As the Government is providing support in the form of tax incentives and subsidized equipment, many homeowners might be thinking of going green by installing solar power kit on their home to not only contribute to environment preservation but save on their energy bills as well. But the solar power system need spare space to install the solar panels known as installer.
This short blog post provides the following 9 points that should be kept in mind when deciding where to put the solar power kit:
1. Solar panels need to be installed facing sunshine.
In Northern Hemisphere, the Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels should face south to get maximum sunshine. So it doesn’t matter whether you install your panels to your rooftop or on the ground or on out building such as shed or garage, the only deciding factor should be availability of south facing section to get maximum possible sunshine.
2. Any obstruction to sunshine decreases the panel’s efficiency.
So it should be taken into account that the place you are considering to install the panels shouldn’t have shades resulting from your trees, your neighbors’ trees, vents, air conditioning units, and any other obstructions that could shade your panels.
The solar pathfinder can be used in finding the sun’s angle changes over the course of the day as well as in different seasons round the year. These solar pathfinders can be obtained from most of the solar stores.
3. The life span of a solar system can be around 20 to 50 years.
So they are going to provide you energy for a long period of time. Obviously, you should keep in mind that over the period of time the panels need to be shade free. So it would be good to keep your panels away from your trees and bushes unless you are prepared to trim them.
4. Generally solar panels are installed at 45 degree.
At this angle, they tend to clean themselves but in some areas, where dirty rain, heavy dust or snow accumulates, the solar panels need to be manually cleaned using garden hose or a long handled broom. So if you put them on roof tops it might be very inconvenient and dangerous to clean them.
5. You should have a rough idea about the space requirements.
The common take around one square foot of space per ten watts capacity generation so if you planning a 3,000 watts capacity installation for your home you will need 300 square foot area.
You will also need 3’ by 3’ area near your electronic meters to install the necessary components. Moreover, if you want a batter bank as well, you will need space equivalent to large chest freezer.
6. The angle of the sun changes .
Over the course of the say as well as during different seasons over the year. The tracking system automatically follows the sun and maintains the optimum 90 degree angle to the sun. But if you planning to install them without a tracking system you can adjust the angels manually or fix them at the angle equal to the latitude.
For example, Spokane, Washington which measures 48 degree latitude will fix the panels at 48 degrees from horizontal. Adjustable panels produce more energy so it will be good idea to keep them at optimal angle.
7. Solar panels produce direct current.
DC is prone to transmission loss so it requires more expensive high quality wire. Naturally, if the units are placed at larger distances from home, they raise installation cost. So, closer units are very cost effective.
8. It is also expected from you to behave like good neighbor.
You solar panels might cast a shadow to your neighbor’s yard reducing the output of his bushes or block their satellite dish. It will be good idea to consider and consult your neighbors as well.
Although, most of the municipalities are themselves promoting renewal energy and should have no objection for your solar system, you should make sure that you don’t violate any terms and conditions imposed by the planning authorities.
So giving a visit to local municipal office and talking to someone with authority on the matter would be good idea to ward off any future issues.
9. Save money with Do It Yourself (DIY) approach.
Solar panels installations cost a lot so if you plan to do it yourself you can save quite a good amount of money as nowadays kits are very installation friendly and can be easily installed. But it should be kept in mind that working at higher places can be dangerous and you are not afraid of heights.
So it is recommended that you should obtain the permits. By obtaining permits you will be sure whether you are allowed to install the kits by yourself or not. As any wrong connection can damage the entire system, you should always have a licensed and very experienced electrician doing the final connections and preferably all the connections.