Most homes are a good candidate for solar electric.  Having enough space for the equipment, and minimal shading, are both key factors for a good candidate.    Virtually every home is solar ready.  The solar electric power that is generated from the solar array enters the house through the existing “main electric service panel”.  Every house has an electric main service panel.  This is where the electricity enters the house and it is where the electric meter is installed.

Some homes, however, are better candidates for a solar electric system than others.  Some of the factors that make a home a “good” or “bad” candidate for a solar system are as follows:

SPACE FOR THE EQUIPMENT:  The solar modules, that generate the electricity, are about 32” x 60”, around 13 square feet each.  The average house will require somewhere between ten and forty solar panels, which equates to 130 to 520 square feet of space.  The solar panels need to face either south or west for optimum performance.  The solar panels can be mounted either on the roof, or on the ground.  Both installation techniques require racking to hold them up off the ground or attach them to the roof.  In either case, there must be enough available roof space, or space on the ground, to install the solar array.

SHADING:  The solar panels require unobstructed sunlight throughout the day.  If the preferred location for the solar array is shaded, even for a part of the day, the amount of generated electricity will be reduced.  In the case of a system that is receiving an incentive or rebate, a shading analysis must be submitted along with the application for the rebate.  Shading will reduce the size of the rebate as well as the amount of electricity generated by the system.  Shading can negatively affect the rate of return on the investment.  So it is important to evaluate this issue properly.  A professional solar electric company has equipment that can evaluate the shading impact on the proposed array location with a great deal of accuracy, before it is installed.  If you live in Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village or the San Fernando Valley, you can contact Solartronics, Inc. at (818)889-0440 or email ron@mulick.com  for a free site analysis.

FACTORS THAT ADD TO THE COST OF INSTALLING SOLAR ELECTRIC:  The type of roofing material can have an impact on the cost of the installation of a solar electric system.  A concrete or clay roof tile roof system is more work than a composition shingle roof system.  Another issue that is common is an overloaded or crowded main electrical service panel.  Since the solar electric system “lands in” or is “connected” to the main service panel, there must be room on the bus bar (the place where the circuit breakers are installed).  If there is not any room for another 220v breaker, or if the load on the electric panel is close to its rated maximum load, an upgraded panel will have to be installed.

Installing a solar electric system is a complex job that includes electrical load analysis, waterproofing roof penetrations, safely running electrical circuitry, handling high voltage lines, working safely on high, angled surfaces, and handling the paperwork required for the solar incentives.  All of these items require a professional firm that has experience and insurance.

SOLARTRONICS, Inc. is a solar electric design and installation firm located in Agoura Hills, CA, servicing the cities of Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Camarillo, Calabasas, North Ranch, Hidden Hills, Malibu and the San Fernando Valley.

Call (818)889-0440 or email ron@mulick.com  for more information or a free site analysis and price quote.

 

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