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Iceni Magazine | January 26, 2021

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Your Definitive Guide to Determining the Suitability of Your Property for a Solar PV Installation

Solar PV Installation

While many of us already know that solar panels are often found on roofs and can benefit the most from a roof installation, especially when the roof is facing southwards and the panels are installed at a specific angle (30 to 40 degrees, to be precise), not many of us are completely aware of other factors which can affect the effectiveness of our solar panel systems.

Of course, if you are to install a solar panel system, it pays to clear out any obstructions such as trees and make sure that your roof is fully exposed to the sun. But as mentioned, there are other aspects to consider as well. So what are these aspects which can affect how effective your solar panel installation will be? Here’s your definitive guide.

The general rules

The general rules are easy to remember: it’s best to have a roof that faces south, and it’s also best to make the angle of the panels around 30 to 40 degrees. But while these factors are ideal, it doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a roof facing south or have your panels installed at 30 to 40 degrees, your solar panel installation is worthless. It just means that you can get the most benefits – and savings – from a roof that faces south and with panel installations of 30 to 40 degrees.

Other pointers to consider:

  • The size of your roof

The roof size only matters based on the size of the solar panel array you would like to install. If you would like to install a standard or basic 4kW system, you would require about 28 sq. metres of space. But you also have to remember any areas which can obstruct or interrupt your solar panel layout. This would include such installations as skylights, roof vents, or turrets. Fortunately, a good installer such as the solar Cheshire professionals from Atlantic Renewables can usually work around these obstructions, but it may still affect the total cost of your installation. 

  • Shade on your roof

If you get a lot of shade on your roof, this can affect the energy produced by your solar panels – and if there is too much shade, this may even end up damaging your solar panels as well. If your roofing has too many shadows on it for long periods of time, you may well want to consider other options, such as ground-mounted solar panels. An expert installer should make a good assessment of your prospective system and the best solution for it, and they should provide you with recommendations so your system can work.

  • Your roof material

The material from which your roof is made can also have an impact on your overall installation expenses, but most systems can be easily installed on different kinds of roofs. You just need to think carefully about the strength of your roof as well. An installer should assess your roof structure, where they may recommend the strengthening of your roof if necessary. 

If your roof is made from asphalt shingles, this is the ideal, as it is durable and reliable. A metal roof is also a good thing, especially since you can easily fit solar panels on it. Tar roofs are often flat, so your installer may recommend the installation of brackets so the panels can tilt, and the same is true for a gravel roof.

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