If you want to cut down your energy bills and do something useful for the environment, one solution is to install solar panels on your property. Solar power offers a clean and renewable source of energy that requires little maintenance and no ongoing fuel costs. Installing solar panels does require an initial investment, but because you’ll be generating free electricity from them after they’ve been installed, it shouldn’t take long before you start seeing a return on your investment.
According to solar installation Sydney owner Mina Gilto, these electric generators are normally placed out in the open where they can catch as much sunlight as possible throughout the day, however, shadows cast by trees, buildings and other obstructions can easily reduce the amount of energy your panels receive, so there must be a more effective option.
Before you start installing solar panels on your property, use these tips for setting them up to get the most electricity possible.
Maximize Your Solar Exposure
The easiest way to maximize sunlight exposure is to place your panels facing south so they capture sunlight throughout the entire day as it tracks across the sky. The only problem with this is that if you live in an area where there are also many tall trees or buildings blocking the sunlight, you’ll be losing out on electricity because one good shadow will cover multiple panel units, reducing their efficiency. If you know for sure that your panels will be in the shade for significant parts of the day, you can use a tracker to keep them on course.
Maximize Your Roof Exposure
If you only have space for a few solar panels on your property, placing them on your roof is the best place to start. Since rooftops catch more sunlight than any other surface including open fields, putting these panels there stands to reason that they’ll produce more electricity than any other option you might consider. However, just like positioning them away from shadows, they must stay out of the shade as much as possible because one good shadow cast by trees or buildings could nullify their effectiveness, so it might take some creative thinking if this is where you plan to put your panels.
Avoid Morning And Evening Shading
Although we tend to think of trees as providing necessary shade in the summer months, they can also significantly reduce panel exposure during the morning and evening hours when the sun is closer to the horizon. Since these small shadows cast by leaves and branches can cover multiple panel units, this might not be a wise place to put your panels. During those times of day, if you’re looking for maximum exposure, mount them on posts or use ground mounts that allow them to tilt up towards the sky rather than facing parallel with the ground like many rooftops do.
Maximize Your Roof And Ground Exposure
If you want a good compromise between maximizing electricity generation while keeping obstructions out of your panel’s view, using dual mounts that put them up high on a roof and tilt them down towards the ground where they’ll be less likely to get shaded or putting them on posts that can be raised above surrounding obstacles is a good way to go.
Keep Your Panels Leveled
Although tilted panels can still become shaded by trees and buildings, it’s easier to keep unobstructed sunlight from hitting your panels if they’re properly levelled. If you have no idea whether your panels are level or not, invest in a home improvement tool such as a bubble level before finalizing which direction you want to face them. For your solar power system to work effectively all panel units must be facing the same way and level so they can all produce electricity without any one of them making up for the others’ shortcomings.
Keep Them Off A Tiled Roof
Although you’ll probably want to avoid walking on your roof while it’s being replaced if you have solar panels installed while this process is taking place, make sure they’re not placed in front of tiles that will be removed while the new tiles are put in place. It might cause damage to their wiring or significantly decrease their production, as shadows cast by missing tiles over multiple panel units won’t let them do their job properly.
Keep Panels Away From Your Home’s Walls
If your home is surrounded by trees that can significantly decrease the amount of sunlight your panels get, don’t place them alongside your home’s walls. It will limit their exposure to light, and might not put out enough electricity to power all of your appliances.