There are a lot of talks these days about solar energy and whether or not it makes sense for homeowners. Is my home too old for solar panels? Is my roof too shaded? How do I know if solar is a good fit for my home? In this blog post, we’ll help you answer those questions and decide if going solar is right for you!
Is My Home Too Old for Solar Panel?
If you’re considering investing in solar power, there could be a variety of obstacles. Perhaps your work hours or the upfront cost are not enough to make solar a feasible alternative.
Many homeowners live in older homes and older structures, such as those with asbestos floors and walls. With the passage of legislation and advancements in technology, these homes could frequently be outdated in electrical safety standards.
While the living conditions in an old home might seem like a hassle concerning solar energy, the good thing is that it’s rare. Older homes can vary in quality and age which is why we’ve created an overview of the most frequent issues that can affect the cost of obtaining solar panels for older homes.
If your house is powered by electricity and is in compliance the house is not old enough to switch to solar. While your home might not too old, however, the same can’t be said about other aspects.
Factors to Consider
Is my home too old for solar panels? Consider the following factors before installing solar panels in your home.
Switchboard and Meter Upgrades
If you live in an older structure, it could be that you have a switchboard that does not comply with the current standards and could pose an extreme risk to safety. Switchboards of the past were usually constructed of flammable wood or chipboard and backed by asbestos that was toxic or had old-fashioned porcelain fuses. They don’t typically have the safety switch, intended to shut off the circuit in the event of surges or faults.
Legally, your electrician has to ensure that all electrical work complies with the latest regulations. When solar panels are fitted in an old residence, you will likely have to shell out additional money to make the switchboard conform to current safety and legislation standards. This is the case for any electrical work carried out in the building. Is my home too old for solar panels? Check your switchboard and meter upgrades.
Aged Trees and Shading
Older homes often contain trees that have grown over the years. The issue with an old, tall tree is they could outstretch the solar in certain parts of the day or during different seasons.
If a single cell of the solar panel is surrounded by shade, then the entire string of panels will not function as the system would be able to operate with less energy. It’s crucial to know if hanging trees, roof arches, or similar structures can cause shade during the daytime.
An experienced installer can estimate what amount of sun all day long in addition to during winter and summer. So you’ll know if there’s diminished efficiency of the shade. You should also ensure that you’ve placed them in the most optimal location. Is my home too old for solar panels? Check aged trees and shading.
Since the majority of residential solar energy systems are on the roof, it is crucial to have a sturdy base to build it. The most suitable roof for this project is one made out of composite shingles. Roofs made of slate and clay tile do not suit this type of construction. Concrete or flat roofs are difficult but as feasible as wood shake roofs.
Additionally, the roof must not be steep because there will be regular maintenance on the roof. Since personal solar systems can last between 20 and 30 years or more, it’s suggested for the roof to have the same course to prevent taking down the solar panels from putting shingles on the roof. Is my home too old for solar panels? Check your roofing.
Can Solar Panels Be Installed on a Wall?
The wall is not a common installation surface for solar panels. Solar photovoltaic (PV) modules are usually installed on rooftops because they need to be positioned at a particular angle to capture sunlight most effectively.
There are a few reasons why walls are not commonly used as an installation surface for solar PV modules:
- Walls are not usually strong enough to support the weight of solar PV modules.
- Solar PV modules need to be positioned at a particular angle to capture sunlight most effectively, and this is usually only possible on rooftops.
- Walls are often shaded by trees or other buildings, which reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar PV modules.
- Solar PV modules need to be kept clean in order to function properly, and this is usually easier to do on a rooftop than on a wall.
If you are considering installing solar PV modules on a wall, it is important to consult with a qualified installer to determine whether your wall is suitable. The installer will also be able to advise you on the best way to mount the solar PV modules on your wall.
Solar PV Installation for Heritage Properties
If your home is classified as a structure of historic significance in the local council’s heritage register, you might need to get approval before installing solar panels. If you’re unsure whether your home is on the heritage register, you can ask your local council for more details.
Although modern technology is installed in heritage buildings, the visual impact on the building is likely to influence the chances of getting approval. Heritage experts may be required to determine the location of your solar panel according to how it is facing and how much it can alter the style of the building.
Solar is now becoming more prevalent in older homes. It works efficiently on heritage properties and can provide significant environmental benefits for older homes.
Solar Panel PV Installation Requirements in Ireland
All solar panel PV installations in Ireland must comply with the requirements of the Irish Building Regulations. In addition, all solar panel PV installers must be registered with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The SEAI has a list of registered solar panel PV installers on its website. This list is updated regularly and provides contact details for all registered solar panel PV installers in Ireland.
The Irish Building Regulations require that all solar panel PV installations must be carried out by a qualified installer. In addition, all solar panel PV installations must be inspected and certified by the SEAI.
Solar panel PV installations must comply with the following standards:
- IEC 62108 (Photovoltaic systems – Design requirements)
- IEC 62109 (Photovoltaic systems – Safety requirements)
- EN 50380 (Electrical safety of photovoltaic power systems)
- EN50438 (Grid connection of energy storage systems connected to low-voltage networks)
In order to be registered with the SEAI, solar panel PV installers must have completed an SEAI-approved training course. A list of approved courses is available on the SEAI website.
If you are considering installing solar PV panels on your home, it is important to ensure that your installer is registered with the SEAI and that they have the appropriate qualifications. EcoPlex Energy Solutions is an SEAI-certified solar panel installer.
Finding the Right Solar PV Installation Company
Installing solar panels in older homes can be a delicate process. It’s important to find a qualified and experienced solar PV installation company who understands the specific requirements of your home.
EcoPlex Energy Solutions is a qualified and experienced solar PV installation company. We have a team of engineers who are experienced in working with older homes and installing solar panels.
If you’re interested in installing solar panels in your home, contact us today to get a free quote. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about solar PV installations and help you find the best solution for your home