Should I invest in a Solar PV system?
A solar photovoltaic system utilizes solar cells to convert sunlight into electrical energy. Solar PV systems range in size from small residential panels to large, freestanding systems and have a lifespan of between 25 and 35 years.
Homes that have a south-facing roof with little obstruction from the sun will generate the most solar energy. Shading by trees or buildings surrounding your home can significantly reduce the amount of energy produced in one day, so be sure that your home receives direct sunlight.
Worried about the weather? Solar PV systems are very durable and are built to survive the seasons. According to Sunrun, a leading solar service provider, solar panels can handle some pretty tough weather. Most solar panels are guaranteed to withstand 3/4-inch hail balls at 120 miles per hour as well as direct lightning strikes.
Snow, rain, dust or leaves will not affect the system structure. However they can affect the amount of energy that is produced. To make sure your system is producing the most energy possible, remove any debris obstructing the panels. During pollen season, a quick hose down will do the trick.
Panels on your roof will save you space! Solar PV roof panels are beneficial because they require less racking equipment than a free-standing system and are a productive use of space. Sunrun advises homeowners to install panels because they can receive optimum access to sunlight and can be hidden from view. A roof of asphalt shingles is the most suitable for installing roof panels. Other roofing material, like clay tile or wood shake, present more challenges for installers and can be more expensive.
If you have the landscape space to spare or have an odd shaped roof with little uninterrupted space for panels, you may want to consider a PV ground system. The cost of a ground system will be higher because it requires more racking and mounting equipment.
Pictured is a solar PV system provided by Sunrun.