How to conduct
a solar site survey
A solar site survey is simple, takes
about 10 minutes, and will help you greatly to guage
what you'll get from the sun's power. You'll need 2
very simple things which you can download from these
A sun chart for the area in which you live. Get
this from: this site at the Univeristy of
Using your zip code it will
give you a perfect custom-tailored chart for
your location. Leave the options set to
whatever they were when the page loaded.
Click the link below for an azimuth and elevation
gauge. It will serve both purposes, so make 2
printouts of it.
DOWNLOAD ELEVATION & AZIMUTH CHART HERE
Follow these steps:
Azimuth gauge: Look on
weather.com, in a local paper, or use a GPS unit to
find out what time noon is on any given day, then
align your guage's "south" line to the direction of
the sun at that time.
Elevation gauge: Tape the other guage
to a piece of cardboard, flat side on top. Poke a
hole through the "reference circle" of the guage
and feed a string through the hole.
At each 10 degree mark on the azimuth gauge,
you'll need to take a seperate reading with the
Look straight across the elevation gauge's "Sight Line" and
line it up with the tallest point on the horizon...trees,
large rocks, other houses, etc. If there is no
blockage there, use the horizon itself. Record
the elevation number the string is crossing.
Your filled out chart will look like this:
Interpreting the results
If you had 5
- 6 hours of sun that was not behind any obstacles cenetered
roughly around the noontime sun, you're a-ok for going ahead
with solar projects. If not, consider moving your collector,
aiming it differently, or perhaps using a tracking collector
(this is a collector that literally moves to follow the
sunlight and keep it centered the entire time it's
make money from the sun & wind
I don't tell this to many
people, but this is the best course I have seen
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renewable energy systems.
updated, essential how-to guide includes
instructions on everything from how to wire
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made...even how to assemble solar cells!
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