Any homeowner in the early stages of shopping for solar panels will ask themselves what direction does a roof need to be facing for peak sunlight exposure. Naturally, you want to make sure that sunlight reaches your solar panels so that the more energy you generate, the more money you will save on monthly electricity bills. Maximum efficiency solar panels rely on the sun’s rays, that’s a given. But, before anything, realize that your solar investment will reap rewards for years to come owing to factors like the cost of energy and available incentives, much more so than roof position.
North, South, East or West?
The general rule of thumb is that a roof should face south so that it’s exposed to direct sunlight, resulting in ultimate power production. Though south-facing solar panels are the conventional guideline for a solar panel system placement, panels installed on a roof that doesn’t have direct southern-exposure could be a little less effective. In any case, they will still produce large amounts of electricity – not to mention you will rake in big financial returns each year.
Ideally, your roof should orient between 290 and 70 degrees. Regardless, an experienced solar installer will assess your roof and advise you on the perfect placement for your panels. When examining a solar site for feasibility, shading is also considered as it can potentially impact the productivity of your system. In matters involving tilt, roofing types (slate, shingle, tile) and angle perspective (setting your panels at the optimum angle to maximize the daily and seasonal solar energy), SolarGaines experts examine all aspects of your site’s viability for solar efficiency.
The 5-step process of a solar panel installation for a commercial property is not so different.
Cloudier cities are still a good match for solar
A misconception commonly associated with the economic viability of solar panels is that they need to be placed in a sunny location, in addition to a southern-facing roof. In fact, solar users across the US that don’t live in cities boasting optimal climate conditions still meet most of their electricity needs. You see, a solar panel system produces energy all year-round and can still generate sufficient amounts of energy on a cloudy day, and yes, all the more during cold winter months. The reflection of the white snow as well as cold temperatures can actually improve your solar panel output. Bottom line, you don’t need to be in a sunny place for solar to make sense.
Picture this: while electricity consumption is at its peak in the evening when people come home from work or school and turn on their lights, TVs, air conditioners, and run their dishwashers, solar owners can benefit from significant savings just by reducing their demand on the grid. Add to that other local, state, and federal incentives to help cover the initial cost of your installation and you’ve got a ticket to energy freedom for decades long.