Most customers are unfamiliar with how professional installers plan their solar energy systems. That’s why we created this article, which explains how solar installers design a solar power system for your home or business building. The choice and positioning of the solar system depend on the amount of space you have for solar panel installation, shading analysis, and the performance of solar panels and inverters.

Determining the available roof space

The maximum number of solar panels that may be placed on the roof is determined by the amount of suitable roof space available. Solar panels come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but the most common is a rectangle of 16 square feet.
The panels are connected to racking systems that are more effectively designed in a row rather than strewn all over the roof. Vents, chimneys, and any necessary offsets from roof edges and roof-mounted equipment may restrict the space available for solar installation. Most solar systems in Canada consume around 300-400 square feet of roof space.
If your roof area is limited, the amount of solar power you can harness may be restricted. In this situation, the solution is to install higher-efficiency panels that produce more energy per square foot than standard panels. These are typically more expensive, but they might be a good fit depending on your objectives.

The shading factor

Solar panel installers may choose to leave some space uncovered to maximize the system’s production if your roof has shading, such as from adjacent trees, other buildings, or large chimneys. Sometimes, in order to meet demand, solar installers put their panels in shaded locations under the assumption that they will produce less energy at certain hours of the day.
Providing an initial system design can be relatively quick and is frequently done in a day or two. The insulation and composition of your roof, the existing electrical system’s condition, or the particular impact of shading are more variables to consider in your solar system design. In some cases, solar installers may need to visit your location to obtain this extra data and produce an accurate system design and price quotation.

The tools solar installers use for designing

Different solar panel systems produce varying amounts of power depending on your location and the position of your roof. That’s why installers utilize various methods to determine the feasible size of a solar energy system. Professional tools allow them to use aerial pictures to model system designs on your roof space. They also help calculate the right size of a solar system and the electricity it will produce each year under certain conditions.

HD aerial imaging for solar panels

Solar installers utilize satellite images to determine how many panels would fit on a roof and estimate their energy output. Solar installers provide more accurate and detailed installations based on these aerial maps.

LIDAR modeling

The main purpose of 3D LIDAR technologies in the solar industry is to calculate building heights, roof slopes, and the height of the trees surrounding your property. LIDAR collects data on obstructions such as trees, chimneys, and structures that block sunshine and create shade.

At Panel Upgrade Experts, we employ the most up-to-date design and planning software. We use HD aerial imaging, LIDAR, and high-resolution shading analysis to provide the most accurate and efficient solar installation. If you’d like to calculate how much it will cost to put solar panels on your home in Calgary, please complete our brief form to get a free solar estimate.