If you live in a cloudy city, you may be wondering if installing a solar electricity system is worth the cost. While each individual will have different gains when it comes to home solar electricity installations, in general, solar panels can be a good investment no matter where you live. Here are a few things you should know if you live somewhere without a lot of sun and want to go solar.
You May Be Able to Save More Money Than Your Friends In Sunny Cities
How much money you save on your energy bill is not tied only to how much energy you produce but also to how expensive your energy is. Often, cloudier places, such as New York, tend to have high energy costs. This means that even if you only create a fraction of the amount of electricity as someone in a sunny city can create, you may still end up saving more than them each month if they have a low electricity rate. Because of this, you should look at your electricity rate and not just your weather when considering solar.
You Should Consider Solar Tracking to Maximize Your Solar Gain
Some systems use sensors or timers to track the sun throughout the day. This gives you as close to a 90 degree angle to the sun as possible for the longest amount of time possible and greatly increases the amount of solar power you can harvest over stationary systems. If you live in a cloudy area, you should consider this extra boost to help your system to perform on par with systems in sunnier areas.
Your System Will Work Even On Very Cloudy Days
Unless there is no sun, such as at night, your system will still work. However, the power may be greatly reduced. Because of this, most people in cloudy cities get their systems integrated with the city electricity so they have a backup when the weather is not optimal. However, if you want to run off-grid in a cloudy city, you may need to slightly adjust your energy usage on cloudy days by saving high-energy tasks, such as laundry, for sunnier days.
You May Want a Bigger System
When calculating how big of a system you need, you should take into account the type of weather in your area. While some online calculators are good at estimating the type of system you will need based on your location, most calculators will not be as effective as an experienced solar expert who has installed and maintained systems in your city. You should schedule a consultation with an expert to discuss you needs and the size that will work for you.
Thin Film Panels Are Better Than Crystalline Panels In Cloudy Areas
Traditional solar installations rely on crystalline panels, which are more efficient than thin film panels at absorbing direct sunlight. However, thin film panels absorb a greater range of light, making them more effective than crystalline panels in cloudy areas. If you live in a city where it is sometimes sunny and sometimes cloudy, you might consider a mixed system to take advantage of your cloud coverage or lack thereof year round.
While solar can be a complicated question in cloudy cities, it tends to be a worthwhile cost. There are several solutions that solve the problems of excessive cloudiness and allow you to enjoy clean, environmentally-friendly energy year round. While some people only utilize their solar system when it is sunny, you can use your system on cloudy days if you make some small adjustments on the type of system you have when you install it.