Designing the right solar PV system for your home is essential to getting the best value from the system and, here at Comera Energy, we have years of experience of building bespoke solar PV systems for homeowners and businesses alike. In this article, our lead consultant, Richard Percival, shares some common questions (which many homeowners may not even have thought of) that he considers when designing a solar PV system.
Is my roof large enough?
This might sound obvious, but do you have a roof space that can fit at least 4 panels? Most panels are about 1.7 metres by 1 metre so you’ll probably need around 7 square metres of roof space at least.
Which direction does my roof face?
In the UK, the sun is mostly in the south. This means that south-facing roofs will usually provide the best energy generation. However, southeast and southwest facing roofs are also worth considering. In fact, placing panels on both the east and west-facing roofs can provide a more balanced generation through the day by catching the sun, both in the morning and in the evening.
What type of roof do I have?
Roofs come in all shapes and sizes: sloped or flat, tile or metal. This will affect how you’ll need to install your solar panels. Solar panels generate the highest output at a 35 to 40-degree angle, for example, so if you have a flat roof, you may benefit from an angled mounting system. Our team of experts know roofs inside and out, and can design a safe mounting system which maximises output and minimises the chance of damage to your property.
What’s the shading situation?
It goes without saying that solar panels work best in direct sunlight but, in the real world, objects like chimneys, dormer windows or trees will often cast shade on your roof at least some of the time. Our designers will take account of this when designing your solar PV system in order to minimise the impact on power generation. This might mean placing panels away from extreme shading or using DC power optimisers to stop shading on one or two panels from impacting the whole system.
How will I know what I’m generating?
The best way to monitor the amount of electricity you’re generating – and consuming – is by using a SMART monitoring system. This system will show you what you’re using, down to a half-hourly basis. This can also be combined with a battery charging system, which will help you to store any surplus power for use later.
If you’re looking to install a Solar PV system or just have questions on solar power, Richard would love to hear from you. You can get in touch at Richard.Percival@comeragroup.co.uk.