Solar Q&A: Roof Space

Copy of SOLAR BASICS (1)I’ve been thankful to deliver a handful of solar presentations the last year.  Each audience and setting is different, whether it be in a room of a hundred or a homeowner’s kitchen table.  Naturally, questions occur, and I do my best to answer them.

Recently, I was asked how much would a solar system cost for a 1200 square foot roof.

In short, roof space is all but one variable in determining a solar system’s price.  Roofs have many attributes, such as type, age, and orientation that must be considered.  Check out our blog on roofs here.  More to the point, roof space includes the roof area, roof lines, and obstructions.  Vents and skylights pose obstructions, and jurisdiction building codes must be followed regarding placement of panels near roof lines and edges.  Several satellite programs may provide roof images and space available; however a first-hand site survey by the installer will yield more accurate results.

It goes without saying that the more roof space available, the greater potential to install more panels.  Most panels are approximately 3’x5′ for a total of 15 square feet, but we must also consider racking components that require space.  This is a VERY IMPORTANT factor an installer must consider that sometimes gets initially overlooked.  At Bay Area Solar Solutions, we take the utmost care in measuring a solar system’s size, considering all the elements to ensure a customer’s needs are exceeded.

Theoretically, 80 panels would fit on a 1200 square foot roof.  However, this application is highly unlikely (dare I say impossible) when all factors are considered.  Let’s consider that each panel is 285 watts as well–80 panels at 285 watts would equate to a system size almost 23 kW.  That’s a HUGE system for a homeowner!  Considering the average homeowner’s solar install comprises approximately 7 kw, which equates to 24-25 panels (around 400 square feet including racking), it  goes without saying 1200 square feet is more than enough to accommodate the solar system.
Copy of SOLAR BASICS (1)It must be noted that the north facing portion of the roof will not be used for a solar installation.  If roof space is a tight concern, other options such as ground mounting and community solar present options.  A reputable installer will solve roofing issues; and if the roof needs repair, the installer will point them in the right direction.
I ultimately discovered that the original question was essentially, “How much does the average solar system cost in Florida?”  This is a common question, that again, requires many variables in order to answer.  Variables such as power consumption and the homeowner’s budget, as each solar customer is unique.  However, Energy Sage has an excellent link >>>here<<< that should shine some light.
Bay Area Solar Solutions is more than happy to solve your roofing concerns.  We provide detailed site surveys and will work with you to solve your energy needs.  With millions of roofs in the Sunshine State, there’s plenty of space for rooftop solar.  The power to cover your roof with solar is with you, Floridians!
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1934432_1530422373920628_7435680489633132710_nNeed more information on going green and ready to take the next step? We are here for you at Bay Area Solar Solutions LLC, where your solar needs come first!


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