Deciding Where to Put It

Solar arrays oriented due south or slightly west of due south are obviously the most efficient, but the energy capturing design of modern solar module glass enables arrays oriented directly east or west to lose only 15% of the efficiency of a south-facing one. Because solar modules have become so inexpensive one can easily make up that deficit by installing a larger array.

Similarly, the tilt angle of the array is of only minor consequence; most Utah homes have a slope that is perfect for solar, by maximizing efficiency during the summer when there are more hours availabnle to harvest the sun’s rays.

Large roofs without obstructions make mounting easier and less expensive; a chimney or even a vent pipe can significantly reduce the output of a system if not carefully designed around it.

Modern houses with many roof faces add both mounting and wiring complexity, and typically require additional equipment.

Detached garages and other “accessory buildings” lend themselves to solar because they don’t require a pathway at the top and side of a solar array for firemen’s access. Carports can be built using solar panels for shelter as well as for power generation.

Utah Applied Solar Energy, LLC  2015