Where to Place
In the Northern Hemisphere, solar modules should be positioned on Southern and Western facing roofs in order to obtain enough sunshine to generate electricity. Here is a brief roof checklist for solar:
- South facing: Does my roof have a South, Southeast, or Southwest facing area suitable for solar modules?
- Shading: Is there significant shading that will impact the performance of my solar modules? Heavy shading means that more than 20% of your roof is shaded throughout the day.
- Age and condition of roof: If there is a possibility that the roof will need to be replaced or repaired, it is advisable to perform the repairs prior to installing solar.
- Slope of roof: The slope of your roof may impact the energy production. Flat roofs, while easier to work on, may require tilted racking in order to get the maximum efficiency. Sloped roofs may get better efficiency, but require additional safety gear (such as harnesses) for the construction crew during installation.
- Roof material: Solar can be installed on most roof materials. Composition shingle, tile, foam, and metal are the most common. There are also options for homeowners with a clay tile roof.
- Obstructions on roof: If your roof contains many sun lights, chimneys, or other vents, then there may not be enough square footage to attach the solar modules. In some counties, a 3 foot border is required from the edge of the roof for fire safety standards. Your local solar installer will be familiar with any code requirements that may impact your installation design.
- Ground mount: For customers with available ground space, a ground mount is a great option.
More Solar Information For Homeowners
SunWize Solar Calculator
Our online calculator offers an interactive way to estimate energy tax credits, rebates, and return on investment for solar power for your home. ....more
Solar Information For Homeowners
There is a definite learning curve involved with going solar. Don’t worry SunWize is here to help. You will find all the basics in this section of our website. ...more
What's Your Solar Personality
There are many good reasons to consider purchasing a home solar system. For many people the appeal of solar is hard to describe. That is why we have created the Solar Personality Quiz. ...more