Solar energy is becoming a more and more popular energy solution. This is mainly because it is more accessible than ever to homeowners and business owners alike. But how do you know if solar energy is a good solution for you? Find answers to common questions below.
How do I calculate my savings?
Do you use a lot of electricity in your home? Does your business support a large electrical grid? Simply put, solar panels pay for themselves by providing free electricity. If you use a lot of electricity, you will pay off and start reaping the benefits of your solar panels more quickly. If you don’t use as much electricity, it may take longer to start seeing the rewards. Other factors might be the size of your roof or available space for ground-mounted panels. You can find a general estimate of your savings here.
…But I live in Minnesota. Won’t Solar Panels be Useless Half the Year?
Absolutely not. This is perhaps one of the largest misconceptions surrounding solar panels. Many people think that they need to live in Arizona or California to reap the benefits of the sun. On the contrary, solar panel outputs actually increase in colder climates. As Sunrun.com reports:
“The energy production efficiency of solar panels declines as temperatures climb between 87 and 91 degrees (temperatures that are frequently reached during summer daytime hours in many temperate parts of the United States). This means that photovoltaic solar panel production works most efficiently in colder temperatures.”
Okay, but what about snow? Won’t I have to clean them off?
This is another misconception, Because of the angle solar panels are installed and their function in absorbing the sun’s rays, they quickly melt any accumulating snow. While you might find the desire to clean them after a particularly heavy snowfall, this usually isn’t necessary.
Does my roof have enough space?
Of course, the number one choice for installing solar panels is on additional or unused land. This makes the panels easy to access and maintain. Most businesses, however, do not have the acres of additional land to install solar panels. This means you’ll need to consider your roof.
First, consider the angle of your roof. A 30 to 45-degree angle is optimal, but not necessarily required. According to paradisesolarenergy.com, a 5-degree angle only produces about 10 percent less energy than the optimal angle, and panels can be mounted to accommodate flat roofs. The direction it faces and any obstacles blocking the sun’s rays will drastically affect the efficiency of your solar panels. You’ll also need to consider if your roof is big enough to support the solar panels you want. Check out Google’s Project Sunroof to get a quick estimate of your roof’s potential.
Lastly, consider the incentives. The Federal government has extended many of its initiatives to make solar panels affordable and easy to install. Learn more here. BCI Construction is passionate about including green building practices and sustainable solutions in our projects. Solar panels require specialist installation processes and training in order to qualify for many federal incentives. Thankfully, the BCI team has these certifications covered. Contact us today to learn more.