Powering your business with energy from the sun is an idea that makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Many businesses understand the potential benefits; energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness and future proofing, but don’t really know if it’s the right choice for them. If you’re trying to decide whether or not commercial solar panels are right for your business, read on below.
How large should my system be?
One of the first things you’ll need to think about is how large your system will need to be. To optimise the benefits you’ll need to ensure you get the right-sized commercial solar panels to manage your power needs. If you get a system that is too small you won’t see some of the potential benefits (like income from exporting excess energy to the grid) and you’ll not see as much of a return on your investment as you should. To work out the ideal size of your system you should look as the minimum daily load for your business and average it out across a week.
Will my commercial solar panels pay for themselves?
Not every business will benefit financially from having commercial solar panels installed. The way that businesses utilise energy differs between industries and the level of energy consumption is not by itself a good indicator of whether or not commercial solar panels are a good idea. If you’re looking for a return on your investment then you’ll also want to think about factors like peak versus off peak rates. Businesses that operate during peak times for energy and pay high rates may see a faster return as they’ll be dramatically reducing their energy bills. You should also think about whether or not your business pays fixed or variate rate prices. If you have a fixed price agreement then your energy bills may not reduce as much as variable prices when you install commercial solar panels. Consider also if you have a minimum usage plan as if you do this may mean that a new system will not dramatically reduce your energy bills, and other network or capacity charges may still need to be paid.
What else to consider?
In WA commercial solar panels will need to face north to be pointing directly towards the sun. If you’re thinking about getting a system installed then you should think about whether or not you’ll be able to achieve the right orientation for optimal results or if you will have a difficult time getting good sunlight. Professional installers should be able to assess this for you.
Additionally, you’ll also want to consider what kind of angle you are capable of achieving on your building. Ideally you will want to achieve a minimum angle of around 10 degrees so that they are easy to keep clean with the natural rain. Without that angle you will find yourself needing to maintain them more regularly to keep them clean and working correctly.
When thinking about installing a system you should think about the amount of energy that panels will produce and ensure that you install your system so that it receives maximum sunlight.
Another thing to consider is whether or not your panels will be placed in an area that accumulates a lot of dust and dirt as this will impact on their effectiveness. You’ll also want to avoid shaded areas as this could dramatically decrease the amount of energy that they produce.
Think about the temperature that your panels will be exposed to. Very high temperatures will reduce the productiveness of your system.