For the majority of people, the question most asked about solar panels installation is: Do they have to go on the roof? The simple answer is no, but the benefits of using the existing structure are many.
To begin with, for maximum working performance a south facing slope at an angle of 30˚ is needed, and this should be free from any shade. Height above ground also helps, giving the ability to use gravity to feed the warmed water back to a holding tank inside the roof cavity.
As most hot water tanks are already situated somewhere near the top of the house, the installation will allow a shorter distance for heated water to travel, and less insulation needed on the return piping.
A roof mounted solar panels installation will also be free from the attention of most four legged pests that can damage the surface of the panels. Make sure there are no overhanging tree branches for roosting birds, as the bird droppings can do severe damage to the collection plates.
Choose an area on the roof that can easily be accessed from the ground for ease of maintenance and cleaning. You will not have to do this very often, as the best part of any solar panels installation is that they have very few working parts that can go wrong.
Many people unfamiliar with the needs and visual aspect of solar power confuse the two main types of solar panels installation.
The straight panels, or flat plate collection systems, need much less space than the electricity generating Photo-voltaic cells. The straight panels only provide heated water – which in itself is a contribution to savings in the household utility bill.
Although the photo-voltaic cells require larger space, most home roofs will have sufficient space to meet the potential requirements for generating a home’s power. Visually a solar panels installation will not adversely affect the neighbor’s view anymore than any other roofing material. There is no need to add any structural load bearing additions either.
If anyone is considering adding a solar panels installation to the design of a new building, there is very little extra cost involved and the payback time will be only a year or so, considering the savings that can be gained from this eco-friendly power source.
Never be concerned by a flat roof, as it will simply require a frame be constructed that supports the panels at the required angle. In these cases the installer will need to provide insulation at the rear of the panels to keep the warmth in, and the cold out of the system.
We recommend that a professional installer be consulted when the decision has been made to go ahead with some form of solar power, but as with any investment it is prudent to check references and measure performance claims carefully.
This will even apply to those people who are skilled enough to undertake the project themselves. Solar panels installation will take only a matter of hours to be up and running after all the parts have been assembled, so for home owners everywhere: use the basic advice here to get the interest and motivation to turn the theory into reality soon and start saving!