How to Make Your Home Qualified for Solar
May 04, 2018
by EmPower Solar
IF YOU WANT TO INSTALL A SOLAR SYSTEM FOR YOUR HOME – HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN MAXIMIZE YOUR INSTALLATION:
Is your home good for solar? If you’ve done some research, and are worried that it wouldn’t be possible to have your own solar system installed, it’s important to explore what options you do have. Most homes weren’t originally built “solar ready”, but with a little information, it’s very likely you can still power your home with the sun, even here in a seasonal climate like New York.
When adding solar to your home there are some different factors you may want to take into consideration. Ask yourself, do I have a north facing roof? Do I have large trees near or around my house? Are there obstructions on my roof including; various roofs surfaces, skylights, attic fans, chimneys and vent pipes? If you have answered NO to all these questions, your home is the dream candidate for home solar. You likely have plenty of space on the roof with optimal exposure to the sun. If you have answered YES to any of these questions, don’t fear, your dream of owning a home solar system is still possible, with just a few preliminary steps before install.
Your house does not have a south-facing roof surface, that’s okay! (180° south is the ideal direction a solar array should face to maximize production). Just because you don’t have a south-facing roof surface does not mean you are disqualified. Many homes with solar have panels on both the east and west facing roofs that catch the sun on the east side in the morning and west in the afternoon and evening.
If you’re worried about a big tree in your yard that may be casting a shadow over your home, don’t worry, you can have shade report done. The shade report is done with a sunID, which is a device that will triangulate your home, obstructions surrounding your home and the track the path of the sun. A shade report determines how much shade coverage you have on your roof. After the share report is done you’ll be able to determine if that pesky tree needs to be removed or just trimmed.
Some roof obstructions can be moved with ease, while others may be a little more difficult and would need a different approach. Obstructions such as skylights, roof hatches, and chimneys are components that are more difficult to move and the panel layout would need to be designed around them. Other obstructions such as vent pipes and attic fans can be moved to alternative locations. With some simple planning, you can have them relocated to different places on your roof, thus giving you the flexibility on your array design.
Are you worried about your home is structurally sound and strong enough to support a full array of panels on your roof? A simple structural analysis can be done by one of our qualified engineers will determine whether a knee wall would be required or not. A knee wall consists of extra bracing and reinforcement in one’s attic to ensure the extra load on the roof won’t cause any damage.
Another concern could be that you haven’t upgraded your main service panel and meter in a long time. If you’re worried about it being too outdated for solar, there are only a few upgrades that would need to be implemented. EmPower has fully trained installers who are capable of dismantling your old enclosures and replacing them with new up to date equipment, ready to be integrated with solar.
You may think going solar on your home won’t work, but it only takes a few simple adjustments to your home, and you can be the proud owner of your set of solar panels.
with Our Solar Solutions
About the Author
EmPower Solar develops, engineers, installs, and services solar and battery systems for residential and commercial clients. Since 2003, EmPower Solar has empowered thousands of New York homeowners and businesses with 47 megawatts of distributed solar. Its vision is to create a new energy paradigm powered by clean, renewable energy for a more prosperous, healthy, and civil world. The company culture is defined by the EmPowering Way, which results in consistent 5-star customer service reviews. For more information visit empower-solar.com.