Good question. Many homeowners and business owners have the same question. When considering a solar investment on your roof, there are a few items to consider. The letters SSRR may help you remember the basics.
As you might guess, the path of the sun in relation to your roof has a big impact on your solar array. If you live north of the equator, a south facing roof is ideal, but any roof from east to west, with the exception of north, may work well. Of course, live south of the equator and a north facing roof is the best candidate. The angle of you roof also plays a role in the efficiency of you array. The further north or south you are from the equator, the higher the angle you may want to help your panel get a full dose of the sun's energy. Solar speak for these two factors are Azimuth (degree of your roof in comparison to south) and Tilt (angle of your roof in relation to the sun in your region).
An YYOPTO professional can provide you with an accurate estimate based on your roof's azimuth and tilt.
Another factor affecting your solar potential is the shade cast by trees and other buildings or structures on your roof. No shade provides you with the highest solar value, but you may find you really love that tree on the western side of your roof that provides afternoon shade on your deck. What to do? While heavily shaded roofs may not work for a solar array, some shade can be worked with – there is even specific solar equipment designed to minimize the impact of shade. Your YYOPTO representative can help you determine the potential impact in your situation. If you do decide to eliminate a couple of trees, remember this, experts estimate that the green impact of even a small solar array is the environmental equivalent of planting 20 or more trees each year (EPA estimate of the impact of a 1kW solar array)
3) Roof Condition
While almost any roof style (pitched, flat, steel, rubber, asphalt) can be appropriate for a solar system, it is true that you will want to install your array over a roof in good condition – one that will require minimal maintenance over the life of your solar array (up to 50 years!). Most arrays can be removed and re-installed reasonably if roof repair is needed many years down the road, but it is best to install solar over a roof already in good repair. YYOPTO works hard to insure its representatives and installers understand the needs of your roof and are experienced professionals who will make sure that your roof is well sealed. We even run our installation process by roofing manufacturers to make sure our practices keep your original roof warranty intact.
4) Regulations and Incentives
Finally – where you live plays a big role in how your solar investment pays you back. Does your utility encourage and allow solar? What permits and regulations apply? What sort of credits and incentives are available to solar owners in your region? While most locations in the world are good for solar, some are better than others because of factors like: high electricity rates, the availability of Renewable Energy Credits, Net Metering Credits, or a Feed-In Tarriff, and friendly codes and regulations designed to encouragerenewable energy investment.Whatever your situation – we would love to serve you by offering a ee, no pressure evaluation of your solar potential. Even if your location is less than ideal, strategies like Community Solar may allow you to go solar in an ideal location with friends and neighbors.