Before your solar panel installation it is best to have a site evaluation done by a person qualified to do it. If you can’t afford a site evaluation, you can perform one yourself, but you should do a lot of reading and preparation so you know what to look for.
Here’s a good example of a solar site evaluation being performed by a solar panel installation professional.
Some of the high points of his solar panel installation evaluation:
- Orientation of the roof is mostly south, slightly east, which is good for the location in question because of the high likelihood of late afternoon cloud cover in this particular region. Paying attention to local conditions is one of the keys to success.
- Roof pitch is 40 degrees, almost ideal for a solar panel installation.
- The roof, which is an older cedar shake roof, is not recommended for a solar panel installation. Because the owner in question is replacing the roof prior to installing solar panels, in this case it doesn’t matter.
- There was very little, if any, shade to factor in. Trees are some distance from the installation, and even accounting for the lower sun angle in winter, would not factor in heavily.
- Average cloud cover for the location needs to be calculated against the cost and expected output.
- Location of the electrical service box and future solar inverter, and an evaluation of the current electrical service need to be figured in. In this case the box was in a very good location on the north side and with enough overhang to protect it from the elements. For the service in question one thirty amp breaker would be needed in the breaker box.