The Art and Science of Fitting Solar to a Home

An image from a Solmetric Suneye shading analysis

An image from a Solmetric Suneye shading analysis

Some homeowners are hesitant to start profiting from solar because they’re unsure about if and how the array would fit on their roof. They also have concerns about the appearance of the array.

When our Energy Consultants talk to homeowners, we point out that solar arrays are very site-specific. How the array looks and performs depends upon how and where it is deployed. Ensuring optimum design and placement is what our professional Energy Consultants do day in and day out.

Generally, in the three states serviced by SunUp (New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey), each square foot of rooftop solar has an annual production capacity of about 17 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, taking local weather conditions into account.

Proper solar design takes advantage of a roof’s specific layout to configure a system that best meets the customer’s needs. Careful measurements and calculations, including a shading analysis, are required. In addition, individual counties and municipalities have their own varied rules on solar roof placement, such as how far the solar modules must be placed from the edge of the roof. All of this information is used in the system’s evaluation, design, and permitting.

But there’s more to consider than just the technical aspects of the system. This is where the art comes in.

Modern solar modules bear little resemblance to the bulky panels that many folks remember from the 1980s and ’90s. Today’s modules have a uniform, low-profile appearance. When they are artfully configured on a rooftop, they often go completely unnoticed, even on a prominent side of a home’s roof. We often have difficulty photographing our installations because they’re difficult to see from ground level. And even when they are visible, we’ve never had an objection, because homeowners are avidly interested in the benefits of solar, both for themselves and their communities.

SunUp Solar sculpture photo

SunUp knows the art of solar mounting; house, ground or sculpture we can do it.

Sometimes the best design for a home solar system is to mount it on the ground, not on the roof. About 12 percent of our customers choose this option due to site considerations on their property or because they need a very large system.

When the project is designed by an experienced Energy Consultant, there’s no reason to be apprehensive about the appearance of a solar array. In fact, with the pace of solar installations, it won’t be long until the majority of houses with adequate sunlight are making their own energy locally.

Doing the best job of outfitting a home with solar takes a seasoned team. The Energy Consultants, Designers, and Technicians must work in harmony to achieve the most fitting layout that still meets the customers’ energy needs. At SunUp Solar, we have that down to an art and a science.

This is SunUp Solar’s standard disclaimer about the need for a careful evaluation of each unique property to determine if and how to best adapt solar to that property. Like any other kind of property improvement, solar requires an inspection by a professional to take site conditions into account. In the case of solar, these include roof size, pitch and orientation, shading issues, the status of the property’s electrical system and the property’s electrical billing history. This is routine for us and it is absolutely necessary to provide an accurate proposal for property owners. We use satellite photos, such as Google Earth, to get a general idea of your property’s situation. Unlike some companies, we will not provide a firm quote until one of our Energy Consultants has visited the property, done the proper analysis, and discussed the project thoroughly with the property owners. We stand behind our work and must have customers that are pleased with every aspect of their solar project.