Residential solar systems are designed to meet the household’s routine energy requirements through the day, night, and varying seasons. But, how do solar installers create a system that optimally meets each household’s needs?
Broadly speaking, solar companies can consider your monthly energy consumption and put together enough PV cells that meet your needs. But, the cumulative wattage of your solar panels is not the only factor that goes into determining the solar energy production estimate of your system.
Here are some other important factors:
- Solar Panel Efficiency
The efficiency of your solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity determines the number of solar panels you need for your system. The higher the efficiency, the lower is the number, and therefore, lower are the costs.
You’d want to get high-efficiency solar panels to save on upfront costs and get long-term power bill savings.
For regions in the northern hemisphere like Massachusetts, the optimum orientation is North-South, which is quite unintuitive to most people who feel that it should be East-West. The latter results in the solar panels receiving less direct sunlight during the day and, therefore, producing relatively less solar power.
Solar panel orientation is a more critical factor than tilt, which most people worry about. As long as the solar panels have a 30-45 degrees tilt, they are at their optimum efficiency.
Trees, buildings, and any other structures that obstruct sunlight from falling directly on your roof reduce your solar power generation. You may have to get rid of such structures when possible or design the solar system such that it’s not affected by the shade.
If there’s no way to circumvent the shade, we can go for a ground-mounted solar system when you have sufficient garden area, which does not
- Equipment Type
Besides solar panel efficiency, there are other ways your choice of equipment can affect solar energy production estimates. For instance, microinverters are substantially more efficient than string inverter systems.
Likewise, installing trackers that rotate the solar panels to receive direct sunlight throughout the day can also boost solar power production. However, these improvements in solar energy generation are only marginal and not groundbreaking for most households. So, if you don’t wish to increase your installation costs, you can ignore these altogether.
Solar installers take into account several technical factors, geographic constraints, and property types to come up with pretty accurate solar energy production estimates for your system.