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How practical are solar panels on an east & west facing roof?

How practical are solar panels on an east & west facing roof?

Old 10-17-15, 04:38 AM
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Question How practical are solar panels on an east & west facing roof?

Just wondering about how practical it would be installing solar panels on a roof in the Midwest (Southern Ohio, for example) where the gable roof faces east and west? And what would be acceptable roof pitches (6:12, 8:12)?
Old 10-19-15, 08:02 AM
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You would need to get a full assessment from an experienced solar contractor. There are a lot of important factors to take in to account. My opinion (southern Michigan) it's a huge waste of money. Systems I've seen around here have an optimistic 20-25 year payback, with 30 year expected life on the panels -- huge upfront costs and expected to only break even in three decades.

There are better options to reduce energy use. First insulate, insulate, insulate, and seal; replace doors and windows with the best. Make sure your attic is correctly ventilated, penetrations fully sealed and very well insulated. Look at a ground source heat pump for heating and cooling. If that's not a good option, get the highest efficiency HVAC system you can get. Look at solar water heating -- much more efficient and much cheaper than solar electricity. Replace all of your lighting fixtures with LED. Replace your appliances with high efficiency models. If you do all of these things you'll still be about half the price of installing a PV solar system and have better payback in terms of both gas and electric use, plus you'll have all new mechanicals and appliances.

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