Solar Self Evaluation for Homeowners

Published December 29, 2010

This home is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and has 27 SunPower solar panels installed by LightWave Solar.Here are some tips to pre-qualify your house for solar.

How old is your roof?

If your roof is older than 10 years, check for signs that it is reaching its age limit (missing shingles, missing nails). If your roof looks like it needs replacement in a couple of years, you may want to re-roof before putting up panels.

What direction do your roofs face?

Ideally, solar should be installed on a south facing roof. It is possible to install solar on low-pitched east and west facing roofs, however production will be slightly lower. Your roof angle is not critically important. Anywhere between 20 and 40 degrees facing direct south will allow great production in Tennessee. 

Are there tall trees nearby that shade your roof?

A simple test for seeing if your roof has adequate sun is by going out in the morning, noon and late afternoon and taking a picture of the roof. If there is shading around noon or in the morning or late afternoon, you will need to remove some foliage. A LightWave Solar representative has the tools to tell you exactly how much sun your roof will get.