Today, preserving the environment is more important than ever before, since the consequences of global warming and climate change are already visible. One of the ways to do that is by using sustainable energy sources – and one of the most popular sources is solar energy. Making solar panels a part of one’s home is becoming more common, and there are plenty of reasons for that. So, if you’ve been thinking about this option, here are a few factors to consider when choosing the right place for your system.
Positioning and Tilt Angle
If your home is located in the Northern Hemisphere, you should face your solar panels South. On the other hand, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, your solar panels should be facing North for maximum efficiency. This is extremely important if you want to install your solar panels on the roof of your house – if the only available space is not one of the above, depending on your location, you might want to consider other options.
This other option can be grounding your solar system in your backyard. Another detail to consider here is the tilt angle. Again, your roof has limited possibilities in terms of inclination, but if you’re grounding your solar panels in your garden, you can set this as well. The best tilt angle depends on the season, but on a fixed PV system, you have to choose one angle that works best throughout the year, which also means that if your roof angle is not designed with that in mind, you will probably have some annual energy losses. Again, with ground-mounted systems, you wouldn’t have this problem because you can set the tilt angle yourself. So, if you have plenty of room for solar panels, and you happen to be from the Land Down Under, you can find quality 5kw solar system from Sydney– just don’t forget to face it North for best performance.
Additionally, it’s important to note that solar panels can be installed on the water as well. However, it would require a bit larger body of water, like a lake or a pond, so it’s better suited for agricultural lands or reserves. They’ve shown to be very efficient when installed this way, but there is still research to be done about the effect on the water environment beneath the panels.
One thing you need to think about when installing your solar system is shadows. Shadows can greatly reduce the efficiency of your panels, which is why you should take into account nearby trees, other houses, and anything else that could create shadows, and do whatever you can to reduce the shade.
Maintenance and price
In terms of maintenance, cleaning your solar panels is easiest when they are on the ground. Plus, the air flows more naturally this way, so this is another advantage. That being said, ground-mounted systems are a bit more expensive because the materials for them cost more, and there’s more work to be done when installing them as well. Similarly, installing solar panels on the water is quite expensive as well, and maintaining them is even harder, so this option is best left to the professionals.
What you should also consider is your own lifestyle. If you need more space in your backyard for your outdoor kitchen, pool, kids’ playground, pets, or anything else, placing your solar system on the roof might simply improve the quality of your lifestyle.
To sum up, choosing the best place for your panels depends on many factors, from your house positioning to your budget. So, consult your solar system installer for the best solution, think about the above-listed things, and you should be able to find the balance between your lifestyle and the efficiency of your solar system.
Disclaimer: This particular post is contributed by John P Basta. Sir John is a landscape architect and horticulturalists based in Perth. Also, he is a freelance blogger and a regular contributor to Smoothdecorator.com.