Solar Photovoltaic (PV) - Will This Work Where I Live?
Solar Works nearly as well in Idaho as it does in Florida
Solar PV Energy Works in any State & Canada
One common misconception about Solar PV is that you need to be located in sunny California or Arizona to enjoy the benefits of solar electric panels. The truth is that solar radiation is good across all of the U.S and the southern tier of Canada to make your own solar energy. The actual radiation in a northern latitude may be 80% of what it is in the desert Southwest, but the lower temperatures allow for better production of electricity from the panels so the end results are not all that different.
Germany leads the world in installed solar capacity and they get nearly the same amount of sunshine as Alaska.
Even northern latitudes with colder climates can benefit tremendously from solar power installations. In fact, some of our largest NASS member providers are located in northern latitudes and Ontario, CA. Germany is the world leader in Solar PV energy and it is farther north than the continental U.S. and most of the population in Canada. Solar PV energy works in all U.S. states and Canada. Solar PV is no longer only used in California, Arizona and Nevada, it is expanding rapidly throughout North America.
Bear in mind that it is not the warmth of the sun that Solar Photovoltaic Systems work with, it is the photon energy that makes the solar cells work. All PV Solar Panels are affected by heat. The hotter the solar panel, the lower the power output. Actually many Solar PV panels can deliver 110% of the output that they are rated for in cold climates, while hot spots like the Southwestern U.S. see significantly reduced output because higher temperatures cut down on the effective output that is delivered. For instance, the solar output in Florida and Idaho is nearly the same. Florida gets more sunlight but has much higher average yearly temps than Idaho. Consider the fact that solar panels are in use on the Space Station where temperatures can reach -250 degrees fahrenheit.
Most of the populated areas of Canada have the same latitude and climate as Austria where 1 out every 7 homes has a solar energy system. In Toronto, experimental research shows that radiation from the sun in the city is almost the same as in Miami. It is only a matter of time before consumers tire of paying ever increasing utility rates and declare energy independence with solar energy across the north.
In some parts of Canada and the Pacific Northwest solar energy generating capacity can be limited by a large percentage of cloudy days and a lower position of the sun in the sky for a longer portion of the year, but even there grid-connected systems can still cut utility bills substantially and be worth the investment in the long-term. Many in the northern climates also opt for tracker style pole mounted units that adjust for the low sun angle and adjust constantly for the optimal position needed to harvest the most energy.
Solar PV energy works in all U.S. states and Canada. Solar PV is no longer only used in California, Arizona and Nevada, it is expanding rapidly throughout North America. In the 3rd quarter of 2011 there was more PV installed on commercial buildings in New Jersey than in California!
Solar PV panels are typically mounted on a south-facing roof or using a pole mounting with a slope between 20 and 60 degrees. Pole mounted solar modules can be installed in a stationary configuration or use a tracking mechanism to move the position of the panels in relation to the sun's position in the sky and optimize output.
Our NASS member stores always install the most efficient solar cells and pair them with a quality inverter that reduces any losses during the conversion from DC to AC power for your home or small business use. Using the best solar components means you will be getting the best possible results no matter where you live in North America. Bottom line, if you live in the U.S. or Canada you will be happy with the savings a solar energy equipped home can provide.