Solar panels can be implemented on the roofs of most commercial and residential properties

Julian HawkinsAugust 9, 201812430

Solar panels can be implemented on the roofs of most commercial and residential properties

It doesn’t matter what way your roof faces, modern solar panel installers can design a solar panel system for any roof. As long as you have sun, there are solar panels that can cover your power needs.

It used to be that only single-family homes with a southern facing rooftop could get solar panels, but thanks to an improvement in efficiency of the panels and an acceptance of solar in general, now people in condos, townhomes, and even whole communities can enjoy solar.

Solar panels can catch it and create energy only if the sun is present

Solar is still quite useful if connected on roofs that face east, west, north, and south. Not every home has a tree-free southern facing roof. Solar is still quite effective if installed on roofs that face east, west, north, and south. Often where there is not a south-facing roof, a house will have both east and west facing roof spaces. In this instance, the preference is usually for the one that is orientated closest to the south but with the introduction of time of use billing and late afternoon peak periods more people are now opting for the west to capture more power generation in the later afternoon.

This is particularly the case in California where all residential customers will be on time of use billing plans from their utility by the end of 2019.  Time of use billing basically means that the more that people use power from the utilities, the more it will cost. Power in the middle of the day or middle of the night will be less expensive than power from 5 pm to 9 pm. If you use solar panels during the day and use the grid at night when it is less expensive, you will be using time of use billing to your advantage.

How solar panels operate in the shade

Shade will affect the number of kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity that home solar panel systems would produce, but modern solar installers can work around these issues and find the setup.

The purpose for this is that solar panels were connected electrically in a series (often known as a string), almost like Christmas lights are all connected together with one wire. Prior to 2011, it was the case that a small amount of shading would make solar panels not viable for a home.

In this configuration, the amperage that can come from each panel is only as much as the amps that flow through the panel with the lowest amount of current. It’s like the sports adage, you are only as good as your weakest link. If one panel is shaded it would lower the output all the panels in the string.

Solar panel installations became easier with microinverters

However, since 2011 micro-inverters and panel level optimizers have become quite common and have taken a significant portion of the market share ways from string-inverters.

Microinverters optimize the power at each panel level by varying current (I) and voltage (V) to maximize power output and then converting it to AC power at the panel. What this means is that a reduction in Amps in one panel caused by shade no longer affects the other panels that are not in shade.

If you want to move into the future and join the solar revolution, or if you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to and try our price checker tool. You can see how much a system will cost, and how much you can save over the next 20 years.

For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.

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