Installing DIY Solar Panels When Your Roof Doesn’t Face South Posted on 7 Apr 09:00
When you install DIY solar panels in the United States, the ideal orientation is facing south.
But what if your roof doesn’t face south? Can you still take advantage of the savings and energy independence that solar provides?
Yes, you can! You have other viable options for your photovoltaic system, and they can be just as effective as south-facing rooftop panels.
East- or West-Facing DIY Solar Panels
Most DIYers mount their solar panels facing south when it’s possible, because this orientation allows them to capture the most sunlight.
But surprisingly, this doesn’t necessarily provide much protection from paying higher rates at times of peak demand. In fact, research shows that west-facing photovoltaic panels may be far better at reducing peak demand charges.
According to a study by the Pecan Street Research Institute at the University of Texas, homes with west-facing solar panels produce 49 percent more electricity during peak demand times than their south-facing counterparts.
If your home uses a great deal of energy during peak times — typically midday to late afternoon — a west-facing photovoltaic system could provide you with greater electricity bill savings than one that faces south.
As for orienting your DIY PV panels toward the east, you can still produce more than enough power this way to meet your needs. You simply must install them at the proper angle and tilt to capture the sun’s rays most effectively.
Ground-Mounted Solar Panels
What happens when you have no south-, east- or west-facing roof surfaces on which to install your DIY solar kit?
Well, what about the rest of your property?
Most homeowners (and many business owners) have a spot on their property that gets a great deal of direct sun. If so, you could choose to install a ground-mounted photovoltaic system.
Ground-mounted DIY solar panels can be highly efficient. Because of the way they are angled and supported in the ground, the airflow around these panels is often increased. This helps keep the photovoltaic cells cooler, which can lead to greater energy production.
And, as a bonus, you won’t have to climb around on the roof to do your own PV panel installation or maintenance!
Does a DIY Solar Panel Project Make Sense for You?
Even if you have nowhere but north to face your panel array, going solar can still be a solid financial investment.
In most cases, even those systems that receive a limited amount of sunshine can save money. Sure, it may take a little longer for a north-facing system to pay for itself, but consider the costs you save with a DIY installation project.
Between that and today’s available incentives, your initial investment can be quite manageable. And the return on your solar investment will be large, as you’ll be protected from future utility rate increases.
Visit the Solar GOODs do-it-yourself solar kit superstore to learn more. We offer the option of designing a custom system or choosing from our large selection of ready-to-ship kits and accessories. Visit us online today and learn why directionality poses few obstacles for your DIY solar panel project.