This article is intended for those who plan on building their new house soon and who wish to optimize its layout regarding a future solar energy system installation. Although you do not necessarily plan to install a solar energy system in the first year after its construction, we still suggest that you do some adjustments in advance in order to reduce the future costs of the installation.
This aspect refers to the location of your house on your property. To maximize energy production, the house must be in a place where there is no near or far shade. This is justified by the fact that the cells of a solar panel are connected in series (to obtain more power and thereby better electricity production) and that the energy produced by a chain of cells is determined by the one that produces the least. When a cell is shaded, the entire series is impacted.
In other words, even if a 72 cells panel has only one shaded cell, the energy produced by the entire panel will be less. Although photovoltaic solar panels now have bypass diodes that improve the performance of shaded solar panels by shorting the shaded cells, the production of all the cells in the panel will still be less when subjected to shading. The image below shows the effect of shading on a solar panel.
Other installation strategies are also available to limit the impacts of shaded areas. One strategy is to install the panels in independent rows (“string”) to maximize small-scale energy production. Another strategy is to use microinverters rather than a single inverter so that the performance of the panels is monitored individually rather than collectively.
This aspect refers to the cardinal orientation of the house. With the sun’s east-west trajectory, the ideal orientation is facing south since it maximizes the amount of electricity produced. The south-west and south-east orientations are also acceptable but reduce electricity production by about 15%. When the system is oriented to the north, the production of electricity produced decreases by 30%.
This aspect refers to the slope of the different sides of the roof as well as to the equipment on the roof (antennas, chimney, ventilation hatch, etc.). If possible, design the southernmost orientation of your roof as a clean roof line. This allows you to install multiple rows of panels, which not only increases energy production but also enhances the aesthetic appearance of the system.
Plan to install antennas, satellite dishes, etc. on your north roof, far from the likely location of future solar panels. Also minimize ventilation pipes, skylights, etc. in privileged locations where solar panels will be installed.
The ideal roof pitch is around 30 degrees, although a deviation of ± 15 degrees is acceptable. This tilt is the best compromise to maximize the amount of electricity produced annually by the solar panels.
The closer your solar inverter is to your electrical panel and your solar panels, the better. This is to both minimize wiring costs and the system voltage decrease. Choosing a shaded location is also important to avoid overheating the inverter, although an indoor installation is even better since it limits the weather effects. The ideal location for the inverter is therefore on a wall that is both close to the solar panels and indoor (or at least shaded).
In addition, all the solar systems that we install are connected to the Internet so that you can always monitor them. The system can be connected over Wi-Fi or with a cable coming directly from your internet modem. With the instability of the Wi-Fi signal, we always recommend a wired connection. After choosing the ideal inverter location, consider having a pre-wired internet cable there.
If you want the cables of your solar installation to be hidden, you must plan their route before your interior walls and your roof are covered. Again, the shorter the length of the cables, the better. In addition, if you want to reduce losses and increase their lifespan, we advise you to run them inside your house rather than outside as most people do. Not only will you lose less energy, but your system will look better.
Whether it is by optimizing the location and orientation of your house, the architecture of its roof, by providing space for wiring or by fitting out a space dedicated to inverters, the installation of your future solar system will be less expensive, less complicated to manage and will produce more energy. You will therefore only gain benefits by planning it in advance.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information, we will be happy to help you! Our affordable, reliable, and turnkey solar energy systems will fully satisfy you. Give us a chance to impress you.