Rooftop Suitability: 3 Important Considerations For Solar

When you begin thinking about solar, the first thing that comes to mind is probably if your roof is suitable in the first place. Although almost all roofs will be able to accommodate and install solar panels, not every roof is an ideal candidate.
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Home solar panel installation is getting popular in Singapore. That said, not every rooftop is suitable for an ideal solar setup. Several factors can determine if your rooftop can be fully equipped with solar panels. Here are some of the most important things to take note of when assessing your house’s rooftop solar suitability.

1) Size

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Solar panels come in different sizes. They differ based on the brand and size of the solar panel system that you want to be installed. That said, the average size of a rooftop solar panel is approximately 2 metres by 1 metre. With that in mind, significant rooftop space is needed to effectively install these panels.

It’s also important to take note of any possible obstruction or areas of concern on your roof as this might disrupt or change the layout of solar panels on your roof. Vents, ponding water and chimneys are the most common rooftop obstructions. Solar installers are usually able to work around these obstructions. However, this might cause you to incur greater installation costs and reduce the effectiveness of the solar panels. 

2) Amount of Shade

We know that solar panels rely primarily on sunlight to function. Because of this, shade can significantly diminish the amount of power that a solar panel setup can generate. This can greatly affect the overall effectiveness of a solar system. This means that if your roof is relatively shaded or has shadows cast on it for extended time durations — for example, due to large trees or neighbouring buildings — installation of solar on your rooftops might not be the best option. Bottom line: the more direct sunlight your rooftop is exposed to, the greater its solar suitability!

3) Angle and Direction

Ever heard that south-facing roofs are the best for solar as they generate the most electricity from its solar panels?  Well. it’s time to bust this misconception! This is not true in Singapore and is more relevant to the US context. Locally, east-facing roofs are the most optimal for solar as they have the highest and most direct sun exposure. 

That said, even if your roof isn’t directly facing the east, don’t be disheartened! This definitely doesn’t mean that your roof is not suitable for solar panels. Solar panels can usually still generate considerable amounts of energy even in areas that don’t experience abundant sunlight. There is only a 20% discrepancy in electricity produced regardless of the direction and location of your rooftop,

Thus, you’ll certainly not lose out on the productivity and functionality of your rooftop solar system or the amazing benefits of solar.

This article was first published on 23 September 2020 and last updated on 4 May 2021 to include additional details.


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Whether you’re ready to install solar panels on your rooftop, or just wondering how you can benefit from solar, use our instant solar assessment tool to get an estimate of the solar potential of your property and find out how much you can save. At Solar AI, we combine geospatial analysis of satellite imagery with big data and artificial intelligence to provide you with reliable and accurate solar information so that you can make a better solar choice!

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Solar AI Technologies
Solar AI Technologies
At Solar AI, we combine geospatial analysis of satellite imagery with big data and artificial intelligence to provide developers and installers with access to building intelligence for rooftop solar. Our mission is to use technology to simplify the solar experience for everyone.
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