Is my home suitable for solar panels?
Do you use electricity?
Do you have a roof (not essential)?
The answer is probably yes, in which case solar is likely suitable for your home. Solar panels don’t need much to operate beyond plenty of natural light.
Most people want their solar panels on their roof, so that is the main consideration for determining if your home is suitable for solar panels.
If you like the idea of mounting your panels out of the way on your roof, here’s what we look at to determine if your roof is suitable for solar panels:
North-facing panels will produce the most energy overall, but you might be surprised that roofs facing East or West still produce 85% of what a north-facing roof would produce.
Ten years ago when solar panels cost way more than they do today, North was in vogue.
Thanks to Swanson’s law solar panels have come down in price a lot since then.
With the massive reduction in costs of solar panels, it’s not essential to obsess over North. In fact, having a spread of East or West can work better for homes that use more power in the morning or late afternoon.
East-facing panels produce more energy in the morning, North produces the most in the centre of the day and West produces more in the afternoon. Multiple aspects can give you a really useful energy curve throughout the day.
The angle of your roof is usually the best angle to mount your panels. Panels produce the most energy when the sun’s light hits them perpendicularly. So in summer, flatter panels are better and in Winter, steeper panels are better.
If you need more energy during the Winter and your roof angle doesn’t cut it, we can use equipment like tilt frames, to lift your panels up. This helps generate more energy. Tilts may be a good option if your roof angle is below 10º.
A 15º-45º roof will give you the best year-round performance. But we will work with you to analyse your energy use throughout the year to see if it’s worth increasing the angle or sticking with what you have.
Another useful option when thinking about tilting your panels up is just increasing the number of panels to make up for the low angle. This will not only increase your Winter output, but also the output for the rest of the year too!
Condition of roof
Unless your roof is full of holes, rusty or plagued with rotten timbers, then it’s probably ok to put panels on it. This is something that we will look at before drawing up your design.
Sometimes people choose to give their roof a good clean before the panels go on; we can point you in the right direction for some local roof cleaners. This should only need to be done if it is full of lichen, most of the time cleaning is unnecessary.
If some obvious repairs need doing, it’s possible to remove the panels for roof repairs or replacement, but it’s more convenient to address this from the beginning. Especially if the roof is likely to need work in the short term. Remember that solar panels can last for 30+ years, and will often help the lifespan of your roof by providing some protection.
Putting the panels on your roof is usually our first choice. However, if your roof isn’t suitable, we can also look at a ground mount system.
Our team will look at all of these factors when putting together your proposal and will provide you with production estimates based on your roof orientation and pitch.
Get in touch for your free proposal.