How to Improve Solar System Efficiency in Commercial Applications
There are many commercial businesses that use solar energy for their operations. It is a great way of reducing overhead costs. But you need to select high quality solar panels and choose an installer that will be able to fit the system properly.
Commercial solar power systems can outlast 25 years when you select high quality materials and construction. But you need to consider the condition of your roof as well. If there is a repair required within the lifespan of the solar panels, you will incur more costs when you have to remove the solar array to replace the roof. There is also the risk of damage to the panels or components during the removal and re-installation process and this may void the conditions in the warranty. So evaluate the condition of the roof before the solar installation. It is best to install solar panels when the roof is new or right after a roof replacement is carried out. Also, you need to make sure that the roof has sufficient strength to support the weight of the solar panels. Solar panels can be quite heavy and it can have a big impact when it comes to a large scale commercial installation. You can get a recommendation from the solar provider and a structural engineer on whether any fortification is required for the roof.
Generally, commercial roofs will be used to service HCAV equipment and there are drainage systems and vents that will require routine maintenance. So when designing a solar panel array for the roof, you need to consider the current services layout and how the maintenance of the existing services can still be carried out even after the installation of solar panels. Then there is regular maintenance to be done for the roof. The panels should be installed in such a way that allows for this. Make sure that you involve the ones responsible for the MEP design and the solar design to optimise the roof layout. They will be able to discuss options and create a plan that adheres to local fire and safety codes.
When the operating temperature of solar panels rises, the productivity can decrease. So you have to look at ways of reducing temperature. One solution is to use a reflective roof surface that will reduce the temperature of the panels. There are also bifacial solar panels that have photovoltaic cells above and below. The cells below the panel will be able to generate power from the light reflected off the roof. The racking system you use for the commercial solar array should match with the materials of the roof and its structure. The roof designer should be in touch with the solar designers so that they will be able to give insight into the construction of the roof and what it can withstand. When there is a commercial solar array, it should be divided into groups with spacing in between for maintenance. When there is no spacing between the rows of panels, it can be difficult to reach the centre of the system.