If you Install solar panels in an ideal place, it can directly affect their energy generation. PV modules can generate enough electricity by getting enough direct sunlight. Generally, solar panels are installed on the ground and roofs.
Position, placement, and orientation are crucial factors to consider when choosing to install solar panels. In this article, we are going to discuss ideal places for solar panel installation. Let’s dive in.
Ideal Places for Solar Panel Installation
Maximum exposure to sunlight is the goal when installing solar panels, therefore, making roof installations more popular. Homeowners can also choose ground-mounted solar to have enough production from solar.
There is a reason why solar panel installers will always first consider the roof. It is at a vantage point, and it offers more exposure to sunlight which guarantees more production. However, when this is not an ideal option, they can recommend ground-mounted solar. Various factors are considered when installing solar panels, whether on the roof or mounted on the ground.
1. Inclination and Orientation
Solar energy technology brings about versatile applications. Often, you can see solar mounted on flagpole lights for security, and recent technology aims to introduce solar roads. Additionally, we have solar panels mounted on calm waters across a few countries in the world.
However, regardless of the technology in use, solar installation has to deal with inclination and orientation, guaranteeing maximum energy yields. Generally, the sun follows a designed path throughout the year. This movement depends on the location. Also, azimuth is a specific angle beneficial to solar energy production.
When choosing solar panel installation azimuth angle, one considers two preferences.
- Northern Hemisphere:Places located in this region need to have solar panels installed facing the South.
- Southern Hemisphere:Places located in these regions should install their solar panels facing north for increased performance.
Solar panels installed in the US should face South. Ideally, all solar installations should follow this recommendation, whether it’s a large solar farm or a residential installation. Roofs facing South, South West, or southeast are ideal for PV module installation. If your roof has a northern orientation, you can go for ground-mounted solar.
Your backyard can make for a good site for solar panel installation. Mostly, roofs with a northern orientation have a backyard facing south, making it an excellent place to install ground-mounted solar panels.
Apart from looking at orientation as a direct influence on direct normal irradiance, inclination or the tilt is also an essential factor to consider. When installing solar panels on the roofs, the installation angle is the same as the roof.
Notably, this tilt angle is influenced by the season. However, unless you are installing a tracker, you need to choose the best angle for the fixed PV system. Ground-mounted solar can be configured to any tilt position.
2. Space Availability
One of the factors solar panel installers look at when designing your PV system is space. Sometimes, when installing solar panels on the roof, one can be limited by space. If the space is small and it can affect performance.
When the orientation and inclination are taking into account, the space to mount the solar on the roof can be very limited. Ground-mounted solar can be a good option in this case. However, the space on the ground for installing solar can also be limited. If you have a small backyard, it can affect the installation. Under this option, you need to choose the location that will have a lot of energy production.
3. Shading and Obstacles
As solar panel installers assess your property for solar panel installation, they look at factors such as potential shading and obstacles. Shading reduces the energy produced. Such obstacles should be avoided when installing solar panels, as the shade can potentially damage solar panels.
Generally, rooftop solar and the one mounted on the backyard can have shared problems in this area. There are various possibilities for shading on obstacles, making it hard to choose the best place to install solar.
Ground-Mounted Solar Vs. Roof Top Solar
The main factors considered when installing solar panels are similar for rooftop and ground-mounted installation. Additionally, each of these installation types has its advantages and disadvantages.
First, ground-mounted offers more choices when you look at inclination and orientation, making them much more preferable. However, it is not easy to pick a clear winner when it comes to space or shading.
If you are presented with these two options, additional factors such as cleaning the solar panels and cooling are some that you can consider. In this case, ground-mounted solar will have more advantages than rooftop solar.
However, ground-mounted solar may not be easily seen, and they cost a bit more than rooftop solar. They need more materials to mount the panels and build a foundation which increases the cost. Additionally, they are also labor-intensive.
As you can see, deciding the best place to install solar panels can be a bit difficult. However, when you work with a reputable installation company, you can get professional advice on the best place to have them. You can engage the installers as they assess your property to come up with the best solution.