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Installing Solar Panels On A New Build?  Consider the Following Before Building

By Kristy Hoare on in How Solar Power Works

Installing Solar Panels On A New Build?  Consider the Following Before Building

Solar Panels Being Installed In Auckland NZ

The benefits are a plenty when installing solar panels, and planning ahead allows for more energy and cash saving advantages .This guide helps explain ways to save money, time and energy.

Pre-Wiring For Solar Power

Ideally, solar wiring should aim to be completed when an electrician is installing all the other wiring jobs around the home. Pre-wiring a house for solar power is when an electrician runs a solar cable from a roof cavity to a location in the garage that is suitable for a wall mounted inverter. This saves solar installers time, which means money saved on labour costs and ensures all wires are conduit and well hidden within the cavity of the walls.

Considering installing solar power but not ready to commit yet? Pre-wiring the house for solar power allows for easy solar installations anytime in the future, and only costs a couple of hundred dollars.

Roof Design

Solar panel placements, angles and aesthetics should be considered before finalising house drawings.

For maximum solar gain, install solar panels on north facing roofs, especially if planning to install batteries. However, should more power planned to be consumed during morning hours, solar panels on an east facing roofs could be the better option. Some experts say ‘west is best’, which is true if more power is consumed in the afternoon. If installing solar panels on an east/ west facing roof, versus a north facing roof, then 15% of the potential power generation could be lost, but you could gain greater solar self-consumption.

Building a home with a flat roof?  Tilt the solar panels to a minimum of 10 degrees - for maximum solar generation tilt to 25-30 degrees. For aesthetic purposes some customers choose to tilt the solar panels to a smaller angle. Tilting solar panels is an extra cost, which is worth remembering. Decent amount of spacing between each row of solar panels is needed to avoid shading.  

Avoid objects that cause shading on the roof such as aerials, satellite dishes, chimneys or flues. Shading can cause the power output to decrease significantly.

Once the roof has been designed request 3 free quotes via My Solar Quotes online platform, and request a solar panel layout from our solar design experts.  

Figuring Out a Draft Layout For The Solar Panels On Your Roof?

The size of solar panels vary based on brand and model. Generally, they are 1650 x 990 x 35 mm for a 270 watt panel - therefore the area size is 1.63m2. Allow a 15mm gap between each solar panel. Solar panels should be at least 200mm away from the roofs edge. There are many considerations for a solar array design, so make sure the final designs are approved by a solar expert.

What Roofing Material Works With Solar Panels?

Corrugated iron/metal roofs are currently the easiest roofing material to install solar panels on.  Other roofing materials that are solar friendly include; metal tile, asphalt shingle, bitumen, concrete tile, membrane roofs and more. It is a struggle to find any installation company that is willing to install on a terracotta tile roof, due to the high chance of the tiles breaking.

Solar Power - Should I Ask Architect Or Home Building Company?

Some architects may have knowledge about eco homes and energy efficient designs, and in that case they can point customers in the right direction. Home building companies generally only want to sell products that they can clip the ticket on, and will potentially steer customers away from anything they don’t sell.  Some home building companies that promote eco-friendly homes will have selected solar vendors that they will refer you to.

Installing Solar Batteries In A New Home?

Many customers choose to install solar panels immediately, installing batteries at a later date. Little needs to be done in terms of planning for battery storage installation, but considering where batteries could be installed is worth mentioning. Be sure to ask a solar company to pre-wire for battery installation.

As with any home build or renovation, there is a lot to consider, debate and decide on. Solar power systems, and all the aspects that come with them, should be no different. Always talk to the professionals - solar installers that are certified SEANZ (Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand) members are a great place to start, or call My Solar Quotes.

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