Checklist: The Most Important Preconditions For the Installation Of a Solar PV System
Photovoltaics is not only the best renewable Energy Source (read this article), but the best solar energy technology too (read this article).
If you are interested in this article, please read the following articles first:
- Where Is The Best Place to Install your Solar PV system?
- Four site conditions are important to be considered when planning of a Solar PV system
Which Solar PV System is Suitable For Your Needs, Off-grid or Grid Tied Solar System?
What Are The Most Important Factors When Designing a Solar PV System?
All preconditions, which must be taken for the installation of a solar PV system, are summarized in the checklist to be ticked off.
A) Where is the best place to install your solar PV system?
- Is the roof your property? –This will be the easiest option when planning of a solar PV system, and it will be much easier to get credit from a bank.
- If not: Is there a roof, which can be rented/leased?
Tip: There is also roof exchanges, which can provide a suitable roof.
- Is there other interested parties or an initiative, with which you can found a civil society? – Besides the Internet, information can be offered by the municipality, bulletin boards or advertisements.
- Is the statics of the roof suitable? – Generally, the mounting of solar modules does not represent a high load for pitched roofs, because the solar panels are mounted parallel to the roof, and there is little influence of wind load. This is not the case in elevated modules on flat roofs, where additional weights have to be observed.
- Is new roofing necessary? – If it is, there is also the possibility to integrate the solar PV system into the roof. This makes the solar plant optically attractive. In this case, although there are cost savings with a conventional roof, elevated costs must be expected.
B) Four on-site conditions which should be considered when planning of a solar PV system
- How high is the global solar radiation on site? – Because the solar PV system converts about 10% of solar energy into electricity, the amount of the global solar radiation on site plays a central role in yield estimation.
- What is the pitch of the roof? – The optimum roof pitch angle is between 26° and 50° (in the USA) and depends on the roof orientation. The more the roof orientation diverges from the South, the more advantageous it is for a lower roof pitch.
- Which orientation? – The South is the optimal direction, but also roofs which deviate from this orientation towards the West or the East can yield well. Compared to a southern facing roof, the yield is only ca. 20% lower.
- Should shadings be considered? – Shadings are often the cause of a reduced yield from the solar PV system. Therefore, it should be avoided. Some shadings occur only in winter. So, when planning, a close eye should be kept on the low position of the sun.
C) Which solar PV system is suitable for your needs?
- Should photovoltaic plant as an off-grid solar system supply a holiday home or cottage? – If so, then when designing the corresponding needs should be taken into consideration, and the solar battery should be of sufficient enough to last for three days.
- Solar PV system for feed into the utility grid? – Grid-tied solar systems can also be equipped with a solar battery. This can help to increase the proportion of self-consumption.
D) What are the most important factors when designing Solar PV System?
- How much is the power consumption? – Do not only consider the current state but any future developments too.
- What is the available roof area? – Estimate the approximate height times the width, minus any roof structures and fittings. The roof area can also be estimated by the number of roof tiles.
- Is the profitability secured? – Estimate with either the aid of a solar installer or a benefits calculator, how much the yield of the solar PV System per year is? Once you have this figure, you can estimate, how much the system may cost. If the prices are available, then you can easily assess if the system will be profitable.
E) Legal questions
- Do you need to apply for a building permit? – Quite often you do have to apply, but it is not regulated in the same way in every state. For more information, contact your local municipality.