How To Know If Your Solar Panel Is Working – Solar is a dream for many Houston, TX homeowners. You may be attracted by the idea of being less energy dependent, more environmentally friendly, or seeing your energy bills reduced.
However, before you jump head first and have solar panels installed on your roof, it is essential to consider whether your roof is solar ready or not!
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If you want to use solar energy, the roof is the most common area to install solar panels. Not only people install panels on the top of their houses, but also on ponds, sheds and garages.
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Installing solar panels on any roof (relative to the ground) allows maximum exposure to the sun, which helps produce the most energy for your home.
Your roof must be relatively new for solar panels to be installed on the roof. Roofs over ten years old are considered too risky to install solar panels on your own without a professional inspection.
Many people who go solar end up getting a new roof with the installation of solar panels (to avoid the expense of removing the panels to replace the roof later).
The average lifespan of solar panels is 25 years. Since many roofs are expected to last at least that long, replacing the roof at the same time and installing solar panels is worthwhile.
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Solar panels can be installed on almost any roofing material. However, can the structure of your house support the weight of these solar panels?
A typical residential solar panel weighs about 40 pounds per panel. More than one panel will be installed on your roof, so solar panels can easily add thousands of pounds to the structure of your home.
The actual size of your roof will matter when it comes time to switch to solar power. For a small roof, the installation of panels could affect building codes. There must be a clear open passage on a roof for access and ventilation in case of fire; solar panels can not interfere with the road.
If your roof does not have enough space when the solar panels are installed, the roof is not a viable candidate for solar panels. In these cases, the installation of solar panels on sheds or garages can be an alternative to consider.
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The general agreement is that a roof should be sloped between 15 and 40 degrees to allow the solar panels to work properly. Of course, the solar panels can be tilted slightly to help get the best slope. On flat roofs, the frame of your solar panels is angled to achieve the required slope.
However, when your roof is naturally sloping, it makes installation easier. It guarantees the proper functioning of the solar panels.
Also, solar panels are usually installed on a slope that faces south. North facing slopes are avoided as they tend to receive less sunlight to power the solar panel.
As stated earlier, solar panels add up to a few hundred pounds to thousands, depending on how many panels are installed on your roof. That is why the actual weight of your roof is taken into account.
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Unfortunately, many homeowners run into the problem of building their new roof over their old roof. When roofing contractors cut corners, laminating the roof is often done to save time. Houston Roofing & Construction never covers an existing roof system.
When double layers are the case, adding solar panels can become dangerous for your home. A new roofing contractor can remove both layers of roofing and replace the roof, just as it should have been done the first time.
Solar panels are not a set-it-and-forget-it item. General maintenance will be necessary to ensure that your solar panels will function in the long term. In addition to knowing if your roof is ready for solar panels, you also need to make sure you are ready.
Solar panels should be cleaned two to four times a year, but a quick spray with your garden hose is often enough to do the trick.
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Snow is not a concern for homeowners in Houston, TX. However, you should monitor the health of the solar panels after a hurricane or storm hits the area. Fortunately, various apps can connect with your solar panels to give you performance information.
You should also note that buying solar panels is a big initial investment. On average, installing solar panels will cost between $15,000 and $45,000.
However, solar panels can save a homeowner about $1,000 a year in electricity costs, allowing the system to pay for itself in about 15 years. Additionally, there are state and federal tax incentives for switching to solar power, which helps make solar panels worth the investment.
While you may be ready for solar panels, it’s equally crucial that your roof is up to the challenge. Having a professional inspection performed on your roof can determine with certainty whether your Houston, TX roof is ready or not.
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At Houston Roofing & Construction, we offer free inspections and are happy to help you decide if your roof is ready for solar panels.
Contact us today or call us at 832-237-3737 to have trusted professionals inspect your Houston, TX roof for free to determine if solar panels are an option for you. Solar panels are built to last. It must provide solar energy for at least 25 years with proper maintenance, regular cleaning and favorable weather conditions. In fact, most vendors offer a 20-year warranty on their products.
But, like everything else, solar panels are also subject to wear and tear and will eventually need to be replaced. So how do you know if they’re gone? You don’t need to see physical damage or defects to understand that you need to replace your solar panels. Sometimes you know based on their power and performance. Sometimes they just might fail.
Here are some signs that you probably need to replace your solar panels sooner rather than later:
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To find out if your solar panel is still optimal, you can measure its wattage and then compare it with the panel’s rated wattage and listed specifications. We recommend doing it at noon on a sunny day at 25 degrees to get the best result. If you can see the current and voltage display, use those numbers to observe the performance of the panel. Otherwise, use a multimeter to measure power.
When measuring, make sure the multimeter is set to a scale of at least 10 amps. This prevents the meter from being damaged in the event of a power surge. If the current and voltage readings are less than 80% of the specified output, your solar panel may be exhausted and will need to be replaced.
According to a study carried out by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the United States, solar panel production is expected to decrease by 0.5% per year. This is called the degradation rate. This means that in the 20th year of use, the module will still produce about 90% of the electricity it produced in the first year. Anything less than that means your system is failing.
Weather, debris and other objects play an important role in the preservation of solar panels. Although most solar panels use durable tempered glass, accidents can happen and damage can occur.
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For example, a tree branch, a large rock, or flying objects from a tornado can crack the glass or ultimately damage your panels. Cracked glass is dangerous because it allows water to penetrate the solar panel cells and cause further damage.
You can hire a maintenance team to properly inspect your solar panels. It will let you know if the panels can still be repaired or if they need replacement.
Solar panels can operate optimally for 20 to 30 years. Beyond this, they begin to deteriorate, and their efficiency will be reduced considerably because the photovoltaic silicon material of the panel efficiently converts light into electricity. If your 20-year-old solar panel’s output is significantly below its stated specifications, it’s probably time to replace it.
The energy production from your decades-old solar panels may still not be enough to meet your current needs. Upgrading your old system may not be possible since modern 60 cell panels are not compatible with older 72 cell models.
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You can also get the best result by replacing the entire solar panel, helping to lower your energy bills. And with a sparkling new installation, you won’t have to worry as much about repairs (no matter how minor) for years to come.
If you see burnt and discolored surfaces, you should consult a solar panel expert as soon as possible. These indicate a corroded panel laminate, which can lead to an uneven temperature distribution and a decrease in energy production.
Corrosion is usually characterized by a yellow to dark brown discoloration at the edge of the white metal conductive strips. In general, a specialist will advise you to replace this damaged slab.
Cracks or small fractures, caused by extreme temperature changes, hail or impacts, can be signs of deterioration. Improper handling, especially during installation, can also lead to these cracks. second, second
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