What To Deal With Before Installing Solar

30 September 2019
 Categories: , Blog

Before you have a solar energy installation company come to your place to do a project, it's a good idea to know some of the basic issues associated with the job. Let's take a look at four concerns every customer and solar energy system company should address going into a project.

Do You Have a Good Geographic Location?

The solar energy potential of a location is critical if you're concerned about just how quickly you'll be able to recoup your investment. Fortunately, the U.S. Depart of Energy publishes a map that shows how much solar energy potential is available in the country. That potential is measured in watt-hours per square foot per day, with a higher number being better. The estimates provided when you hover over the map account for long-term local weather conditions.

Similarly, you'll need to have a good southern exposure. You might be in the most energy-rich part of Arizona, but it doesn't mean much if there's a mountain, big tree, or high-rise blocking your southward view of the sun most of the day.

The Roof

Roofs are the normal place for banks of solar panels to be placed unless you have a sizeable stretch of nearby flat land that you're able to utilize. This means that there needs to be a good south face on the roof, and it has to be large enough to house the necessary capacity for your needs.

You'll also need to verify that the roof is in solid shape. It may be necessary to have a roofing contractor assist you with performing repair or replacement work to ensure that the underlying support beams and decking are solid enough to support the weight of the solar panels you'll be installing.

Calculating Capacity

A good rough figure to work with is that a standard solar panel will produce about 250 watts per hour, although some pessimistic estimates place this closer to 220 watts. If you get 4 hours of full sun per day during the least sunny time of year, then you'd have 1 kilowatt-hour of output. In a month, you'd be able to generate 30 kWh of energy with a single panel.  


The sun isn't always up, and that means you may want to store some of the output your panels produce. Battery-backup solutions require additional electrical work to make sure the electrical system in a house is properly conditioned. Alternatively, you can feed the energy back into the grid.

Contact a solar energy installation company like Sterling Mountain Solar LLC to learn more today.