Would It Be Entirely Crazy To Cover My Lawn With Solar Panels
I was just wondering how viable this would be and if this seemed too crazy. I have a fairly large lawn that just so happens be sloped and facing east. Assuming the city ordinances don’t bar me from doing it, would it be a good idea to cover most, if not all, of the lawn with solar panels? What other factors should I be considering?
- 1Facing south would be better, in the Northern Hemisphere. Whether it’s crazy depends on how much you like having a yard, how much work you’re willing to do keeping weeds at bay and guarding against erosion, and whether you expect to sell the house before the solar panels have given you enough net profit to make up for buyers being put off by the solar farm. Run the numbers and figure the odds. Roof arrays are attractive to buyers losing yard space less so. Ground panels may also be shaded by trees…Mar 26 ’15 at 14:29
- 1@keshlam: The reason panels face south is not to catch the morning light, it’s to optimally catch the midday light. There’s virtually no usable sunlight in the morning it’s all about the peak hours. If the array isn’t pointed directly south during peak hours the efficiency goes down. HankMar 26 ’15 at 14:42
- 2The cost of mounting panels at ground level is probably higher than on a roof, since you will need to provide some type of footings and structure to support them. If you are in the north, you’ll need footings that reach below the frost line.
I don’t know about “Crazy” but there are a few issues you should consider:
Why Would You Consider Using Your Garage For Solar Panels
Even if you live in a very sunny climate, solar wont work on a site that has severe shade. While partial shading is common in many home installations and can be mitigated to some degree with equipment choices such as half-cut solar cells and microinverters, heavy shade can restrict your solar production to the point where its uneconomical to install solar.
But what if you have a detached garage with a south-facing roof that doesnt get any shade? That might be a great solution for you, but only if the factors are right.
Ground Mounted Solar Vs Solar Pergolas Patios And Gazebos
Ground mounted solar panels are appealing for many reasons. They are easier to install being on the ground, and fixing is quicker too. You dont have to go up the roof to give it a good cleaning either. In terms of convenience it has the advantage over rooftops or pergolas.
There are two major drawbacks. One is being lower on the ground means lower output. There is no way a ground mount solar panel can match the output of a solar pergola, let alone a rooftop panel.
The even bigger disadvantage is the space requirement. You need sizeable land to install a solar panel big enough to run a house. You also have to get a permit from the local government before you can proceed with the installation. Unless you own a large land, ground mount solar panels is not an option.
Read Also: Does The Government Pay For Solar Panels
Solar Panels Are More Efficient Than Ever Before
Solar panels function best when theyre exposed to unobstructed sunlight all day long, from sunrise to sunset. In reality, however, few places offer ideal solar panel conditions.
Thanks to modern solar panel technology, solar panels can still be efficient when theyre in sub-optimal conditions. A modern solar panel may produce more energy from 4 hours of direct sunlight than an old solar panel would produce from 12 hours of direct sunlight.
What Roi Can I Expect From My Solar Panels
Currently, the general payback period for an average-sized residential solar system in Ontario is 8-10 years, once all costs are factored in.
If you intend to sell your home after the payback period, you can make an even greater ROI. Bluewater Energy have found that for each 1kW of solar installed, your homes value could increase by up to $6000. For an average home, its roughly a 3-4% increase!
Read Also: Do I Qualify For The Solar Tax Credit
Getting Power Inside The Cabin
From there, the rest of the solar install was a cinch!
Since the Inergy units are plug and use, we simply ran the heavy duty charging cord from the panels into the cabin.
All that was left was to plug it into the solar generator / battery pack, and we had full power!
The generator pack has 6 standard outlets, 2 USB charging ports and even a 30 amp outlet. And it has worked beautifully in the cabin.
We use it nightly to power our outside lights, and we have used it inside for everything from lights to making coffee. It has even helped to create an instant pot dinner in the cabin with ease!
Here is to a little off-grid cabin living! Jim and Mary
Solar Kits Eliminate Guesswork
You can cobble together your own system with individual parts, but that can be dicey. Matching the right collectors, charge controller and the battery takes some know-how. If you want AC power, youll also need an inverter that converts DC voltage to AC for outdoor solar outlets. All those components must be compatible and work together flawlessly or youll have big issues. Plus, the components have to be suited to the climate you live in. Some can handle extreme heat, cold or dampness while others cant. So unless you just want occasional short-term lighting, we recommend buying a kit.
You can find local or online companies by searching for solar kits. Most companies will help you pick a kit or design one for you to exactly suit your needs. Shopping locally can save you big on shipping this stuff is bulky and heavy. The kits listed below are from earthtechproducts.com.
Youll find many low-priced solar shed light kits, and most of them work finefor a while. But cheap kits often fail in about a year. So check the manufacturers warranty and replacement terms before you buy, and try to find online reviews from long-term owners.
Read Also: Can You Use Pine Sol On Stainless Steel
Install Your Panels On The Roof So They Are Not Visible From The Ground
When you are shopping around for the best solar panels for your home, there is a range of decisions that have to be made. One of the most important decisions is determining where on your property that these solar panels will be installed.
Since these decisions can vary from home to home and owner to owner, you may want to factor in a number of different essential things, including protecting your property from theft, too.
For instance, if you do not want any solar panel thieves to target your homes set-up, a good place for the installation is on the roof of your home.
Roofing installations make it difficult for most people to see the panels from the ground.
Does Removing A Tree Negate The Environmental Benefits Of Solar Energy
Some people believe that removing trees to create solar energy is a bad tradeoff for the environment. They believe it creates a net negative impact. After all, trees remove carbon dioxide from the environment by storing CO2, and we emit CO2 when manufacturing solar panels.
In reality, solar energy production has a net positive benefit on the environment even when you need to remove trees to install your solar panels.
Energy Sage actually did the math on this one. They cited data from the US government showing that one tree stores 0.5 metric tons of CO2 over its lifetime. Manufacturing a 5 kW solar panel system, on the other hand, produces 10 metric tons of CO2. That means when you remove one tree from your property and replace it with one solar panel, your net negative impact on the environment is 10.5 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
In other words, for the removal of one tree to make sense , the net CO2 reduction from that solar panel must exceed 10.5 metric tons.
Now lets look at the positive effects of solar panels. Panels generate 6,000 kWh of electricity per year for 25 years. Over a lifetime, that means a panel generates over 150,000 kWh of free electricity, eliminating 103 metric tons of CO2 that would have been generated from traditional energy sources.
Thanks to Energy Sage for doing the numbers on that one.
You May Like: How Much Electricity Does A 10kw Solar System Produce
Options For Solar Technology In Your Backyard
Powering your lifestyle with solar energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps protects the environment from climate change. On top of that, solar panels can save you money and can help you earn an additional income. If your primary goal is maximum electricity savings, installing solar panels directly on your roof is likely the best fit for you. Since the roof of your house is able to fit more panels than most of these other spaces, youll produce more energy and likely eliminate your entire electricity bill. Youll also be able to earn extra money through the federal tax credit and incentives like SMART. Plus, if your house has a solar system, evidence suggests that it will sell for a premium because buyers look for energy-efficient features.
Solar technology can easily adapt to your needs and preferences, and rooftop solar isnt the only option. Your backyard works, too. Locations like barns, pergolas, and garages are also perfect places to install solar panels. Even if these spaces arent directly attached to your home, they can still provide power to it. Additionally, if these systems are fixed, youll be eligible for financial incentives. Here are six lesser-known places in your backyard to put your solar-powered upgrades.
Is The Backyard Revolution A Hoax
Unfortunately, I can tell you that the Backyard Revolution system isnt related in any way to what MIT discovered, and that using the zigzag method to install solar panels can only help in installing lots of panels in a small area, but these panels wouldnt be as efficient as if they were installed all in the same angle.
This means that you actually need more panels this way, which costs more money, despite saving on the area.
Check out the last section of this Backyard Revolution solar system review for alternatives that work.
Don’t Miss: How Often Do You Need To Clean Solar Panels
Can I Put Solar Panels On My Pergola
As an Amazon Associate, this site earns commissions from qualifying purchases. For more details, clickhere.
When it comes to solar panel installation, we think of the rooftop first naturally. But panels can also be installed on a carport or anywhere on the ground. But what about freestanding structures like pergolas, gazebos or a patio? is it possible to have solar panels there?
Solar panels weigh 30-40 lbs. so if you are going to install it on a pergola, make sure the roof can support the weight. Strong winds could blow the panel off the pergola so the support structure must be robust. This applies to patios and gazebos as well.
Most Solar Homeowners Use The Roof Of Their Home For Solar Panels But Sometimes A Detached Garage Or Even A Shed Is A Better Choice
The average size of a home solar installation in the United States is around 6 kilowatts, which is about 17 high efficiency premium solar panels, or more if you go with a cheaper panel.
That many solar panels takes up a lot of space, and you would need a large available roof area to accommodate them. But sometimes, your roof might not be ideal for solar. It might be oriented east-west or, more commonly, you might have shading from nearby trees or buildings.
You cant exactly demolish a neighboring building that is inconveniencing you, and you cant always cut down nearby trees either. Does that mean that you have to give up on solar if the roof of your house isnt going to work?
Not necessarily. If you have a detached garage its definitely possible to install a grid-connected solar system on its roof. You could even make use of a smaller shed, but usually only if you plan to install a smaller off-grid system. The factors to consider include the available square footage, whether the roof is engineered to support the load, and the cost and logistics of running electrical conduit back to your main home and its electrical panel.
This can be more costly than installing solar on your main home, so well discuss the pros and cons in this article.
Recommended Reading: Where Are Sunpower Solar Panels Made
Homeowners Guide To Going Solar
Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country as an increasing number of Americans choose to power their daily lives with the suns energy. Thanks in part to the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year. You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your homes roof or finding another way to harness the suns energy. While theres no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out whats best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.
How does solar work?
There are two primary technologies that can harness the suns power and turn it into electricity. The first is the one youre likely most familiar with photovoltaics, or PV. These are the panels youve seen on rooftops or in fields. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in the panel, which creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow. Learn more about how PV works.
Is my home suitable for solar panels?
How do I start the process of going solar?
Can I install solar myself?
How much power can I generate with solar?
Will I save money by going solar?
Can I get financing for solar?
How can I find state incentives and tax breaks that will help me go solar?
Is solar safe?
What does mean?
Things You Should Know About Solar Panels Before Installing Them In Your Home
Solar panels are an energy saving home power solution that can help dramatically reduce both your power bill and your carbon footprint.
Installing them is relatively simple and although their one-time installation cost may be high, long term prices for these panels are remarkably reasonable.
Many commercial and residential dwellings use solar panels as part of their energy plan and use is only growing in popularity. This applies particularly to areas of the world where at least 6 hours of peak sunshine are available on a daily basis for large parts of the year.
However, even in less sun soaked places, panels can be installed and will still help reduce your power bill to some extent.
That said lets look over some important factors that you need to consider before installing a solar panel system in your own home or business. This is a fairly big decision and you need to have at least your basic facts straight if you want to go ahead with it.
Don’t Miss: What Battery Is Best For Solar System
How Many Solar Panels Does It Acquire To Charge An Electric Vehicle
The number of solar panels needed to fulfill the demand would depend on the size of your electric cars battery. Lets take the example of the Standard Tesla Model S that comes with a 75 kWh battery.
To understand how many solar panels would charge the Tesla model s, you need to get the information about each solar panel energy generation capacity.
When you have the details, you can easily calculate the number of solar panels you would require to charge the Tesla model s fully.
Remember that the solar panel decays over the period, so the charging capacity would go down as you start using it.
So consider the reduction in the power generation over the period. Your solar panel would be less efficient compared to the new solar panels.
A typical solar panel that you can buy easily from the market would generate 250 watts. These solar panels would produce around 30 to 42 kWh of AC per month.
The base solar panel has approx 1 kWh a day of AC electricity.
You calculate the solar panels approx power generation capacity of the solar panel, and you would require 70 solar panels to produce need electricity to charge your Tesla Model S.
So if you are planning to have the solar panel grid on your home roof, then first calculate the solar panels power generation capacity and know the efficiency and maintenance cost of the whole system.
It is a good idea to have your clean energy source ready to supply your home and cars required energy.
Where Will Electrical Conduit Go
Your detached garage may already have an electrical run going to it . Often, this will be a buried conduit. If you place solar panels on your garage for a grid-tied system, you will need another conduit running to the main panel in your home, which will carry the electricity that your solar panels generate.
Depending on the distance and complexity of that conduit run, this can get expensive. Obstructions like a patio or swimming pool make things more complicated compared to a backyard of grass. Be prepared for this to drive up the cost.
Read Also: What Size Cable For Solar Panels