solar installation

11 Oct Should I install my solar panels on the roof or a ground mount?

The ideal location for a solar energy system varies by the given property. If a house has a sunny south-facing roof, this is often the perfect location for the solar panels. Otherwise, a garage or even a shed might be an option. If none of these locations are ideal, a ground-mounted solar system might be the best option. The Sundog Solar design specialists can analyze your property to determine the best place for your solar panels.

Does the roof have obstruction?

If the roof has dormers, skylights, chimneys, and vent pipes, they can limit the available space for the solar panels. Dormers, gables, chimneys, and other architectural features can also create shade.

Is there south-facing roof space?

Solar panels that are mounted facing south will generate the most energy. In some cases, we can install the panels facing east or west, but this will decrease the total energy output somewhat. In many cases, this is still preferable to a ground-mounted system. We do not recommend installing solar panels on north-facing roofs except under special circumstances. If you do not know the exact orientation of your roof, you can look at free satellite images of your property.

Is the roof shaded?

The more direct sunlight the solar panels receive, the higher the solar energy production. Trees, other buildings, and even the house itself can all hinder solar panel performance. If the house roof is shaded, is there a garage or shed with a sunny roof? 

Evergreen trees can have the most significant impact on total solar energy production, while trees on the north side of the home will typically cast little or no shade. A little morning or late afternoon shade might not have a significant impact on solar system output, but mid-day shade can be detrimental.

Is there enough space on the roof for my solar panels?

The amount of space needed for solar panels varies by the electric loads of the home. For example, if the house has an electric hot water heater and heat, it will typically need more space for solar panels. If a home has a propane water heater and heating system, it will usually have a lower power load.

The amount of space needed for solar panels also depends on the project goal. Some homeowners want to produce 100% of their energy from solar, while other solar shoppers might be alright with a lower percentage. 

Is a ground-mount ideal?

Are there sunny places in the yard that are conducive for solar panels? If there isn’t sufficient south-facing roof space, a ground-mounted system might be ideal. Another option is to build a shed with a south-facing roof. 

These options are more expensive than a roof-mounted solar system because of the material and labor costs associated with the racking system. In the case of a solar shed, the structure performs two benefits.

The best way to determine where to install your solar panels is by getting a free consultation from one of our solar design specialists. Request a free solar site survey to get started!

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