Use winter sunshine hours instead of summer hours whenever you are calculating how many solar panels you will need. This is because winter sunshine hours only add up to about half that of summer. It is better to overestimate how many panels you will need rather than underestimate. If you underestimate, you will end up losing power when you need it.
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Know how light mixes with the trees around your property. You may think you've got the perfect spot for a solar panel, but watch it throughout the day. The sun coming in from different angles may lead to surprising shadows from trees and foliage. This will affect your solar output.
Once your panels are in place, keep an eye on them and monitor them regularly. Get to know what you daily output of energy is, what everything looks like when operating optimally and even keep a record of such things. This can help you quickly notice when something isn't working correctly and help you ascertain where the problem is.