7 Types of Homes Where You Will Want to Avoid Installing Solar Panels
Solar energy is one of the most promising renewable energy sources available today. It is a clean, cost-effective and reliable form of energy that can be used to power homes, businesses and utilities. Solar panels, quite literally, turn the sun’s energy into usable electricity that can be stored or used to reduce energy bills.
Unlike wind turbines, solar energy does not require an external energy source and can be used both day and night. Despite the numerous advantages of solar panels, unfortunately, not all homes are suitable for installation, as certain homes are at risk of not receiving enough sun or not having enough available roof space to make the installation worthwhile.
Risks of Solar Panel Installation
North Facing Roofs
The most obvious disadvantage of north-facing roofs is that they do not receive any direct sunlight. This means that even the most efficient solar panels will struggle to generate the electricity required to power a home. Furthermore, the northern hemisphere is generally cooler, and this may affect the efficiency of any solar system installed.
Little to No Roof Space
Due to their size and weight, solar energy systems require a significant amount of roof space for efficient operation. Unfortunately, some homes have little to no roof space, making solar installation impossible. Additionally, if your home has a steeply pitched roof ,the available space may be too small.
Heavy Shaded Roofs
Solar panels need direct sunlight in order to generate electricity, so any heavy shading on the roof can dramatically reduce the efficiency of the system. Trees, chimneys, neighbour’s buildings, satellite dishes and satellite dishes can all drastically reduce the amount of available sunlight and cause significant issues with the solar energy system.
Weak or Damaged Roofs
It is vital that the roof is in a good condition before installing a solar system since the array adds considerable weight to the roof structure. Any strong wind or rain will put additional strain on the frame, adding to the need for the roof to be structurally sound, and if there are existing weak spots, it is unlikely that a solar energy system will be installed.
Too Shallow or Too Steep Roofs
Solar panels are designed to be installed on relatively flat surfaces. In order for the solar cells to capture the most energy possible, the system needs to be installed on a roof with a pitch of around 30%. If the pitch is too shallow, then the roof is unlikely to be suitable for a solar system, and if it is too steep, then they may need to be installed on a racking system, which is more expensive.
Many people opt for a loft conversion to maximise the amount of space in their homes, and while this may be convenient, unfortunately, it can prevent a solar system from being installed. This is because the engineer who installs the system has to ensure that the wiring is safe, secure and properly insulated. This may not always be possible with a loft conversion, as there may be insufficient space for the cabling and the roof structures may not be suitable for the installation.
No Power Use During The Day
Solar systems require the energy generated during the day to be used during the same period in order for them to be cost-effective. Therefore, if your home does not require any energy during the day, it does not make sense to install a solar energy system, as any energy that is produced will be wasted.
The good news is that there are solutions available for people with homes that are not suitable for solar installation. Researching the different options available can help you to find an effective way to reduce your energy bills and take advantage of the free energy provided by the sun.
It may be possible to install a smaller system with fewer solar panels, or to adjust the angle of the panels in order to maximise the amount of light that they receive. Additionally, it is also possible to install solar panels on other areas of the home, such as a garden shed or garage, although extra cabling may be required for this to work effectively.
For those who are unable to use solar energy, there are other renewable energy sources available, such as wind turbines and hydroelectric power. Wind turbines require a specific location and often need planning permission before they can be installed, but many homes may benefit from installing a small turbine.
Alternatively, you could also look into biomass and geothermal energy. Biomass can be generated with wood, waste or agricultural crops, while geothermal energy can be used to heat and cool homes, as well as generate electricity. Both of these sources are becoming increasingly popular and can help to reduce the environmental impact of your energy consumption.
To sum up, it is important to bear in mind that not all roofs are suitable for solar energy systems. North-facing roofs, heavily shaded roofs, weak or damaged roofs, roofs that are too shallow or too steep, ones with no loft and homes with little to no power use during the day are all at risk of a poor performance from their solar energy system.
It is worthwhile exploring the options available for those with unsuitable roofs, such as smaller systems or alternative energy sources. By looking into these options, it may be possible to reduce your energy bills and take advantage of the free energy provided by the sun, regardless of the type of roof you have.