch
40° angle
9-12 Solar Roof Pitch
9-12 pitch
37° angle
8-12 Solar Roof Pitch
8-12 pitch
34° angle
7-12 Solar Roof Pitch
7-12 pitch
30° angle
6-12 Solar Roof Pitch
6-12 pitch
27° angle
5-12 Solar Roof Pitch
5-12 pitch
23° angle
4-12 Solar Roof Pitch
4-12 pitch
18.5° angle
3-12 Solar Roof Pitch 3-12 pitch
14° angle
2-12 Solar Roof Pitch 2-12 pitch
9.5° angle
1-12 Solar Roof Pitch 1-12 pitch
5° angle

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