At Shanco, we receive many inquiries about installing solar panels. One of the most common questions we hear is about direct sunlight. In this blog post, our solar experts will help demystify the light requirements for solar energy system installation.
How Much Direct Sunlight Do Solar Panels Need?
This is a very common question and to properly answer it, there are some details that we need to keep in mind.
There are some basic truths around solar panels that are important to note. For instance, sun exposure moves the needle for your solar panel system. The more direct sunlight means higher amounts of electricity will be generated. The higher energy production, the potential to lower the electricity bills rises.
With solar panels, direct sunlight is needed under ideal conditions. The ideal placement for solar systems is unobstructed south facing. Not having a large south facing roof space is not a deal breaker though! There are workarounds that can harvest light into energy that are not south facing.
Homeowners can use the light conditions with east or west facing roof space. Once the sun peaks in the sky, the solar production on the east side will start to lessen. This workaround helps add to the overall solar generation opportunities for your home.
The ideal number, under ideal conditions, is that your panels receive four to five hours of sunlight daily. Spring, summer, and fall are huge months for harvesting sunlight.
Will My Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?
You can still generate solar energy with clouds in the sky. With clouds, the thicker the cloud cover the less solar energy generated. A cloudy day is not a wasted solar day. Every little bit of sunlight counts toward lowering the dependence on fossil fuels.
Rainy Days Make the Solar Go Away?
Much like cloudy days, rainy days can still generate some level of solar energy. Heavy clouds associated with heavy rains means that production will be lessened.
Does My Home Get Enough Sun?
No two homes are the same when it comes to rooftop solar panels. Shading from nearby trees, homes, and buildings can create periods of time where solar production is low.
Your roof isn’t the only option! Another suitable option would be ground mounted solar panels. If your yard is large enough and has plenty of open space, ground mounted solar panels can easily take up a section and start generating clean energy for your home.
Will Solar Panels Work in Winter Months?
The winter months lessen solar production. There are a number of factors associated with the winter that reduce the opportunity to harvest solar energy. First, the sun isn’t as high in the sky as it is in spring through fall. The lower angle of the sun prevents sun from beaming down from directly overhead.
Secondarily, the winter is cloudier. Since the cold weather is closer to the dew point. This makes relative humidity higher and increases the opportunity for cloud formation.
Grey cloudy winter days are low production days. However, homeowners are not running air conditioning in the winter months so it’s a little bit of a trade off.
What Is the Best Solar Panel for My Home?
Not all solar panels are the same. There have been recent innovations in the solar industry. The innovations have made getting solar easier.
In years past, having a newer roof was required for adding solar to your roof. While having a good in good condition is still required for adding rack mounted solar panels, homeowners now have the luxury of using solar shingles.
Solar shingles allow homeowners to replace their roof with solar panels. These flush mount solar shingles are perfect for homeowners that want solar and need a new roof.
The best part of GAF Solar Shingles is they are rated as a roofing shingle and rated as a solar panel. The solar shingles carry dual warranties for each as well. This versatility allows homeowners to protect their home with a high-quality roof that also generates clean energy.
Regardless if your roof is new or old, panels or solar shingles will help homeowners harvest solar energy for years to come.
Award-Winning Roofing and Solar from Shanco
Finding a highly reviewed solar company that is an industry leader in roofing may be hard to find. Not to worry, Shanco is here to help. We take our job seriously as a long-standing roofing expert.
Our team of solar installers is trained in the industry best practices. For over 20 years, countless Washington DC, NOVA, and Richmond homeowners have counted on us for all of their roofing and home exterior needs. Contact us today to talk with one of our solar installation experts!
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