The United States solar market is worth an estimated $25.4 billion and is expected to represent 30% of the country’s energy market by 2030.
So, it’s no wonder that solar system installations are popping up everywhere and that while many people are thrilled with their solar panel design, others are wondering what happened.
To get the most out of your solar power, you need to consider several factors, including location and power needs. You may have an issue if you don’t take the time to get these steps right.
Also, you should always rely on a trusted installer to get the job done.
In the following article, we’ll discuss five issues you should pay special attention to when installing solar panels.
1. Orientation of Solar System Installations
You can generate solar power anywhere in the United States and shave off plenty on your utility bills. However, when learning about solar you’ll discover some parts of the country are optimized for solar power more than others.
The South, West, and Sun Belt are perfect for solar power because they get more blue sky days than anywhere else in the country. Also, they have more daylight for longer most of the year.
Even in these areas, though, you should be mindful of the orientation of your panels. For example, with the sun rising in the east, you want to position your panels to capture this morning sun.
If possible, you should position your panels to catch the afternoon sun as it sets in the west.
On that same principle, if you use more power in the morning, focus on those east-facing panels to maximize power generation when you need it the most.
2. Shadows on Your Panels
As you look to install panels on your house, you can minimize your solar cost by making sure your panels are not obstructed. This could be by overhangs, other buildings, or tree branches.
As you plan your project, make sure to trim back any trees that could put your panels in shadows or situate the panels to avoid shade producers.
3. Too Few Panels
If you miscalculate and install too few panels on your home, you may generate power, but the cost per watt of capacity spikes. This means that while you may pay less for the initial installation, the cost to pay off the system takes a long time.
In effect, you are lengthening your return on investment, in many cases longer than the panels are efficient.
4. Too Many Panels
If you add many more panels than you need, you increase the price of your initial installation. This can make the purchase really expensive and entail hidden costs.
While many power companies will give you credit for power that you feed into the grid, this credit is no good if you never use it.
Also, many electricity companies now charge a feed-in tariff for excess energy production, which can further reduce your bottom line.
5. Unqualified Installers
One of the most important factors to consider when avoiding excess solar costs is contracting with a reputable solar installer. As stated above, home solar is a multi-billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, with all that money around, plenty of fly-by-night companies proffering incredible service and value when all you get is shoddy workmanship.
Make sure to check the companies you get quotes from with your state’s better business bureau, and don’t be afraid to ask for references in your area to check on their customers’ satisfaction.
Consult an Expert
Solar system installations can do wonders for the environment and your wallet. To ensure you have the right system for your needs, consult an expert and ask for a home energy audit. They’ll review your power needs and your roof’s suitability.
This way, you’ll know what you’re getting into before buying.
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