The weather’s getting hot—an unprecedented type of hot. More and more, large-scale businesses and commercial entities are turning to one of the most effective ways to generate sustainable energy: commercial solar panels.
As a renewable source of power, solar energy offers cost savings as well as environmental benefits. But how exactly do these large-scale solar arrays work? And just how are they installed on buildings?
How Solar Panels Work
The technology behind solar panels is known as photovoltaic (PV); PV cells are made from a material called silicon, which is capable of converting sunlight directly into electricity. When light shines on the cell, electrons become excited and jump over to the other side, creating an electrical current that can then be used to power homes or businesses!
The Benefits of Solar Panels
Commercial solar panels not only contribute to energy conservation but also present unique benefits for businesses. Here are some key benefits to consider:
- Renewable Energy Source: Solar panels provide a renewable source of energy that can be harnessed daily. It reduces dependency on non-renewable energy sources and offers a reliable power source for decades.
- Environmentally Friendly: They significantly lower carbon emissions and contribute to a cleaner environment. Over time, their eco-friendly design can contribute to combating climate change and promoting sustainability.
- Reduced Energy Bills: Solar panels can generate a significant amount of the electricity a business needs while potentially reducing energy bills substantially over the long term.
- Enhanced Brand Image: Businesses that use solar panels are also seen as being more socially responsible. This reputation can improve brand image and customer loyalty.
Installing Solar Panels on Large Buildings
When planning to install commercial solar panels on large buildings, there are two main types of installations to consider: roof-mounted and facade-mounted installations.
Roof-mounted solar installations are the most common and straightforward method. This type of installation involves securing the solar panels on the roof of the building using a mounting system.
An initial structural assessment is crucial to ensure the roof can support the weight of the panels and the mounting system.
On the other hand, facade installations involve attaching the panels directly to the building’s facade or exterior walls. This method is ideal for buildings with limited roof space and offers the added benefit of enhancing the building’s appearance.
However, facade installations may require a more complex mounting system and careful consideration of the building’s structural integrity.
Installing Solar Panels on Residential Buildings
Installing residential solar panels presents a different set of challenges compared to commercial solar panel installations. Some of the most important considerations include:
- Roof Suitability: The roof should be structurally sound and in good condition; it should also face the right direction (ideally south) and have a minimum pitch of 10 degrees.
- Space Constraints: Residential roofs may be smaller than those on commercial buildings, so careful consideration must be given to available space when deciding how many solar panels can be installed.
- Homeowner Associations and Permits: Homeowners should check with local regulations to determine if approvals are required from the homeowner association or any other governing body.
Grid Connection and Net Metering
Once solar panels are installed, it’s important to connect them to the building’s electrical system. This will involve connecting the solar array to the grid and setting up a net metering system.
Net metering allows businesses or homeowners to feed excess electricity generated by their solar panels into the grid, earning credits that can be used when electricity is needed from the grid. This can help reduce energy costs and provide additional savings over time.
Maximizing Solar Efficiency
Finally, regular maintenance is essential to ensure residential or commercial solar panels are working at peak performance. Here are a few tips for maximizing solar efficiency:
- Positioning and Orientation: Ensure panels are properly positioned and oriented for optimal sun exposure throughout the year.
- Dealing with Shading and Obstructions: Inspect panels regularly to identify any potential obstructions such as trees or buildings that may be casting shade on the solar panels.
- Regular Maintenance and Cleaning: Dust, dirt, and other debris can reduce solar panel efficiency, so regular cleaning is essential to ensure peak performance.
Discover the Sustainable Benefits of Solar Power with Stronghold Engineering
At Stronghold Engineering, we specialize in the design and installation of commercial solar panels. Our team has extensive experience in large-scale and innovative solar projects and will work with you to ensure your system is tailored to meet your specific needs.
We’re dedicated to helping businesses become more sustainable, reduce their carbon footprint, and optimize energy savings over time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you realize the many sustainable benefits of solar power!