Can I Put a Solar Panel on my Car Roof?

03/03/2022

Solar panels are predicted to be the future of cars in many diverse ways. The advantage of solar powered cars is obvious – they use renewable source of energy and therefore we get to conserve our environment and also save money for gas.

You can put a solar panel on the roof of your car but there are 3 things to consider before attempting it:

What is the purpose of the solar panel to run an electric vehicle or to power accessories?
How big is your car roof? Solar panel power output is directly proportional to the area of the panel
Would it be roof-rack mounted or fitted directly to the roof of the car?

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Solar Panel For Your Car Roof?

1. Roof rack – Does your car already have a rack or do you need to install one first? This is because solar panels sit better on a rack as you can simply bolt your solar panels directly to it – this is the easiest and secure way.

2. Type of Roof material – different roof materials need different methods of installation. If your roof is made of flat metal you can use the VHB mounting tape methods which is very efficient and strong. If your roof is made of rubber, use screw-in z brackets and lap sealant

3. Roof strength – have you considered if your car roof is safe for a 120w solar panel installation? If your car is an old car, is it strong enough to install a solar panel?

4. Roof shape – is your roof curved, or is it flat? There rigid flat ones might be suitable for flat roofs and flexible solar panels more suitable for a curved roof.

Types of Solar Panel Car Roof

1. Flexible Solar Panels for Car Roofs
flexible solar panels for car roofs they are constructed from normal solar cells with a protective plastic film glued over top. Flexible solar panels are light in weight and due to their bendability, they are less likely to crack if treated roughly.

Flexible solar panels don’t have frames and this makes it possible for them to be able to curve to a car’s roof contours.

100-watt solar panels are suitable for mounting on top of vehicles, , given their dimensions. because they are very strong and durable, but there is an issue with fixing them in place.

Many RV owners have mistakenly glues flexible panels directly onto the roofs of their vehicles leaving no air-gap between the panels and the roof.

Solar panel output reduces rapidly as the temperature rises, degrading the material and reducing its working life.

2. DIY Solar Panel For Car Roof Use
The advantages of DIY is that it’s cost effective. It’s actually very easy to mount a solar panel yourself. It saves you the money that you would have used for the installation.

It also gives you a sense of satisfaction and makes you feel like you have achieved something for yourself instead of waiting for someone to do it for you.

You don’t have to drill a single hole on your roof if you don’t want to – good news for owners of newer cars! You can simply use adhesive to mount the solar panel.

3. Glue Solar Panel To Car Roof
Worried about drilling holes to your car roof? Worry no more. VHB tapes are suitable for gluing your solar panel to your car roof.

It’s a safe way to glue your solar panel, it is water proof and can handle high temperatures. Also if you want to remove it, that’s not a problem. There is a solvent that is used to remove the tape.

This tape lasts for years, but it depends on the strength of your roof and the amount of tape you use. Use plenty of tape and check it regularly.

VHB tapes work well with clean dry roofs made of aluminum or fiber glass. They are suitable for flat roofs with no signs of rust or flaking paint.