Getting energy from the sun is becoming more and more profitable every year. Only in the south of Russia, the capacity of new SPPs has more than tripled over the past year. The number of places where solar panels are installed is also growing. In the private sector and even cities, panels are mounted literally on any suitable area. All possible installation options will be our article.
Installation site requirements
Before choosing a particular place for placing photovoltaic panels, it is necessary to determine whether it will comply with two mandatory rules.
- Illumination. If the batteries are not sufficiently lit or the angle of incidence of the rays on them is too small, power generation will be minimal even on clear days. For this reason, installation on roof slopes facing northwest, north or northeast is useless. Facade solar panels have a large degree of freedom and can be mounted on the east or west walls at an angle to the south.
- No shadow-casting interference. It is strongly not recommended to install panels where there is a possibility of shadows falling on them from nearby buildings, structures or trees. In the best case, partial shading of even one cell will lead to a sharp drop in the performance of the entire system.
If these two conditions are met, the average output of your station, depending on the angle of inclination and azimuth, will show the results shown in the table (the data for the angle of inclination are given for the latitude of Krasnodar).
Where are solar panels installed?
It remains to list all possible places that meet the listed conditions and compare them according to the most important parameters.
In practice, panels are installed using:
- sloped roof slopes;
- flat roofs;
- all types of awnings;
- free plots of land;
- wall facades;
- balconies and loggias;
- constructions with trackers.
Let’s understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
1. Sloped roof slopes
It is considered the optimal choice for most of the significant parameters if the slope is directed close to the southern direction and has an inclination angle of 30 to 55 degrees. At larger angles, the costs will increase slightly, since slope-correcting fasteners will have to be used.
- no need to find a special place on the site;
- the presence of a natural roof slope;
- relatively high productivity.
- limited area of the place where solar panels are installed;
- maintenance difficulties with a roof height of more than 5-6 meters;
- inability to adjust the position of the panels.
2. Flat roofs
Mostly typical for multi-storey city buildings. Theoretically, they can serve as an analogue of the onshore section, but with a number of technical restrictions and administrative difficulties in approvals.
- the possibility of placing high-power solar power plants;
- high efficiency;
- easy access for service.
- significant cost;
- numerous difficulties at the stage of approval and operation.
3. All types of awnings
Most often they are an addition to already installed roof panels due to the limited space available. However, in urban environments, they are widely used all over the world to provide autonomous power for advertising signs, lighting of transport stops, etc.
- maximum low cost of installation;
- small area of the place where solar panels are installed;
- poor overall performance.
4. Free plots of land
The most convenient and widest option for optimal arrangement of panels. If there is a sufficient amount of free space, the total capacity of the SES can be practically unlimited.
- the ability to choose any system of fasteners – including quite expensive swivel ones;
- maximum return;
- ease of maintenance.
- the need for a large enough area.
5. Wall facades
Facade solar panels have become increasingly popular in recent years. Mainly because of their versatility, which allows them to be placed even in cities, on the walls of high-rise buildings.
- in the private sector are inexpensive and the most affordable to care for;
- under the condition of an inclined installation, no less productive than those placed on pitched roofs.
on multi-storey buildings, maintenance requires special equipment;
depend on the placement of the wall relative to the sun.
6. Balconies, loggias and fences
The panels on them can be considered as facade solar panels, but located exclusively vertically (an apartment option for installing solar panels). They almost do not require maintenance, they serve for a long time, but they have low efficiency due to the non-optimal angle of inclination to the sun.
7. Designs with trackers
We have placed them in a separate category due to the possibility of equipping with rotary systems in almost any of the listed varieties.
Unfortunately, due to the high cost, the use of solar panels on trackers is advisable only for solar power plants of significant power – from 50 kW and above.
In conclusion, we present a visual comparative table of all the listed modifications according to the main criterion PRICE / EFFICIENCY (in conditional points max. 10, min. 1)
Important! The decision on where to install solar panels is strictly individual in each case. If you are at a loss with the choice – be sure to contact the specialists!