Friday, August 26, 2011

Palm Trees: California Homeowner Dream or Solar Installer Nightmare?

California's quintessential, unmistakably 
recognizable and most prized icon: the beloved palm tree.

Look, I'm just going to come right out and say it: I'm not a big fan of palm trees. Don't get me wrong, I mean, I think they're beautiful and all but they're often the bane of my existence. Let me explain... 

See, without getting too scientific on you here, when you shine a bright light on a really tall object, it casts an unbelievably long shadow. That's not likely a surprise to any of you out there but what may be a surprise is the fact us hard working individuals in the solar industry think about these things every day. You walk up to a house saying "isn't that row of palm trees near that Spanish-styled roof so beautiful?" In contrast, us solar types say "Oh no, that tree is going to cast an unbelievably long shadow over my whole array of solar panels. That's really going to hurt power generation and we may not be able to secure as attractive of a state rebate for our customer because of this..."

Neither opinion is right or wrong. It's simply just a different way of seeing things. But it's our job, as your trusted and reliable source of all information solar to help you out with these assessments. In fact, if this small but important detail was overlooked, it could result in tens of thousands of kilowatts lost over the life of a solar system. Since California utility companies are selling a good percentage of their energy in the low $0.30 per watt range, this could add up to thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, over 25 years. Those palm trees aren't looking so attractive now, are they?

But in all seriousness, it's vital to secure a solar contractor who is a professional and knows what how to handle every possible situation that may and will arise. Whether it be sizing of the system, amount of power generated, location and pitch of the array and any potential shading issues, a competent contractor can save a substantial amount of money while producing a significantly higher amount of energy. A win-win by any measure.  

I'm cringing just thinking about all the shadows...

So the next time you walk up to your house, take a look at your trees. Are they shading your roof? Could they possibly shade when the sun draws lower in the sky? These are the questions a smart solar installer would ask prior to setting foot on any roof to install solar panels. Just like a Ferrari parked on a long, windy brick-paved driveway, those palm trees are beautiful aren't they? Alright, I'll take that back, but boy do they sure cast a long shadow...

Pey Shadzi
Operations Manager at Cosmic Solar
Proud owner of a beautiful solar system
(760) 532-9712

1 comment:

  1. This is very good information.i think it's useful advice. really nice blog. keep it up!!!

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