How not to install a solar panel

How not to install a solar panel

Location, location, location - badly-positioned solar panels can really underperform. Here are some howlers we've spotted around the country. A solar panel is a pretty simple piece of equipment. With no moving parts, there’s very little that can go wrong once it’s in place - but getting it in the right place is vital.

Location is the key factor in whether your solar array will perform well or not. It’s needs to get s as much sunlight as possible, so it should face roughly south. And even a small amount of shade will severely reduce the output of the whole panel, so it’s essential it’s clear of shadows.

When you get HomeSun solar panels, an expert surveyor will look out for all of these pitfalls to make sure that your solar panels will perform as expected. Here are some howlers we’ve spotted out and about.

North facing: It’s really important that your solar panels are south facing so they catch the sun and aren’t in the shade of your roof. Satellite dishes point south-south-east, so you can tell from the dish in this picture that the panels have been installed facing roughly north-west. They’ll get a little sun on summer afternoons but for most of the day, most of the year, they’ll be underperforming.

Shade from next door: It doesn’t take an expert surveyor to see the problem here. Lurking in the shadow of its next door neighbour, this array won’t be doing great business.

Dormer window shade: You often see solar panels shaded by dormer windows or chimney stacks on their own roof. The lower panels here are getting decent sun right now, but as soon as it’s not shining straight on, the dormer windows will cast a big triangular shadow, slashing the panels’ output. A good choice to squeeze those other panels up by the roofline, though – they’ll do well.

Into the woods: Surrounded by beautiful big trees, these panels will be in their shadow most if not all of the time. Even dappled shade really slashes output because of the way electricity moves through the panel, so this array won’t come close to reaching its potential. And that’s before you even factor in that it’s facing west so won’t get any direct sun till lunchtime.

Solar panels get misinstalled because of inexperienced or inattentive installers. At HomeSun, all our installations are done by our partners Carillion Energy Services, who started life as EAGA, the government agency responsible for energy efficiency installations.

If you to buy your own panels, your installer gets paid for putting them in – not if they work! With Free Solar and SolarShare, HomeSun pay for the panels and we only get our money back if they generate electricity as expected – so you can count on us to make a fair assessment. In fact, even if you’re thinking of buying your own system, why not get a free HomeSun assessment? You’ll find out if we’d be ready to put our money on your roof, with no obligation at all.

Whether you want to buy your own system or get free panels, register for an assessment here.