The solar energy industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years and during that time the technology surrounding the use of solar panels has improved beyond measure.This means that even the most shaded home in the least sunny part of the country can benefit from having solar panels on their home.
However, it is a product which works best in certain circumstances. The following points should be kept in mind if you are considering if a solar panel will work well on your home.
- A solar panel will collect energy from sunlight at any time of the day and in all weathers, however the amount of the energy collected will vary depending on the position of the panel and the strength of the sunlight on that day.
- A south facing roof will collect the most sunlight and generate the most energy.
- The slope of the roof is also a contributory factor in how much sunlight reaches your panel. An angle of between 10 and 20 degrees is considered optimal, but other angles can still produce effective energy.
- In some cases simply adding more panels will allow enough energy to be produced, even if the slope or position of the roof is not optimal. Solar installers will be able to advise on this.
- If your roof is shaded by trees or other buildings for the entire day, then you may need to consider if a solar panel is best for you. Full shade for the whole day will not allow you to get the best from your solar panel and installing a free-standing solar panel elsewhere in your garden may be a better option. Trimming trees may be a cost effective solution.
- Walls can also be used for solar panels if the roof is not a viable option. Any south facing wall which gets good sun for part of the day would be ideal.
- If you have a flat roof you can install a solar panel within a frame which will tilt it to the correct angle.
- If you are hoping to install solar panels to heat your hot water, you will need to ensure you have the correct type of boiler. A hot water cylinder is required, so those with a combi-boiler will need to bear this additional cost in mind.
One of the main considerations for anyone installing solar panels is the question of money. It is clear that if the installation costs are going to outweigh the overall benefits, it may not be best for you. You will need to be sure that the position of your panel optimises the sunlight and therefore the amount of energy you get. If you do not get enough energy from the panel it will not be worthwhile in money terms.