Solcium Solar

Throwing Shade: Building Solar Systems Without Direct Light

close up image of a roof surrounded by trees, with shade being cast on the roof with sunlight gleaming through

No one likes a shady beach, but everyone loves a shady home. Shade plays a crucial role in the cooling efforts of your home, which in turn has a huge impact on your monthly bills. So, how does shade play a part in the effectiveness of a solar system on rooftops?  Myth has it that you need full sun in order to be a good candidate for solar. We’re here to throw shade at that rumor.

Does Shade on Your Roof Automatically Disqualify You from Going Solar?

Panels that are exposed to less sunlight will still produce electricity – at a lower rate, true. Shade can come from various sources: trees (obviously), your roof slant, clouds, even a poorly designed solar system can cast shade on other panels. Studies show that panels in full shade will produce half the amount of electricity as those in direct sunlight. Of course it is ideal if you have a directly lit, unobstructed rooftop that can soak up all that sunshiney gold; however, if you have some shade, it doesn’t mean that you have to automatically go pound sand. The expert team at Solcium Solar is well-versed in how to mitigate shading and maximize panel exposure.

Using Satellites to Analyze the Shade on Your Roof

Using special satellite imagery and heat mapping technology, our solar energy consultants and solar engineers will explore your roof’s sun exposure at various times of the day, for all four seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. Based on patterns in sunlight and average heat scales discovered in their research, the team can then construct a system design based on sections with the greatest sun exposure and rooftop real estate.

Micro-Inverters Overcome Shade and Maximize Energy Production

Another way to dodge shady ways is through the use of micro-inverters. This piece of equipment is used in every typical installation that Solcium completes. Our state-of-the-art micro-inverters help combat shade and minimize loss of efficiency by centralizing the panels into individual producers. In other words, these sun buddies help each panel individually operate at peak performance versus other inverters that work independently of each other. Check out our recent blog to learn more about the various types of inverters and power optimizers.

Other ways include making small alterations to the roof’s surrounding environment. Solcium Solar works with expert horticulturists and arborists to determine how we can increase sun exposure on the roof while minimizing the impact to our environment. Our goal is to always work around mother earth and not the other way around, so altering nature should always be the last resort.

Avoid Shady Solar Companies

In the end, the most important thing about overcoming a shady roof is avoiding a shady company. Meet with various solar companies until you trust that you have found a solar installer who offers you the truth in regards to the efficiency of your solar system, as well as the size of system that you will require. Not everyone qualifies for solar, but not every solar company will admit that – some will do anything to close the deal, including putting your best interest second. At Solcium Solar, our commitment is to offer the public factual information for them to make the best decision. Be wary of companies that will sell you double the amount of panels to offset your consumption because you have a shady roof.

At Solcium Solar, we do our best to ensure that consumers have unbiased information at their fingertips. Not throwing shade, just helping the solar industry a little brighter.

Contact us to see how we’re casting a light on shady practices by leading with honesty and transparency when it comes to building the perfect solar system every time.


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Solcium Solar provides a full suite of end-to-end renewable energy solutions including education, design, and installation services.

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