With good cause, solar energy has grown in popularity as a sustainable energy source in recent years. Numerous advantages are provided, such as decreased energy prices, lesser carbon emissions, and greater energy independence. Businesses like solar panels Florida that want to lower their carbon footprint and long-term energy expenses frequently opt for large scale commercial solar panel installation.
Installing solar panels on a business site can bring a number of difficulties, though, just like any construction job. When installing a solar panel system, there are many things to think about, from complying with complicated legislation and regulatory procedures to designing and building a system that fulfills specific energy demands.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the common challenges that businesses face when installing large scale commercial solar panels on their commercial property, as well as strategies for overcoming them.
Understanding Solar Panels: What Are They and How Do They Work?
Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells that capture energy from the sun and convert it into electrical energy that can be used to power homes and businesses.
When sunlight hits the solar panels, the PV cells absorb the energy and release electrons, creating a flow of electricity. This electricity is in the form of direct current (DC) power, which needs to be converted into alternating current (AC) power in order to be used in most buildings.
An inverter is typically used to convert DC power to AC power. The AC power can then be used to power appliances, lights, and other electrical devices in the building. Excess energy can be stored in batteries for later use or fed back into the grid.
Solar panels are typically made of silicon, a common semiconductor material. They come in various sizes and shapes and can be mounted on rooftops, on the ground, or on other structures. They are a renewable source of energy that can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and lower energy costs over time.
Types of Solar Panels
The following are different types of solar panels, including commercial and large-scale commercial panels:
1. Monocrystalline Solar Panels
- Made from a single crystal of silicon
- High efficiency, typically between 15% to 20%
- More expensive than other types of panels
- Durable and long-lasting
2. Polycrystalline Solar Panels
- Made from multiple crystals of silicon
- Lower efficiency than monocrystalline panels, typically between 13% to 16%
- More affordable than monocrystalline panels
- Durability is similar to monocrystalline panels
3. Thin-Film Solar Panels
- Made from a variety of materials, including amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS)
- Lower efficiency than crystalline panels, typically between 10% to 13%
- Flexible and lightweight, making them easier to install in certain locations
- Generally less expensive than crystalline panels
4. Concentrated Solar Panels (CSP)
- Uses mirrors or lenses to focus sunlight onto a small area
- Higher efficiency than other types of panels, typically between 25% to 30%
- Typically used for large-scale commercial applications, such as power plants
- More expensive than other types of panels
5. Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) Solar Panels
- Designed to be integrated into the architecture of a building
- More aesthetically pleasing than traditional solar panels
- Typically less efficient than traditional solar panels
6. Large-Scale Commercial Solar Panels
- Designed for utility-scale solar projects
- High efficiency and output
- Typically installed in ground-mounted arrays
When it comes to commercial applications, there are also specialized panels designed for large-scale commercial use. These panels are typically larger and more durable than residential panels and can be used in a variety of settings, including industrial sites and power plants.
When choosing solar panels for commercial buildings, it’s important to consider factors such as efficiency, durability, and cost. It’s also important to work with a reputable commercial solar installers who can help you choose the best panels for your specific needs.
Benefits of Commercial Solar Panel Installation: Why Go Solar?
There are many benefits to installing solar panels on commercial property. The following are some reasons why going solar can be a smart choice for businesses:
- Lower Energy Expenditures: By producing their own power and lowering their dependency on conventional energy sources, companies may save money on energy expenditures by installing solar panels.
- Return on Investment (ROI): Even though the initial expenses of installing solar panels might be high, businesses can eventually see a return on their investment thanks to energy savings, various incentives, and tax breaks.
- Environmental Sustainability: Solar energy is a clean, renewable form of energy that does not emit hazardous gases or has a negative impact on the environment. By installing solar panels, businesses may lessen their carbon impact and help create a more sustainable future.
- Increased Property Value: By offering a sustainable energy source and lowering energy expenses for future owners, solar panels may raise the value of a business building.
- Brand Reputation: Various companies prioritizing sustainability and renewable energy may improve their brand reputation and draw in clients that appreciate green business practices.
- Energy Independence: By producing their own electricity, companies may lessen their dependence on the grid and safeguard themselves from swings in energy prices.
- Government Incentives: There are a number of government incentives available to companies installing solar panels, including tax credits, rebates, and grants that can assist cover the installation’s initial expenses.
Common Challenges in Commercial Solar Panel Installation
While there are many benefits to installing solar panels on a commercial property, there are also some common challenges that can arise during the installation process.
Here are some of the most common challenges in commercial solar panel installation and how to overcome them:
- Limitations on Roof Space
One of the biggest obstacles to installing commercial solar panels is a lack of available roof space. Due to the size of the building or other structures on the roof, some commercial buildings have a restricted amount of roof space.
Installing a solar panel system that produces enough energy to suit the building’s demands may be difficult as a result. Consider installing ground-mounted solar panel systems in neighboring open spaces as a potential answer to this problem.
- Structural Limitations
Limitations due to the building’s or the roof’s structural integrity present another difficulty. The size and kind of solar panels that may be installed may be restricted by the weight of a solar panel system, which may not be supported by older structures.
Working with a skilled solar installer who can evaluate the structural constraints of the building and suggest a system that complies with safety regulations is essential to overcoming this difficulty.
A solar panel system’s effectiveness can be greatly decreased by neighboring trees, buildings, or other structures that provide shade. To guarantee optimal energy output, possible shadowing must be taken into account when planning and installing a solar panel system.
To lessen shadowing, it could occasionally be required to prune neighboring trees or make structural changes to the structure.
- Regulations and Permitting
Depending on the building’s location and the type of system being installed, commercial solar panel installation may be subject to a number of regulatory and permitting procedures. This may apply to electricity permits, zoning laws, and construction permits. Working with a skilled solar installation may aid in ensuring compliance with all essential licenses and laws.
- Maintenance and Monitoring
To guarantee maximum performance, solar panels need routine maintenance and monitoring, just like any other electrical equipment.
This might involve maintaining the panels, inspecting them for damage, and keeping an eye on energy usage. To keep the system operating well, it’s crucial to engage with a solar installation that offers continuous maintenance and monitoring services.
Commercial solar panel installation can provide significant benefits for businesses, including lower energy costs, environmental sustainability, increased property value, and more.
While there are some common challenges that can arise during installation, such as limited roof space, structural limitations, shading, permitting and regulations, maintenance, and monitoring, these challenges can be overcome with the right planning and installation.
It’s important to work with an experienced solar installer who can assess the unique needs of the building and design a system that maximizes energy output and meets safety requirements. By overcoming these challenges, businesses can enjoy the many benefits of commercial solar panel installation and contribute to a more sustainable future.