If you're considering installing solar panels on your home, you've probably already run into the concept of a sun number score. The sun number is a straightforward way to gauge your home's solar potential, and this number takes numerous factors into account. While the structure of your home is the single largest factor, it also considers your climate and local energy costs.
Of course, having a high sun number score is great, but not everyone's home will knock it out of the park. While new builders often try to account for future solar panel installations, older homes may have roof pitch, shading, or orientation issues that limit their potential. Fortunately, you can use these three tips to get the most out of a solar panel installation, even if your home's sun number is a bit low.
1. Work With a Qualified Installer
The most important thing you can do, regardless of your home's solar energy potential, is to work with a qualified installer. Working with an experienced contractor ensures a safe and reliable installation, but many more benefits exist. In particular, knowledgeable contractors can work with you to design a system that fits your specific home.
If you're dealing with issues that may limit your solar potential, your installer should be your primary resource for overcoming these drawbacks. They may be able to recommend specific panels better suited to your needs or suggest ways to improve the amount of power you can generate from a limited space or poor roof pitch.
2. Consider Alternate Installation Strategies
A typical solar panel installation utilizes a single side of your home's roof. This approach provides the best combination of cost and panel efficiency for most homes. However, your sun number score also assumes that you'll use this installation strategy, so a large portion of the score depends on your roof's characteristics.
In other words, a poor sun number doesn't mean your property isn't well-suited to a solar panel installation. You may be a perfect candidate for a ground-mount solar panel installation if you own a lot of property. These installations provide more flexibility and may allow you to overcome obstacles such as inappropriate roof pitch or too much roof shading.
3. Use Secondary Structures
Sometimes less is more, but sometimes more is more. When it comes to solar panels, fitting more panels can often overcome other limitations. Of course, you only have so much roof space, so what can you do? If your property includes detached structures, such as a shed or separate garage, these may make perfect locations for additional solar panels.
Another option is to use more than one face of your roof. While it's typical to only install solar panels on the side of your roof that receives the most sun, putting more panels elsewhere on your roof can be an excellent way to squeeze more power from your system.
For more info about solar panels, contact a local company.