Solar panels used around the world

Solar power systems that are used for the generation of electricity for homes can be used for a great variety of purposes. They can light up, heat and power your houses without using conventional forms of power generation or rely on fossil fuels. It is also a fact that there is a variety of solar power systems available in the market today; therefore it is extremely important to know which particular system is ideal for your home. The first and most basic thing that you need to know is the solar potential of your home. The term pertains to the solar power that is available for home power generation usage in your region. The amount of sun radiation reaching different areas is different and it depends on three main factors which can alter the amount of solar power. These factors are latitude, climate and site specific factors.

Latitude

The amount of sunlight reaching the houses in your locality depends directly upon the exact location of your home. The term exact location means the site of your region with respect to the globe, according to the equator. This location in this respect is known as latitude.

What is latitude and how can it help us determine the solar potential of our houses?

Latitude is the angular measurement of a location, which may be situated south or north of the equator. This means that the value of latitude at the equator is zero degrees, whereas that at the poles is ninety degrees. It is a fact that if a location is close to the equator, it will automatically receive more of the sun’s radiations as compared to a location that is situated close to the poles, or further away from the equator. The earth is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees and therefore, depending upon the seasons, there is a variation in the amount of sun radiation received by specific latitudes. It is in this way, the northern and southern hemispheres receive the radiations of the sun according to the tilt of the earth. In simpler words, the closer to the equator your home is, the more sunlight you will receive. This does not in any way mean that if you live in the northern or southern hemisphere you won’t receive enough sunlight for solar panels to work. There are many types of solar power generation systems that you can choose from, and the location of your homes will help you make that choice.

Determining solar potential of homes:

For all above mentioned reasons, latitude becomes the most critical factor for determining the solar potential of your house, and also helps you decide which solar power generation system is ideal for you. This means that you can calculate whether you require solar power generation more in contrast to solar heating or cooling, depending upon the climate in your region and whether your area receives more or less radiations from the sun throughout the year. You can choose from systems that require more storage potentials or not, how much solar paneling you need, whether you require the installation of solar collectors or not. All these factors have to be covered when you are powering your home with solar energy.

Climate

Climate is the second most important factor for you to consider. The climate of your area determines the amount of sunlight that reaches your homes. As many of us already know, climate is a term that refers to the long term weather conditions of a particular area. In order to get the most ideal solar power generation system for your house, there are some important factors associated to climate that should be considered. These factors are precipitation, temperature, cloud cover and wind.

Factors that affect climate

Precipitation, the temperature of an area, cloud cover and wind factors all affect the climate of a particular area. If there is too much cloud cover, you can still use solar panels to power your homes, but you will also require your conventional forms of energy generation as well. If you live in a very cold area, you will require solar heating and the installation of solar collectors to heat your homes as well. If there is too much wind in your area, your solar panels will have to be protected from the environment.

Effects of the climate on solar panels:

Climate plays an important role in the overall functioning of the solar power system as it also affects the installation process and the life of your solar panels. One example is of a location in windy area, where of course the installation of solar power generation systems will require heavy duty, and more complex equipments and tools according to the conditions of the area.

Site-Specific Factors

The solar power generation systems that are installed for home usage can also be affected by certain factors known as the site specific factors. These simply include the presence of adjacent buildings, trees, hills and mountains that can obstruct the amount of sunlight reaching your home. The knowledge of plotting sunlight is important in this case because these site specific factors can directly impact the placement of your solar setup.