Solar Panels on the Roof Yes or No
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Solar power is fast becoming the go to renewable power source for those that wish to generate their own power in a clean and effective way. More reliable, less maintenance, and silent compared to wind solar can be a great option for new and already existing homes. When deciding to add solar to your home there are lots of options to consider about the system like,
Pro’s of Rooftop Solar
The most obvious positive to rooftop solar is the space saving is provides. The roof is already there and it can provide a solid anchoring area for the solar array.
Good Orientation to the Sun
Depending on which direction the house is oriented and the pitch of the roof you could potentially have excellent solar exposure with good generating capacity.
Help Protect your Roof
One not so obvious upside to rooftop solar is that by covering the entire south/west facing roof of your house with solar panels you provide a layer of protection from the sun and other elements. Panels these days are designed to be tough and can take a beating from hail, wind and of course the sun. This has the potential of extending the life of the roof which can be a substantial money savings
Con’s of Rooftop Solar
Even though solar panels are low maintenance you will still have to check the wires and connections from time to time. Having them on the ground also makes it a lot easier to expand the system or replace other components as needed. Plus in the case of snow storms or buildup of dust or other debris it is much easier to clean panels of the ground than on your roof. This clean off is particularly critical when you are off grid and rely on the panels for your power.
Not Optimal Sun Exposure.
No matter how carefully you build the roof to your house you will not be able to orient the panels in such a way to maximize your solar gain. This is because as the Earth moves through its seasons the sun gets lower or higher in the sky. This means that to keep the panels producing at their best possible you need to change how they are oriented to the sun. Also when panels are on the roof they are unable to track the sun across the sky during its daily traverse which again limits how much they can produce.
In my personal opinion I am personally more fond of placing solar panels on racks on the ground since it allows me to maximize production and make maintenance easy. The roof can be put to a better use in maximizing house efficiency which can reduce overall electricity needs. .
For more information check out other articles here on the Green Living Library.
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