Jessica PirroJune 12, 20206240
There are a lot of questions that homeowners have regarding solar panels, one of the most common questions is ‘How can I tell if a solar panel installation is a good fit for my home?’
You will have a few different mounting options to choose from when it comes to residential solar panel installation. You can get a rooftop solar panel installation or you can get ground-mount solar panels.
Most customers are going to want to get a rooftop solar panel installation as opposed to ground mount solar panels because they a ground-mount solar panel installation is going to take up some land space. But, not every rooftop is going to be ideal for a solar power system.
How to Evaluate your Rooftop
When it comes to evaluating your rooftop to see if it's a good fit for solar panels, there are a few factors that are going to pay a major role in that determination.
Is Your Climate Suitable for Solar Panels?
This isn’t directly related to your roof, but it always good to know. Most people think that they need to live in a climate where it always sunny for a solar panel installation to be a good fit for them, but that isn’t the case. In the United States, most of the states are going to experience seasons, and a solar panel installation is a great option! You should know that even if you don’t live in the sunniest of places, your solar power system is still going to create solar energy.
So, the state like California, Arizona, and Hawaii are going to produce a lot of solar energy, other states like Massachusetts produce a lot of solar energy. So if you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sunshine, you shouldn’t rule out solar power altogether.
The Roof Materials
When it comes to roofing materials, there are going to be some materials that work better with a solar panel installation than others. Any solar installer will tell you that corrugated metal, clay tile, corrugated metal, and rubber roofs are going to be more ideal when it comes to solar panel installation. However, rooftops that are made of slate, or wood shingles are going to be a little more difficult when it comes to getting a solar panel installation. Your solar installer will tell you that these materials are going to be more brittle and sometimes they can’t hold up under the weight of the solar panel installation.
If you do have a rooftop that isn’t ideal for solar panel installation, you don’t have to write off solar panels just yet! There are special mounting brackets and equipment elements that are going to make installing a solar power system on these rooftops possible. You will just need to make sure that you discuss the details with your solar installer.
The Roof Angle
Your roof angle is going to be vital when it comes to how much solar energy that your solar panels are going produce. The rooftops that are facing south are going to capture the most sunlight. The most direct sunlight hitting the solar panels, the more energy that your solar panels are going to produce. Ideally, a rooftop is going to face south at a 30-degree angle. This angle is going to considered optimum for capturing the maximum amount of solar energy.
The Age of Your Roof
Most solar panels are going to carry a lifetime guarantee of power production for 25 years, and studies have shown that solar panels can continue to produce solar power for up to 40 years. If you have an old roof that you think will need to be replaced before the solar panels, you may want to replace the roof before getting a solar panel installation.
A lot of solar installers have a background in roofing, and they may be able to replace your roof, or they can refer you to a company that will replace it for you.
You Roof’s Sun Exposure
You are going to need to make sure that your rooftop gets a lot of sun exposure, this is going to maximize the output of your solar panels. You will need to make sure that your roof gets the full amount of sun exposure between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. all year long.
You are also going to want to make sure that they are going to get direct sunlight on your rooftop, and that you aren’t going to have any obstacles that are going to cast shade on your test. If you aren’t sure how much a certain obstacle that casts shade on your rooftop will affect your solar panel installation, ask your solar installer, they will be able to give you a better idea.
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