When we have a customer interested in installing solar photovoltaic panels for residential or commercial electricity generation, we first look to the roof for suitable installation conditions. The roof of a commercial building or house is prime real estate which is perfect for these panels to sit and collect the sun’s energy for electricity generation. First we must make sure your roof has the ideal characteristics for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels to ensure you’ll receive the benefits you expect of your solar energy system.
One of the most obvious characteristics we look for is space. A roof must have the appropriate amount of space necessary to install the number of solar photovoltaic panels needed for your system. If the roof of the structure isn’t large enough to house the panels, they can be installed elsewhere, such as on a pole or mounted in the surrounding yard.
It’s important that the roof’s orientation be optimal for sunlight exposure to make sure your system collects the appropriate amount of energy. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the sun moves along a southern path. Because of this factor, the ideal roof for installation of solar photovoltaic panels has a good southern exposure. If your roof doesn’t have a southern exposure, southeast and southwest exposures will work but offer about a 5% decrease in system performance versus a southern exposure.
The slope of the roof is an important factor when determining the ideal installation scenario for solar photovoltaic panels. To maximize system performance, we calculate the necessary tilt needed for your solar photovoltaic panels to capture the proper amount of sunlight. If more tilt is necessary for your roof, angled mounting brackets may be used for installation.
Space and orientation are just two of the roof factors we look at when planning to install solar photovoltaic panels at a residence or commercial location. Check out Part 2 of this blog series to learn about the additional factors: roof condition and shading.