Solar energy accounts for approximately 1.8% of U.S. energy production. Even though the technology has been around for years, there is a growing interest in solar in recent times. That is due to its affordability and the availability of rebates through federal and local government programs.
Solar has many benefits for businesses. But before installing panels on your premises, here are some factors to consider.
1. Optimum Sunlight Exposure
The amount of direct sunlight the solar panel receives is crucial for the generation of electricity. Before installation, the contractor has to assess the shape and orientation of your roof.
A tree line, nearby buildings, or the structure of the roof, may affect the amount of direct sunlight the panel receives. A solar company contractor will also have to factor in the changing positions of the sun throughout the year.
2. Solar Panel Placement
One of the challenges of installing panels is how to mount them on the roof. While you may have noted an ideal spot, it may not provide optimum sunlight exposure. You have to consider how it would affect other structures on the roof, such as the gutters.
Solar companies today offer multiple mounting options to fit the type of roof on your property. If you don’t want to install right onto the rafters, you can opt for ballasted solar. The installer secures the panels directly, on the surface with concrete blocks. Ballasted solar is robust and can prevent the risk of lifts from winds.
3. Electrical Needs of the Building
It is also essential to assess the energy needs of the building before making installation decisions. You ought to start by evaluating the most critical energy needs of the premises. For example, how long do you expect to run your HVAC system? Do you have equipment like a refrigerator that will need to run throughout the day?
A solar contractor can conduct an energy audit of your business premises. Ideally, you could plan to generate significantly more electrical power than you need. You can sell the rest to your local power company.
4. Expected Weight and Roof Support
Installing solar panels will add weight to the building. You may install panels if the underlying structure is strong enough to support the weight. An evaluation of the roof is necessary before putting up solar on the premises.
Another factor you may want to consider is roof space. If dimensions and orientation do not allow it, solar companies can install roofing canopies for your parking space. The structure can serve as shading while ensuring maximum exposure to sunlight.
5. Rebates and Federal Credits
When calculating your electrical needs, you may want to consider taking advantage of rebates. The power demands of a business can fluctuate considerably throughout the day. Solar companies can provide more information on discounts and federal credits.
A professional installation from reputable solar companies is crucial for durability and optimum efficiency. A qualified contractor understands building codes and can provide valuable insights during the project. A professional installation will also prevent you from voiding your warranty.