Is your roof or site south-facing? – The closer to south the solar PV panels face the better, as this means more sunlight will reach the PV cells thus producing more electricity. This being said solar PV panels also work effectively and are commonly installed facing in other directions – from east through to west. However annual electricity output is reduced if the array faces significantly away from south.
Your roof’s/PV panel angle of inclination – The angle at which the solar PV panels are fitted also has an impact on the system’s output. A PV panel fitted at an angle of between 30 and 40 degrees will achieve the greatest output. On occasions a higher output can be achieved from a panel facing east at 30 degrees inclination rather than a panel sited vertically even though it may be facing directly south.
Is the site free from shading? – The output of a solar PV system depends on how much sunlight it receives and although it works in diffused sunlight as well as direct sunlight, if part or all of a solar panel is shaded during daylight hours, e.g. by trees, the amount of electricity it generates is reduced.
Will I need planning permission for my solar PV system? – Recent changes to planning mean you do not generally have to seek planning approval for solar systems that stand less than 200mm above the roof. However, local authorities will insist on planning consent being gained prior to installation, if your potential site is in a protected area or involves a listed building. Always check with your local authority before going ahead with an installation.