Photovoltaic Systems: 3 Keys to Maximum Energy Output
Photovoltaic systems offer customers significant cost savings. By using free solar energy from the sun, home and business owners alike are able to rely less on the utility grid. As a result, monthly electricity costs go way down, and in many cases, bills are eliminated.
Producing any amount of solar energy with a PV system can save money on utility bills. But to truly take advantage of photovoltaic power and save the most cash, maximizing your energy output is essential.
Key No. 1: Photovoltaic Systems Must Be Sized Appropriately
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), PV solar power systems sized between one and five kilowatts are often capable of meeting the electricity needs of most homes and small businesses.
However, your household or business may have different energy needs. To be truly effective, PV systems must be sized to match your electricity consumption. To lower your investment costs, consider becoming more energy-efficient.
Energy efficiency isn’t necessary to adopt and benefit from solar energy, however. What really matters is that your PV system is large enough to produce all or most of the electricity you need to power your home or business, as this will maximize your savings.
Key No. 2: Photovoltaic Systems Require the Correct Orientation
Size is important, but it isn’t everything. Orientation plays a large part in the energy a PV system produces.
Due south is considered optimal. However, the DOE says that photovoltaic systems can be mounted up to 45 degrees east or west of true south without significant compromise to energy output.
You must also consider shading. Trees, other nearby buildings and features on your roof like chimneys and vents can block the sun, and consequently, reduce solar panel energy production.
What if your roof doesn’t face the right way or has shading issues? You could choose a pole- or ground-mounted solar array. Ground-mounted PV solar power systems can be highly efficient, as you can position them to capture the maximum amount of energy from the sun.
You can also mount PV panels on a pole system or an alternative structure, such as parking canopies or outbuildings.
Key No. 3: Photovoltaic Systems Must Be Installed by Experienced Solar Contractors
You may be tempted to cut costs and hire a handyman or another unlicensed installer. However, to achieve optimal performance, the DOE recommends spending a little more for a reputable, professional photovoltaic contractor.
Professional contractors are licensed and certified to work with photovoltaic systems. And they have the experience to size, position and install solar arrays to provide the maximum energy for your home or business.
A cheaper PV installation may save you some money up front. But with professional optimization, you can maximize your solar output, providing you with much greater long-term savings.
Intermountain Wind & Solar is the largest and most experienced professional solar contractor servicing Utah, Idaho and the Intermountain West. To find out more about our residential and commercial photovoltaic systems, contact us to schedule a consultation today.