The trend in recent years is to install solar panels closer and closer to the roof surface, especially on pitched shingle, tile, or metal roof homes. Although this may be more aesthetically pleasing to some homeowners, it can have a detrimental effect. Without proper airflow to reduce the solar panels temperature, which increases the electrical conversion efficiency, the panels produce less!
To put it simply, the hotter the solar panel becomes, the less efficient it becomes. This decreases production over time. Heat is also a leading cause of panel degradation.
So before you move forward with a solar install that is very close to the roof surface, you may still want to consider the ol’ standard solar standoff (see photo above) with at least a few inches of clearance (3-4″ is good) underneath the panels to help maximize your solar panel’s production, and to increase its life expectancy.