Ology And External References
Solar production potential was calculated using the mean daily global insolation ) in Natural Resource Canadas photovoltaic potential and insolation dataset spreadsheet .
- We used values for a south-facing tilt where the installation angle equals degree latitude -15°.
- A 25% efficiency loss factor was then applied before getting the final kWh/kW/yr number.
- The top five populated cities from each province were used to calculate province and territorial averages.
While the data presented on this page is accurate to three digits, the maps here are intended to be illustrative representations rather than a precise geographic information system.
Check To See If You Have Enough Room
Now that you know the best places for panels, you need to see if you have enough space for them. Here’s how to get a rough estimate:
Does the number match up with amount of electricity you use per month? If not, you can still use solar panels to supplement your energy usage.
How To Use Solar Energy Maps
Solar maps can be used to answer two key questions:
- Question 1:How much energy can a solar power system produce per year in my region?
Answering this question is easy simply look at the value on the map or find your city below!
- Question 2: What size of solar system will I need to install to offset my annual electricity usage ?
You can easily calculate the size of the system that you would need to offset your annual electricity usage, as well as your total system costs, by visiting our Solar Cost of Solar page.
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Property Ownership Or Permission From Owner
Whether youre looking to install solar on a roof or as a ground unit, youll need to own the house and property. Or, youll need to have permission to install the solar.
A solar panel system can last over 30 years before needing to be replaced. That means youll have to make the decision of having solar on your home for, most likely, the entire time you own the property.
Do They Have To Be Attached To The Roof
The majority of solar panels owners choose to have their panels attached to their roof. This has led to something of an assumption that they have to be placed on the roof. But this is not necessarily the case. Roof-mounted solar panels do have plenty of advantages such as being out of the shade of trees, as well as being protected from heavy wind.
However, free-standing solar panels can also be valuable as they can be placed facing south and at any angle you wish.
If you would like to learn more about solar panels and how to get as much out of them as possible we have created a section with useful video content and FAQs. Alternatively, you can get in contact with us today to talk with our highly experienced team who will be happy to answer any questions you have: or Call: .
A Solid Structurally Sound Roof
Solar panels arent extremely heavy for their size, but they do weigh a good amount. For that reason, youll need to make sure that your roof is in good shape, that it doesnt need to be replaced anytime soon, and that it can handle the extra weight.
If you are in need of a new roof, then you can knock out two birds with one stone by replacing it when you decide to also install solar.
Youll also be able to regain some of the cost that comes with installing a new roof through the local, state, and federal incentives if you get it installed before those incentives go away. Any of our solar consultants will be able to help you work out whether or not you should get your roof replaced before going solar. Be sure to mention it right away if youre concerned about needing it replaced.
How Much Is Your Energy Bill
Knowing how much you pay for energy is the first step in evaluating whether your house is a good candidate for solar. The main question is, will it save you money? In some areas, electricity is very inexpensive. For most homeowners, the electricity bill is a dreaded monthly expense. The general rule is that solar makes the most financial sense for someone with a monthly electricity bill of at least $75. Why? Because going solar replaces utility energy with solar energy, and we want our customers to see a return on that investment by paying less for that energy. A utility bill of $75 is the threshold at which residential solar customers will see solar savings. There are several ways to go solar, depending on a customer’s needs and goals. SunPower offers zero-down lease, loan and cash purchase options each with different benefits. Ask your local solar expert about local and federal incentives and electricity policies where you live.
The overall idea is to pay less than you currently pay, lock in your electricity rate and save money by generating your own clean energy onsite.
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How Much Cloud Coverage Does Your Home Have
Beyondthe immediate vicinity of your house, there is another commonobstruction that creates shade and limits solar potential: CloudCoverage.
Clouds limit the amount of power that a solar panel can produce.
Solar panels only generate between 10-25% of potential solar power on days when it is cloudy.
Areas with lower cloud coverage are best for solar, areas that experience high levels of cloud coverage or fog have less chance to produce solar energy in the most efficient way.
However, even in the cloudiest cities in the United States like Seattle, Washington, roofs can be suitable for solar panels.
It all depends on the amount of electricity that you need.
Cities like Las Vegas, Nevada make it easy to choose solar for your roof.
With an average of 294 sunny days each year, the chance that a house is suitable for solar panels is very high in Las Vegas, as more sunlight means more hours of the day in which solar energy can be generated, used, or stored.
All in all, an obvious but important factor to know if your house is a good candidate for solar panels is simple: less clouds are better for solar energy.
Solar Production Potential By Province
Weve gone ahead and calculated the average solar production potential based on the five most populated cities for every province and territory in Canada.
This capacity to turn light into electricity is also a major ranking factor in our Provincial Solar Rankings.
Here is the annual average equivalent of full sunlight hours broken down by province:
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Home And Roof Regulations
If your home is a condo or townhouse governed by a homeowners association , you may not actually have the final say about what goes on your roof. Many HOAs regulate the outer structure of neighborhood homesincluding the roofs. So before you sign any contracts, find out what the HOA regulations are for solar panel installation.
Likewise, if youre a renter, you may not be able to make the decision to go solar on your ownits ultimately the landlords call. However, its worth contacting your neighbors to see if theyre also interested in solar power. If several tenants would like to install solar panels, you may be able to make a proposal to the landlord for approval to go ahead.
Determine Your Need For Solar
As were designing your home solar system, well be looking into how much solar you need. Depending on the amount of energy your home uses and how much sun your panels will be exposed to, we can determine whether or not a solar energy system is right for you.
Offsetting your energy bill is the greatest benefit of using solar. If your home is already efficient, it might not be worth it for you to put in solar. While this often isnt the case, its still something that we look into every time we work with a potential customer.
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Find Out If Your House Is A Good Candidate For Solar Energy
Sun, space and location can determine if your home can be updated with solar panels.
Is your house ready for solar?
Saving money and the planet though solar energy has a lot of appeal. Not every home is the ideal candidate, though. Here are some tips to help you decide if solar energy is a viable option for your home.
South Is Best For Homes With Net Metering
If youre in a location where full retail net metering is available, the best direction for your solar panels is south.
Thats because if 1:1 net metering is available, your priority should be to most efficiently achieve your desired level of solar output, with no regard to when that power is produced.
Let me explain. Solar panels facing south produce the most power overall, but they also produce most of it during midday. Midday is when your consumption is typically at its lowest, so there will be lots of surplus power produced. With net metering, surplus power is actually a good thing: you can export that electricity to the grid in return for bill credits equal to the full retail value.
In other words, if youre in a location with 1:1 net metering, it wont matter when youre producing solar power. Instead, youll want a solar power setup that produces 100% of your electricity usage at the minimum possible cost this can be achieved by orienting your solar panels south.
Learn more: What is net metering and how does it work?
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Best Positioning & Roof Direction For Solar Panels
The equator divides the worlds into two halves, the Northern Hemisphere above it and the Southern Hemisphere below it.
The United States is held entirely within the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, the best direction for solar panels on homes in the United States to face is South.
Asan example, lets say you live in Los Angeles, California.
The burning question on your mind is
Is my house in the Hollywood Hills good for solar?
Inthe best possible scenario, all of the solar panels on your roof facedirectly South.
But dont fret!
Your house may still be a good candidate for solar if the roof faces East and West, as your roof will still receive direct sunlight throughout the day.
Asthe sun rises in the East and sets in the West, solar panels placedon a roof facing East will generate more solar power in the morningand solar panels on the West facing roof will generate more solarpower in the afternoon hours.
Manyhomes are right for solar, even if the roof faces multipledirections.
If you are looking for a solar panel suitability checker, you can use for a fast, quick and easy way to see the amount of sunlight that hits the roof of your house every day.
Create A Solar Radiation Layer
To create the solar radiation layer, you’ll use the Area Solar Radiation tool. This tool is part of the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension and takes a DSM as input. It calculates radiation based on a sophisticated model that takes into account the position of the sun throughout the year and at different times of day, obstacles that may block sunlight such as nearby trees or buildings, and the slope and orientation of the surface. You can read more about modeling solar radiation in the Modeling solar radiation help documentation.
The DSM provides the necessary information on obstacles, orientation, and slope. The output will be a raster layer where each cell value is the amount of solar radiation in watt-hours per square meter at that location.
The Area Solar Radiation tool is computationally intense and can take between 20 and 90 minutes to run. For the purposes of this exercise, you will have the option of running the tool yourself or using a solar radiation raster layer that has already been created and was provided with the project data. Regardless of your choice, you’ll first learn how to select the right parameter values for the tool.
The Geoprocessing pane appears.
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How To Calculate Output On Your Roof Based On Its Direction
The easiest way to adjust for the impact of your roofs direction on your potential solar panel output is by using the SolarReviews calculator.
The calculator gives us an accurate output from which we calculate the cost and savings you will get based on your local solar prices and the amount you pay your utility company for electricity.
Get a custom solar cost and savings estimate
Utilize Solar Panel Trackers
If your budget allows, consider solar panel tracking systems. They can improve a systems output by ensuring constant, direct exposure to the sun, both during the day and across seasons. Axis trackers generate more electricity by using about the same amount of space as fixed systems.
However, its important to note that solar trackers are expensive. While a standard 4 kW fixed solar panel system costs about $11,400 after incentives, a single-axis tracking system that can produce the same amount of power – such as the Smartflower – is $20,000, or almost double that.
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Why Is The Platform Only Applicable To Homes And Not Other Larger Buildings
The Project Sunroof technology calculates solar potential for every rooftop. However, the system size and financial estimates found on the platform are tailored to residential buildings. The economics for commercial and industrial buildings are often different from residential buildings due to different regulations, electricity prices, and solar installation costs.
First Solar Site Check Find True South
Before you hire a site assessor, there are some basics you can check yourself. A good site for a PV array in the northern hemisphere has a location that is within 10° of true south. Remember that true south can be widely different than magnetic south. The US Geological Survey has a map showing the declination lines. Along the Mississippi River, True North and Magnetic North are close enough to ignore. In California, they are from 12° to 17° off.
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Calculate Power Per Building
Your map shows how much solar radiation each suitable raster cell receives. In this module, you’ll aggregate that data to determine how much solar radiation each building receives in a typical year. Then, you’ll convert the solar radiation to electric power production potential and examine the results.
Symbolize The Solar Radiation Layer
Next, you will symbolize the Solar_Rad layer. For your analysis, you’ll use uniformsymbology for all solar radiation raster layers to ensure that theycan be compared visually. You will apply a layer file with predefinedsymbology to the layer. This layer file was included with theproject data you downloaded.
The Symbology pane appears.
The layer file is applied to the layer. The new symbology appears on the map.
Red and orange colors indicate higher amounts of solar radiation, while yellow and blue tones indicate lower amounts.
North-facing roof slopes have blue and yellow tones, as they tend to receive less solar energy than south-facing ones. Additionally, roofs blocked by trees or other buildings sometimes receive very little solar energy.
In this module, you mapped the annual solar energy received on Glover Park rooftops. First, you created a solar radiation raster layer. Then, you converted the units of measurement and symbolized the layer for visualization purposes. Next, you’ll identify rooftops suitable for solar panels.
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Can Produce Pollution Initially
The pollution that is produced by solar energy systems is far less when you compare it with the other sources of energy. Nevertheless, the chances of pollution are still there.
During the process of transportation and installation of solar systems, it has been noted that there is some emission of greenhouse gasses. Even though the chances are eliminated after installation is complete, there is still emission of harmful gases.
The manufacturing process also includes the use of some toxic materials and hazardous products. These products can negatively affect the environment.
While the usage of solar energy may seem ideal, just like anything else, it has its own pros and cons. Consider all your options and analyze your energy needs.
Find out how profitable this endeavor can be and make a well-informed decision for your home!