Solar-friendly roofs
From: David Mandel (
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 01:14:08 -0600
Denise Cote of somewhere in Colorado (I presume; hey everyone, do tell us
where you're from when you write!) forwarded a message about opportunities
to obtain solar-generating panels in cooperation with electric utilities in

I'm sure this will become more and more available elsewhere too, so here's
a repeat of some advice I offered last year, when we obtain PV panels on
our common house through our (local, municipal) electric company's "PV
Pioneer" program:

PV panels work best, apparently, with large unbroken spaces on rooftops. It
was a squeeze to get the minimum even on our common house, and none of our
residential buildings qualified because the roofs are broken up not only by
architecturally inspired ridges, gullies and dormers (which I might not
want to forgo) but also various pipes and vents that stick up wherever it
seemed most convenient to put them. With a little forethought and a very
small extra expense (I surmise), these obstructions could have been
concentrated on the east- and north-facing slopes of the roofs. The south
and west would then be open for PV panels.

You might mention this to your architects and builders when plans are being
drawn up.

David Mandel, Southside Park Cohousing, Sacramento

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