If you have enough room on your roof, installation should not be a concern. Roofs, however, should not have any obstruction, including skylights, chimneys, and others. You can install anywhere from 20 to 30 panels, but EasySolar recommends to install as many as you can – reasonably, of course.
Thanks to the reduced cost of solar systems and the high price of electricity, many homeowners are looking forward to going solar. Add to that are the feed-in tariffs and the benefits you can get, it is easy to commit to solar installation.
When determining how many panels you can actually install, choose the number that can fit on your roof and the amount that the Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP) permits households to install in your area.
Most homes can go with a 6.5kW system because they use single-phase power. If you have a large rooftop, however, and you have a three-phase property, you can always go for a much larger size.
As mentioned, your roof should face north so that you can get the most electricity out of all the choices. It is best for those who usually are at home during the day. You can switch your power source on-demand, such as when you use washing machines, pool filters, and clothes dryers among others. If your roof allows it, you should choose north to get the environmental benefit as well.
If it is not possible to go with a northern orientation, west is the next best option. Compared to the north though, expect the panels to produce about 12% less electricity. However, the panels can produce more power in the afternoon, reaching their maximum output an hour and a half after noontime. Additionally, just before sunset, it will generate electricity about a quarter of the maximum. West is ideal for those with air conditioning units to be used during the summer, making it an excellent option for Perth homes as well.
As with west, east-facing panels produce 12% less electricity. However, they generate more electricity in the morning, suiting those households that consume electricity during the day. For instance, if you use a lot of electric heating in the winter mornings, an east configuration may work for you. If you are out of the house in the afternoon, it may also be suitable.
For those in Western Australia and most parts of the country, the south is the worst direction of all. It is a massive mistake, just like you are installing the panels upside down. You will produce almost 30% less energy compared to north-facing panels. It gets worse if you have a steep roof.
Combinations are becoming popular though. For instance, north-west panels will produce 5% less, but it is almost insignificant. North-east panels will also produce the same amount and are suitable for those who need electricity during the day.
East and west orientation will produce less output than the combinations mentioned above. However, it is more efficient with the benefit of producing constant electric production during the day. If you have a steep roof, this configuration gets better.
If the roof spends a lot of time in the shade, it does not mean you cannot enjoy the benefits of a solar system. Ideally, the panels should get sun exposure from 9 AM to 4 PM or at least six hours of uninterrupted sunlight.
Technology has evolved though, which is why it is no longer a big of a deal if the solar panels are shaded by nearby trees, buildings, and other obstructions. Panels with 120 cells in a 60-cell frame, for instance, have many diodes that allow more flexibility in performance. However, you can expect a reduction in electricity production.
The best way to determine if your roof and location are best for solar panels is to call the experts at EasySolar. With our experience, it is easy for us to judge what you can fit and where. We keep the arrays nice and tight together, so you have cables linking the panels efficiently. It is all about the panel layout. You can get the installers to do a measure up as well. Some homes require our pros to do a site inspection.
A quick detail about inverters concerning your panels is that the inverter capacity depends on the average number of panels you have. Typically, the best option is to go for a 6.6kW package with a 5kW inverter and 24 panels. This package can provide you with excellent power for the day.
For a single-phase property, you need a single-phase inverter. If you have a three-phase property, use three-phase inverters. It can get costly, but these inverters are a requirement.