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Put a Smile on Your Face by Pointing Your Solar Panels in the Right Direction

The amount of energy generated by your solar panels has a lot to do with the amount of sunlight falling on them. That is why the direction which the solar panels faces matters a lot. This is one of the reasons why solar panels perform well in sunnier areas than areas which are mostly cloudy. Homeowners with less shade on their roofs enjoy improved energy production from their solar energy systems. Research outcomes from various studies have shown that south is the best direction to face solar panels for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Internalizing this rationale, when solar panels are facing to the east, they will only receive sunlight during the morning hours but remain on the shade during the most part of the day. On the other hand, when the solar panels are facing to the west, they will receive sunlight during the latter hours of the day and receive nothing during the morning hours. Hence, when the solar panels are facing to the south, they will receive sunlight during the morning hours and during the latter hours of the day.

The fact that solar panels are mostly faced in the south within the Northern Hemisphere, it doesn’t mean that the solar panels have to be faced in the southern direction everywhere. The tilt of your solar panels will also depend on your latitude. Nevertheless, the two most ideal directions to face your solar panels are south and north. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, it is already determined that your solar panels should face to the south since the sun is always in the southern direction from you, which means that solar panels can receive the sunlight directly. There are also some studies which have shown that there is a difference between regular south and the true south. Some professionals have argued that the solar panels should face the “true south” and not the regular south. To make you understand this, the compass usually displays the magnetic south and not the true south. Basically, the compass usually points to the south pole of the earth’s geomagnetic field. This is the right general southern direction but not always the exact south. The solar panels should therefore face the true south from the geographical point of view instead of relying on the direction displayed by the compass.

You might be asking what will happen if your roof does not face to the south. If your roof faces east-west rather than south-north, you have a few options to consider. You may choose to compensate the direction by increasing the solar collector area. The solar collector area may be increased by adding more solar panels to your solar energy system. In this case, the increased number of solar panels will produce more energy to meet the load requirement but it will mean an increased budget. Another option would be to use solar panels with larger collector area. If these two options are not financially favorable for you, you can decide on installing the solar panels elsewhere other than your roof. This could be in your yard or any other area which will be less inconveniencing to you. All in all, you don’t have to worry about anything, your solar system designer will advise you on the best location for your energy system.

Categories Home Solar

Do Your Solar Panels Stand a Chance in HAIL?

Before installing solar energy system in your home, you may be wondering whether solar panels are subject to changing weather conditions or not. Solar panels are usually subject to changing weather conditions just like any other outdoor equipment. The solar panels may experience strong winds, heavy rain, and hails. By design, solar panels are designed and manufactured with the ability to hold up against inclement of weather. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) carried out a research between the year 2009 and 2013 to see how hail affects solar panels. The study found out that about 0.1 percent of all the solar energy systems had been affected, damaged, or underperformed due to varying weather conditions. Nevertheless, every solar panel manufacturer usually tests their products to ensure that they possess the ability to withstand hail storms.

Quality tests should be carried out on solar panels to ensure good performance over the 25 year guarantee period. The jurisdiction and the test center requires that several tests should be carried out before solar panels are out in the market. The general references to this subject in the United States are IEC 61215 and 61730 Standards. The general references are usually responsible for stipulating the design qualification standards for module durability. Ultra Violet exposure using xenon lamps is one of the tests that should be carried out. The solar panels should also go through thermal cycling in a climate chamber as well as humidity free cycling. Other tests include; the hail impact test, hot spot tests, corrosion tests, pressure tests which should consider snow, wind and other mechanical loads. Despite these tests, research shows that hail can affect solar panels especially for irregular sized hailstones. Hence, further measures should be taken in order to secure the investment.

Categories Home Solar

Measure Twice, Cut Once – The Length of Residential Solar

Sometimes, a homeowner or an industry would like to know how long it will take to install a solar energy system. They would also be interested in knowing how long such a system may last as well as the pay off period. The fact is that the solar panel installation process depends on various factors such as finding the right solar panel installer, or getting the quotes for the actual installation day. Other factors that may affect the installation time frame includes; local permit and inspection processes, the size and type of the solar panel system, utility company in case the system is grid connected, and the property characteristics. If the solar energy system is too large, it might take some days to complete the installation process. In case the solar system is small and involves just a few solar panels, it may take 1 to 2 days to complete the installation process. Hence, all these factors must be considered when you intend to estimate the amount of time that your solar installation process may take.

Categories Home Solar

Which areas of Houston, Texas are ideal for home solar installation?

Texas has witnessed the growth of solar power in the recent years following the campaign to invest more on renewable energy. The prices for producing solar power have also gone down and many people are thinking on how to produce, transmit, and sell power. Many customers across Houston would like to have 100 percent renewable energy for their homes. Many states across the United States wants to reduce their carbon footprint and solar companies in Houston too are scrambling to come up with ideal business models and infrastructure that can support renewable energy effectively and efficiently.

Categories Home Solar

The True Cost of Solar for Your Home – Does it Add Up?

It has been mainly circulated that a home solar energy saves on someone’s money, increase the property’s value, and helps to protect the environment. However, it is always appropriate and preferable to evaluate whether the claim is true or not before adopting a solar energy system for your home. The evaluation should be on the basis of the cost for a solar panel, the number of solar panels required, the amount of money that the solar electrician or the constructor is going to charge to install the solar panels, as well as the return on investment for the installed solar energy system. Therefore, it is necessary to answer the question whether it adds up to install a solar energy system for your home.