Going solar is an easy decision to make but whether you should install a solar panel array on your roof or in your yard may take some consideration. To maximize your solar panel system’s energy production, your system should be installed where the solar panels will be exposed to the most sunlight. This is why rooftop home solar installations are so popular. If your roof isn’t suitable for solar panels, you can also install the solar panels on the ground.
You don’t need ideal conditions to benefit from solar panels on your roof. Solar panels can be installed on most roofs so you can save on your electricity costs and help the environment, too.
South-facing roofs are ideal because they get the most sunlight over the course of the day. However, a solar panel system on an east- or west-facing roof can still produce enough energy to reduce both your electricity bill and your carbon footprint.
Solar panels can be installed on roofs with a pitch between 15 and 40 degrees. Even if your roof is flat, you can still go solar as long as you mount your panels at a good angle.
Things like skylights, dormers, and chimneys will affect the amount of space available. We'll be able to design the layout of your panels around these obstructions in a way that maximizes your electricity production though.
Solar panels can last for over 40 years, and removing them to replace your roof a few years after installation can be costly. Review our Roof Replacement Program to see if you qualify to get your roof replaced at little to no cost to you.
Solar panels are compatible with most roofing materials, including composite, wood, cement tile, slate, tar and gravel, or metal. While you can install solar on slate, cedar, and clay tile roofs, they are more prone to breakage during solar panel installation.
Ground mount solar panel systems offer benefits for all homeowners. Even if you are a good candidate for a rooftop solar energy system, there are many benefits to choosing a ground-mounted solar panel system.
First, ground-mounted solar panel systems are very easy to place, because they can be located on open land. They don’t require drilling into your roof, and the bracings used in standard ground mount systems are lightweight and easy to remove.
Second, a ground mount solar panel system can be more productive per panel than a rooftop solar array. Because they’re not dependent on your roof, ground-mounted solar panels are set at the perfect angle to optimize energy production. This means you can generate more electricity than a comparably-sized rooftop system, and save more money in the long run.
Finally, ground-mounted solar panels are very easy to access for cleaning and maintenance. If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow in the winter, being able to easily sweep the snow off of your solar panels is a major convenience.
While rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems are the most popular types of residential solar installations, there are alternatives. Anywhere the sun hits is a possible spot for a panel installation, and other structures besides a house roof can be outfitted with solar panels.
For residential properties with an ill-suited home roof for solar, there are several other ways to install solar panels. Structures like gazebos, patio covers, and sheds can all be equipped with solar panels without sacrificing any ground space. Of course, if you don’t have an existing structure to install these solar panels on top of, the added costs of building a new gazebo or shed to host the solar panels should be factored into your costs and savings projections as you’re considering installing solar.
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