Is Your Home an Ideal Candidate for Solar Power?

Solar power is far more than just a fad, and for many homeowners it can be used as a reliable source of year-round power. However, there are some details that you need to identify about your home and its surroundings in order to determine whether or not you'll have the same level of success. Homes without all of these characteristics can still benefit from solar energy, but to a lesser extent.

Look to the Horizon

Your sight line to the southern horizon is the biggest determining factor for your potential solar power production. In the northern hemisphere, the sun passes across the southern sky, dipping lower in the fall and winter, and rising again from spring through summer. Obstructions to the south of your home will interfere with the amount of sunlight your solar panels are able to collect, so a clear view of the southern horizon is highly beneficial.

In addition to obstructions, the orientation of your roof is also important, as the sloping sides make ideal installation points. The elevation of your roof will help to avoid shadows cast by low lying structures, such as small trees, underbrush, hills, or backyard sheds.  Ideally, a south-facing roof slope will provide the necessary angle and elevation to make a solar panel installation easier and more efficient.

Overcoming Adverse Conditions

Not every home is an ideal candidate for solar power, but there are ways to resolve that and still get quite a bit of use out of your solar panels. To begin, start by using a grid-tie solar system, which allows you to draw power from the municipal grid while generating power for your power company to distribute. Contact your electric company to find out whether they offer a discount or buy-back rate to customers with solar panels installed in this manner.

If your problem is limited to the orientation of your roof you can overcome this challenge by using mounting structures to elevate the panels. You can further enhance your installation's efficiency by using motorized mounts, which change the tilt and angle of the panel as the day progresses. These devices will ensure that ideal solar collection is achieved, regardless of their position on your roof.

Not every house is built to be an ideal place for solar panels, but that doesn't mean that they can't benefit. Even if that benefit is simply a lower electric bill each month, you have a way to take advantage of solar power and reduce your reliance on municipal power. Contact a service like DFW Solar Electric for further information.