At every level — corporate, state, national — solar energy is seen as an attractive solution to augment power in a clean environmental-friendly way. This article takes a look at the basic factors to be considered to self-test the feasibility of a rooftop solar PV system installation, before calling the experts for the detailed site survey.
Here is the basic checklist to see if you are ready to go solar.
- Shadow-free: To maximize the sunlight during the day, make sure that your rooftop is clear of encumbrances which might block solar panels. For maximum efficiency, the roof needs to be clear to get sunlight throughout the day. For this, as far as possible, the rooftop must be free from shadows of trees or adjoining buildings, especially from the south. Also, consider what may create a shadow or shade in the future, such as growing trees or new buildings.
- Dust & other accumulation: It is also important to check for the presence of dust/pigmentation/haze or particulate matter in the atmosphere. It’s important to figure out maintenance of the solar system and how frequently the panels would need washing and cleaning post installation.
Rooftop checks is another important criterion that needs to be inspected to see if you are ready to go solar.
To begin with, the load carrying capacity of the rooftop should be checked beforehand. The solar panels with structure typically weigh 15 kg per sq. m. This weight varies depending on the technology and type of structure. Hence, make sure the rooftop is strong enough to bear the load of the plant. Additionally, the presence of multiple and scattered ventilators, HVAC, skylights on the roof may considerably reduce the usable area for a solar power plant.
- Metal Roof: Metal rooftops are best suited for solar plants as they are typically heavy and can bear the load of a plant. However, if the rooftop is damaged, then it becomes difficult to install solar panels on them. The orientation of the rooftop is also critical as it plays a role in determining panels expos due to the sunlight. If the rooftop is curved, then the number of panels that can be installed would go down due to reduced space. Typically, solar panels are designed to handle wind pressure up to 150 kmph. So consider the wind speed on your rooftop while making the final decision to go solar.
- Asbestos roof: As they are brittle in nature, it is not advisable to install rooftop solar power plants on them. The solution is to replace the asbestos rooftop with a metal one, which is better suited for solar generation.
Ground mount checks
Selecting a site for a ground mount solar installation is based on many considerations, such as whether the photovoltaic plant is close to the grid, and whether the process for obtaining a grid connection agreement is transparent and predictable.
- Basic requirements: 1) Access to the land 2) A level ground 3) Soil strength at the location, where the solar plant has to be installed and 4) Obtaining mandatory regulatory permits and ensure there are no zonal restrictions.
- Tracking Arrays: The output of a ground mount solar power system can be increased by having the system track the sun as the sun moves across the sky on a daily basis and adjust the tilt of panels to the seasonal solar path, instead of being fixed in one orientation.
As part of our regular site evaluation process, CleanMax Solar does an extensive check to make sure you’re ready to go solar. Our engineers have often, come up with innovative solutions to handle the trickiest of rooftops ensuring complete safety compliance.