For your solar panel do it yourself project to work, you need to let your solar panels have a direct line of site to the sun. Do this by taking a praetor of your property to see if you can find at least three line of site possibilities for your project. The first place to look is an obvious one: your roof. Three areas there are on your home, your garage and your shed. You want to pick sites that are not too near trees or boundary walls.
Aside from line of site criteria and obstacles like trees and walls, even buildings, you also need to look at the angle your panel will be using. How well it works is directly related to its angle. In North America, angles translates into southern sky. Similar to aligning your satellite dish, you will angle your solar panels toward the southern sky, because this is where the sun spends most of its time. But if you can not find a suitable direct line of site on your property, fear not … just use the western or eastern roofs to accommodate. Remember, solar panels for flat roofs work best.
But, let's say you can not find a suitable location on any roof, flat or angled, east, west or south. What do you do then? Go down. To the ground, that is. For this set up, you can use either a tracking mount or a fixed mount. Fixed mount means exactly that. It does not move. But a tracking mount will tail the sun through the sky and keep your panels as juiced up as they can be through the day.
If considering a ground mounting setup, then you want to take into account the time of year. All your ground mountings need to be on a pole, so that you can change the angle of your solar panels each season. For spring and fall, you want your solar panels aligned to the latitude of your home's location. For winter, add fifteen degrees to the angle, and for summer, take it down fifteen degrees from latitude.
Now, let's get back up to the roof. As I said above, a flat roof works best for you, but if you have an angled roof, you can still set things up appropriately. While an angled roof gives you less work to handle when installing, because you can just lay things out using the roof's angle itself, with a little bit of extra effort you can maximize the use of your new solar panels.
With solar panels for flat roofs, you will need to construct racks to provide an angle to your panels. You also need to take into account the material your roof is made of. You want to avoid leaks in your roof after installation, so take the time to do things right, based upon your roof type. Composition and metal roofs are the best, with a little roofing compound to seal the deal. Concrete and tile roofs will need the help of a good roofer more than likely.