Energy for the New Age

Choosing Solar Panels For Your Residential Solar Collection System

Adding solar panels to your home can be a big project, and it is vital to select a system that offers enough power for your needs. A solar panel alone does not determine the system's potential but will play a role in the amount of electricity you can make over a specific period and store for later. 

Collection Potential

When looking at solar collection systems, you need to decide if you want enough electricity to power your entire home or just offset the electricity you buy from the public utilities each month. Each solar panel you add to your system will increase the potential collection amount but needs to be in the proper orientation to be exposed to the most sunlight over the course of the day. 

Generally, a solar panel facing the southern sky has the best collection potential. However, there are times when that is not possible, so panels should be placed facing east or west but not to the north. East or west-facing solar panels will get sunlight in the morning and late afternoon respectively. However, north-facing panels are in the shade nearly all day and are may not perform well.

The location, solar panel size, and the type you use can change the number you need for your system, but the solar contractor you are working with can help you configure the system to maximize its potential and provide the power you need. 

Mounting Panels

Each solar panel in your solar array needs to be mounted securely in a spot that protects it from damage while allowing as much sunlight to hit it as possible. The solar panel can sit on your home's roof, an outbuilding or garage, or ground mounts constructed from steel or aluminum. 

There are also stands that hold several panels in a group and use sensors that allow the stand to move and track the sun all day. Tracking stands are a great way to maximize solar collection, but they can be expensive to install and set up. 

When building your solar array, you typically will not mount one solar panel at a time, so look for a solution that allows you to place the panels together and wire them in series for maximum solar collection. It is also essential that the solar panels are close to the solar management and storage solution you are using. 

Long runs of cables from the panels to the storage bank can result in some power loss through cable resistance. However, if the panels are close to the batteries, the loss is reduced, and you can store more electricity to use in your home when the sun is down. 

For more information about solar panels, contact a local company.