In order to determine that your location is suitable for solar photovoltaic cells or not you must gather the answers for these questions.
1. Does your location collect enough sunlight?
2. Are there any obstacles like trees, and buildings blocking the sunlight? Do obstacles need to be cleared to get more sun?
Let’s discuss these two questions to know what information you must have about pre-installation of solar panels.
Does your location collect enough sunlight?
It depends on the weather condition of your location. Overly cloudy weather is not suitable for solar cells. Fortunately, in the US almost all locations receive sufficient sunlight to effectively install solar panels. You can consult weather resource or solar resource map to gain knowledge about solar capacity of your location.
Are there obstacles in the path of sunlight?
This second part of solar site survey is more critical and requires more attention. It is very important to install solar panels at the location they are exposed to maximum sunlight. There could be trees, buildings and other structures obstructing the solar panels get maximum energy. To find out, possible obstacles in the path of sunlight different techniques can be used. For this purpose, you are required to find out the track of the sun across the sky. Sun changes its path throughout the year and adopts different track in different seasons. So if you are looking for obstacles it is very important to know the path of the sun for a whole year. Sun charts are available for different locations that can help you assess the track of the sun for your location.
There is another way to identify the different obstacles blocking the sun rays to reach solar panels. Build a three-dimensional model of your home and its surroundings or draw a map, in both ways you can locate the hurdles standing in the path of solar energy.
Smith Sustainable Design is experienced in performing solar site surveys to aide in installation decisions. We perform a thorough analysis of your space to determine the ideal location for your solar system panels.