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Solar panels for backyard: From concept to reality

Solar panels are a renewable and sustainable source of energy, but they also have the potential to save you thousands of dollars in the long run. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of installing solar panels in the backyard, covering everything from initial planning to maintenance and troubleshooting.

To roof or not to roof: Benefits of ground installation

One of the pros of ground mounting is the possibility to install larger solar panel arrays, increasing the overall power output of your system. This is because the ground is better suited for installing big heavy panels in large numbers. Additionally, backyard installation allows for greater flexibility in panel orientation and tilt, which can increase the overall efficiency of your system.

Another argument in favor of backyard solar is ease of maintenance and repairs. It is much easier to access and work on panels that are installed on the ground, rather than on a rooftop. This means that any issues can be addressed promptly, without the need for expensive equipment or scaffolding.

Finally, ground installation offers increased tweaking and customization options. Non-roof solar panels can be easily adjusted and repositioned to optimize energy production, whereas roof-mounted panels are more limited in this regard. Additionally, ground-mounted panels can save the day if the roof is unusable due to angle or shading.

However, there are also situations when roof installation is more beneficial. If you have a small or shaded backyard, or if you want to preserve it for other uses, then roof installation may be your only option.

Get up to 25% more power by following the sun

Solar trackers are devices that adjust the position of solar panels to optimize their exposure to sunlight. When installing solar panels on the ground, solar trackers can be used to increase their efficiency by up to 25% compared to fixed panels. The way they work is by following the sun's movement throughout the day, adjusting the panel's angle to always face the sun directly. This allows for more energy to be captured, leading to higher electricity production.

Solar trackers come in two main types: single-axis and dual-axis. Single-axis trackers move the panels along one axis, following the sun's east-west movement. Dual-axis trackers, on the other hand, move the panels along two axes, allowing them to also adjust for the sun's elevation in the sky. Dual-axis trackers are generally more efficient, but also more expensive.

When considering solar trackers for a backyard installation, it is important to take into account the cost-benefit ratio. While they can increase energy production, they also add to the overall cost of the installation. It's recommended to use trackers in locations with high solar radiation and to consider the shading from nearby trees and buildings.

How to choose solar panels for backyard

When it comes to choosing backyard solar panels, there are several key factors to consider in order to ensure maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Here are the things to pay attention to:

• Power output. Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the more energy the panel will produce and the more savings you will see on your utility bill.
Efficiency. This parameter indicates how much of the sun's energy the panel is able to convert into usable electricity. A panel with a higher efficiency rating will be able to produce more power per square foot, making it a better choice for smaller backyards.
• Type of cells. There are two main types: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient and tend to have a longer lifespan, but they are also more expensive. Polycrystalline panels are less expensive but also less efficient.
• Physical characteristics. Ground-mounted solar panels are exposed to the elements and need to be able to withstand wind, snow, and other weather conditions. Look for panels with strong frames and durable materials that can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads.
• Ground clearance. Ground-mounted solar panels need to be elevated off the ground to allow for proper ventilation and maintenance. Look for racking systems that allow for a minimum of 2-3 feet of ground clearance.
• Flexibility. Backyard solar panels can be oriented and tilted to optimize energy production, which is especially important if the panels will be installed in an area with shading. Look for systems that allow for easy adjustment of the panels’ angle or consider a tracking system which will automatically follow the sun.

When it comes to installing backyard solar, there are a few brands that stand out as being reliable, efficient, and cost-effective for backyard solar installations.

Canadian Solar is a well-known and reputable brand that offers a wide range of solar panels specifically designed for residential use. They have a strong focus on quality, performance and reliability, making them a top choice for homeowners looking to install solar panels in their backyard.

LG Solar has a reputation for producing high-efficiency solar panels that are perfect for backyard installations. Their panels feature a sleek and durable design, making them a great option for homeowners who want a visually appealing solar panel system. Additionally, LG Solar's panels have been tested to withstand extreme weather conditions, making them ideal for outdoor use.

Trina Solar is a global leader in the solar industry, known for producing high-quality and affordable solar panels. Their panels are designed for easy installation, making them a great option for homeowners who want a DIY installation. Trina Solar's panels also have a high efficiency rate, which means they can generate more electricity per square foot of space, making them ideal for small backyards.

Three best solar panels for backyard

Solar systems may appear complicated. First, you have to choose all these different elements and make sure they match. Then, the installation starts and it also can be stressful and time-consuming. Here is the good news: a system made of AC solar panels is much simpler. Well, is there any bad news? What are these ACpanels anyway? Let's find out.

Vasilii Smirnov
Solar Installation Expert

When choosing solar panels for a backyard installation, it's important to consider the shading from nearby trees or buildings. Make sure to choose panels with a higher tolerance for shading.

LG NeON R 370 W: No compromises

The LG NeON 370 W solar panel is an excellent choice for backyard installations. With its high power output of 370 W and an impressive efficiency of 20.4%, it generates more power per square foot than other panels. Additionally, the panel is durable and fully weatherproof, but has a lightweight and slim profile that allows for easy installation on a variety of surfaces. This panel comes with a 25-year warranty and is an excellent option for homeowners looking to maximize their energy production in a limited backyard space.

Trina Vertex 395 W: Black pearl

The Trina Vertex 395 W solar panel is a 120-cell monocrystalline panel that boasts a high efficiency of 20.5%. The power density of this module makes it an ideal option for those with limited space. The panel also features a sleek black frame and black backsheet, making it a stylish and unobtrusive addition to any backyard. Additionally, this Trina Vertex panel has a temperature coefficient of 0.25%, which means that it maintains its high performance even in hot climates.

Canadian Solar HiKu Black 390 W: Made in North America

This Canadian Solar 390W panel is a high-performance monocrystalline panel with 132 cells and a module efficiency of 19.2%. It offers high energy yield for its size, making it an ideal choice for backyard installations. Its durable black frame and anti-reflective coating increase its aesthetic appeal and its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. The panel also has a better shading tolerance compared to the competition. With a weight of only 49.6 lbs, it is easy to handle and install.

From planning to production: Installing solar panels for backyard

Installing solar panels in the backyard may seem daunting, but it becomes much easier once you know what to do.

  1. Assess your energy needs. Before installing solar panels, it's important to understand how much energy your household consumes on a regular basis. This will help you determine the optimal size and number of solar panels.

  2. Inspect the installation site. The goal is to determine the best location for your solar panel system. Some important factors are shading, ease of access and the angle of the sun.

  3. Choose an installer. If you have the expertise, time, and the laws in your state allow it, you can proceed with a DIY installation. For most people, however, a professional solar installer will be the best bet. Look for a company with a good reputation and positive customer reviews.

  4. Get permits and incentives. Before installing your solar panel system, you'll need to apply for any necessary permits and take advantage of the available incentives. This can include state and federal tax credits, rebates and grants. Normally, your solar installer will handle most or all the paperwork.

  5. Do regular maintenance. Once your solar panel system is installed, it's important to regularly maintain it to ensure continuous operation at maximum efficiency. This can include cleaning the panels, checking the wiring and monitoring the performance.

Writing for electronics manufacturers like Bitmain taught Maxim to extract the important details from lengthy equipment documentation. At the same time, it made him aware of the environmental effects, and he put his talents to work for a renewable future.

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