Preparing For Solar-Important Tips Before Going Solar for Beginners

Below is listed a video and its enriched transcription revealing the most valuable tips and requirements for going solar fast and cost-effectively.

If you are new to the solar power and solar power systems we highly recommend to watch it.

This video is an excellent refresher in case of future solar installation on your property as well.

Slide 1
Tips before going solar.

Slide 2
Is your building solar-ready?
Now, even if your area and location have a good solar potential, your building might not be suitable for installing a photovoltaic system.

Slide 3
Your building is prepared for installing a solar system if:
• You have already made it energy-efficient,
• Your roof is unshaded, at least during the sunny hours of the day,
• Your roof has a Southern orientation (or Northern orientation, if you live in the Southern hemisphere), and
• Your roof is in a good condition.

Slide 4
How to evaluate your site for solar resource availability? The next slides show what kind of conditions you need to install a solar array.

Slide 5
First of all, the spot needs to have a clear and unobstructed access to the sun throughout the day (between 9 o’clock in the morning and 3 o’clock in the afternoon) and throughout the year.
This means lack of any obstacles between the sun’s rays and the solar array’s surface – trees, chimneys, lamp-posts, neighbor buildings, etc.
A spot may be unshaded during one part of the day and shaded at another part of the day. Furthermore, a site unshaded in summer might be shaded in winter, as the low position of the sun in winter casts longer shadows.

Slide 6
Next, it should have preferably a South-facing roof (or North-facing roof, if you live in the Southern hemisphere).
A True South (or True North, if you live in the Southern hemisphere) orientation is not mandatory.
A somehow South-East or South-West (for the Southern Hemisphere North-East or North-West, respectively) facing roof is also acceptable.
It has been proven that deviation within 20-30 degrees of the True South (or True North – if you live in the Southern hemisphere) results in less than 10% degradation of solar panel’s performance, which is somewhat acceptable.
Pure Eastern or pure Western orientation, however, is not recommended, since solar panels should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.

Slide 7
Some solar installers might try to talk you into installing the solar system on a pure East or pure West facing roof either because their target is to sell as much as possible or because it would be easier for them.
You should mind that installing a solar system on a roof facing East or West might result in 20% degradation of system performance, which is a serious compromise!

Slide 8
Last but not least – you need enough space for placing solar panels.
The area you need for your solar system depends mainly on
– How much energy it is designed to produce,
– Types of solar panels you are going to install, (monocrystalline, polycrystalline or thin-film), and
– The size of the solar panels (to a lesser extent since, as a rule, solar panels do not vary much in size).

Slide 9
The condition of your roof does matter, although a solar system can be installed on any roof type.
As a rule, roofs with composition shingles are the easiest to work with, while roofs with slate are difficult.
If your roof is relatively old and needs to be replaced in the near future, in order to minimize any redundant costs, a smart idea would be to replace it at the time of installing the solar system.
If you have a new roof, consult both your solar provider and roof repair company how the installation of a solar system will affect your roof warranty.
There are two options for installing solar panels – either mounting the solar panels on the roof or replacing the roof tiles with solar panels.
If solar panels are mounted on the roof, this has the following drawbacks:
– Panels must be removed upon performing any roof repair or replacement activity.
– Installation of brackets and racks could cause roof leaks,
– Roof warranty may be affected, and
– Some people might find this unattractive.


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Lacho Pop, MSE, holds a Master's Degree in Electronics and Automatics. He has more than 15 years of experience in the design and implementation of various sophisticated electronic, solar power, and telecommunication systems.  He authored and co-authored several practical solar books in the field of solar power and solar photovoltaics. All the books were well-received by the public. You can discover more about his bestselling solar books on Amazon on his profile page here: Lacho Pop, MSE Profile