Optimizing Your Solar Panel Installation

Posted on: 28 May 2015

While it's possible for virtually any house to benefit from solar panels, the right installation can make a huge difference in how much power they generate. While some of the factors affecting power generation are beyond a homeowner's control, there are several factors which you have complete control over. Once you know what these factors are and how they affect power production, taking steps to address them will make sense on both a financial and an environmental level.

Solar Panel Orientation

Proper alignment and orientation result in more of the total surface area of your solar panel receiving direct sunlight for a greater duration, regardless of the time of day. Ideally, this is done on a roof's south-facing slope, due to the tilt of the Earth's axis and the change in daylight hours as seasons change. While resources exist online to help you, most solar panel contractors will be able to use a compass and a level to help determine the best permanent position for your solar panel.

How a solar panel is positioned, both in relation to the ground and in relation to the sun, will have a major impact on how much power it generates. Finding an optimal position requires a bit of research so that you can determine how to precisely align the tilt and angle of your panels. You can further improve your power production with motorized mounting devices and automated sun-trackers, which will constantly re-orient your panels to ensure the best possible exposure, regardless of time or seasonal changes.

Placement and Obstructions

Finding the right place on your property for a new solar installation can mean the difference between all day energy production, and missing the light for several hours each day. Neighboring structures and looming trees are just a few potential obstructions, and the easiest obstacles to deal with. The first step is finding a location on your property which receives direct sun throughout the greatest portion of the day.

While roof mounts are the most common approach, ground mounted solar panels are an alternative approach. Mounting racks can be oriented to achieve the optimal alignment of your panels, though you will need to run wiring back to your home or to your electrical panel in order to take advantage of this. Just remember, there's no rule that says your solar panels must be mounted directly to your home.

Properly installed, your solar panels can lower your energy costs significantly. By taking control of those factors which you can influence, you can get a great deal more production from a single solar array than you might have expected. For more information, talk to a professional like AAA Solar Source.