If you are considering installing a solar panel system, it is important that the panel faces in the sun's direction. Although this seems obvious, you would be surprised how many people forget this step. If your panel does not have sun, it won't power up. If you live in the Northern hemisphere, your panel should face South towards the horizon.
Get your financial figures right before deciding on a solar system. You need to weigh the cost of the system against how much energy it will save you. Take the cost of the system and multiply it by its' lifespan. Now figure out how much energy you will use in that lifespan to determine if it is right for you.
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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The amount of energy your solar panel will produce is rated by watts. For example, if your solar panel is rated 100 watts, then on a clear day, your solar panel will produce 100 watts per hour. To find out how much electricity you need to produce, look at your electric bill and divide the total by 30 days and then divide it by 3 as there is generally bright sunlight one third of the day.