Keep your solar panels out of the shade. It might seem obvious, but your solar panels do need sun. Make sure that you are not installing them in the shade. Trim back the branches on surrounding trees if you need to. Failing to do so could cost you more than half your energy output.
In this video I show you a DIY solar system that can be installed with little effort. Produces enough power to run a couple large appliances and for half the price …
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.
If you have a pool, don't even think of heating it any other way than solar! This is easily the most efficient use of solar power there is and it will save you a bundle. Solar heating systems cost about the same or less than conventional systems and basically operate themselves so stop wasting your money doing it the old-fashioned way!