What makes any property or structure a good candidate for solar power?
Just like a pair of jeans, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. I’d like to be a size 2, but who can resist the red velvet cupcakes?
So unfortunately, not all households around the world are ideal for solar panels; this is dependent on the location and condition of the property. Luckily, a good number of areas that are densely occupied without too much obstruction from tall trees and buildings happen to be good candidates if carefully assessed.
Usually, preliminary assessment simply calls for whether your roof has ideal structural support as well as whether enough sunlight will have contact with the solar panels throughout the day for maximum energy yield.
As previously mentioned, a good number of populated areas are good candidates, but the same goes for less populated areas as well. Fewer neighbors usually equal less solar obstruction, right?
Therefore, population isn’t a basis for whether your particular property is ideal for solar power.
The area that The Solar Company specializes in and services, Northern California, is known for beautiful weather that is almost always sunny and nice minus the days where we need rain and some romance by the fireplace.
So what exactly should we assess to determine good solar candidacy?
Let’s go through some key factors.
As we all know, sunlight, in this case, is our energy source that provides us power. This means that the more sunlight the panel receives, the greater the amount of electricity generated.
Even on cloudy days, although not as much energy is converted, solar cells will still convert diffused light into electricity. It’s important to note that it’s a misconception that clouds yield zero power – there’s power, just less. Thus, depending on the cost of your electricity, solar panels may still be more advantageous in the long haul.
Our next concern is the roof itself. Can your roof support the weight of the panels along with other additional weight and pressure that may be added such as snow, rain, hail, and wind? How strong and long-lasting is your roofing material?
All of these play an important factor in determining the solar power suitability for your property. In some instances, if the roof is a poor candidate, ground options may be available so don’t be afraid to ask.
Another factor for ideal power yield is related to the position of your roof. The angle and direction of your roof can greatly affect the solar yield. This will be assessed by your contractor. Generally, you want your roof to be facing south.
Also, are you getting your bang for your buck? Calculating how much electricity you use and the current cost of your electricity compared to the amount of solar energy your property can receive along with the investment cost are very important in determining whether it’s all worth it. Depending on your city, you may even have incentives so don’t forget to factor that into your calculation. Mom always told me to make sure I do my math and this is why! Thanks, Mom.
Lastly, what is the one factor that is constantly mentioned throughout this post? Obstruction! The best position to be in is in a place that is free from shading. This includes trees, surrounding buildings, future constructions, and basically anything that creates shade.
So are you a good candidate?
Find out by calling or emailing The Solar Company to set up a free site visit and energy analysis.