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Off Grid Solar and Sunlight Analysis

How to Analyze and Harness Solar Energy

Determining the benefits of solar energy requires a nuanced discussion. Solar panels, properly installed and maintained, can be a benefit in almost any region. The path buyers have to navigate shows them how to get the most out of the panels, and whether or not this method will provide enough energy in exchange for the investment.

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels do not necessarily require direct sunlight in order to capture energy. This means that the panels can still convert daylight to power, even if the sun is not directly shining on the panels all day. That said, direct sunlight is a more efficient and effective means of improving the panels’ output. Since the position of the sun varies throughout the year, homeowners may choose to install panels in a variety of places on the roof for maximum year-round exposure.

The climate and estimated maintenance of a system can also affect the solar energy yield. A region with many very hot days each year could actually decrease energy capture by as much as 30 percent. Areas of the country with consistent cloudy days may limit efficiency to 40 percent of the maximum. Panels will lose about 10 percent of their potential if they get dirty, so homeowners must prepare to keep them clean. These factors may not be significant enough to reject solar panels as an option. If people know that they will have to deal with these problems, they may want to consider more than one type of energy source for their homes.

Solar Energy for Growing Crops & Greenhouses

Growing crops successfully depends on a delicate balance of sun, necessary nutrients in the soil, and a good maintenance routine. Sun exposure is an important aspect to weigh in the purchase of property good for growing produce. Most land, especially properties that are somewhat developed with structures and mature trees, will have spots with a lot of sun and shady areas. Homeowners must understand and respect the unique plant’s needs to get the most from their investment.

When people start to select plant species, they need to know what the crop requires for sun exposure and whether or not they can guarantee it. Plants labeled “full-sun” need at least six hours of direct sun each day, although some need more. Those with a designation of “partial-shade” should have 3-6 hours of sunlight to avoid damaging them. Although some species are hardy and able to adjust to a range of exposure, not enough sun (or too much) often translates into a lower yield.

Ensuring adequate sunlight requires the ability to estimate direct sun exposure during the season in which the fruit or vegetable should be grown. It may not be enough to estimate peak summer light and assume it will work for all plants, year-round. Home buyers should also factor in their plans for trees and outbuildings to the shade of the space. For areas in which they intend to plant, people should confirm that they will get the minimum amount of sun necessary for healthy crops.

Analyzing Off Grid Properties Guide

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