With the increasing number of people choosing to be energy self-sufficient, more and more people are looking for ways to harness the power of the Sun. The problem is that not all places are created equal when it comes to solar energy. In fact, some places are much more suited for generating power than others.
To find the best spot to build a solar array, it’s important to consider a variety of factors. Not all of them are related to the physical location of the site but rather depend on the climate and other conditions. That being said, keep reading for some top tips on finding the best solar site.
Consider The Weather
If you’re looking for a spot that’s good for both wind and solar power, then you’ve come to the right place! The northern and southern hemispheres offer up a lot of sunshine and wind energy, respectively. So if you’re looking for renewable energy resources, then the options are pretty much endless. You’ll just have to pick your spot, stake it out, and get to work.
As for the specific location of your project, near the Equator is a great spot for both solar power and wind power generation. The reason is that the Earth naturally rotates such that the sun is at its closest point to the Equator and its daily trajectory is directly overhead, providing the most possible energy for solar power. Conversely, the wind is always blowing somewhere, whether directly overhead or at a slight angle, so there’s bound to be a constant source of renewable energy right at your fingertips. This is called the “Goldilocks Zone” for a reason – not too hot, not too cold, but just right for generating power from the sun and wind.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more temperate climate where it never rains or snows, but rather it’s a cool damp climate that fogs up in the morning and dries up by the afternoon, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. Wind and solar power don’t work as well in damp environments as in arid ones because the wind doesn’t have as much of an impact and the Sun can’t easily penetrate the thick atmosphere to light up the place. Besides, even in the best-case scenario, the wind is unpredictable and often times, it doesn’t blow at all, denying you of any energy gain. There’s also the problem of excessive damp – it will grow moss and ferns that will eventually rot your equipment if you don’t clean it regularly.
Take The Topography Of Your Location Into Account
If you’re not familiar, topography is the study of the shape and size of the earth’s surface. It basically means that the location you choose for your project must have a certain “shape” to it. The most basic topography lesson is to look at a topographical map of your location and pay attention to the shape of the land. This is particularly important if you’re on an oceanic island because the shape of the island will impact how easily you can connect to the power grid. Shaped like a circle, you’ll have a lot of effort to find a place to connect to the power grid. Think about it – how good is it going to be if all the power generated on a large circular island is only available to residents on the outskirts of the island?
As for the size of the area, the bigger the better. A bigger area will provide you with more room to install equipment and take advantage of all the space. If your area is big enough, you’ll be able to put up a number of different varieties of solar power equipment, allowing you to take advantage of the most economical solution available. This brings us to our next point.
Look At All The Options
We’re always being told by the government and other energy companies that we need to diversify our energy sources. While this may be true in the long run, in the short run, it’s often times better to focus on one or two solutions that you know will work. Diversifying your energy sources is something you should do once you’ve tried out the simpler solutions and found them to be insufficient. For example, suppose you tried out solar power and found that it wasn’t suitable for your location. Maybe the sun doesn’t shine at the right time of day or it’s too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. There are many reasons why solar power might not be the best solution for you. In that case, it would be a good idea to try out another energy source.
On the other hand, if you’ve tried out solar power and it’s still not produced enough energy to meet your needs, it might be a good idea to try out another energy source. Maybe there’s a large body of water close by that could be used to generate power. Or, maybe there’s a large field of solar-absorbing crystals that could be used to create a small self-sustaining community.
The point is that you must try out all the options available to you. Even though some may be better suited for your location than others, none of them will work if you don’t give them a chance. So, instead of looking at the first couple of options that come up in an online search and deciding that those are the best, take a little bit of time to research more obscure options. The more you know, the more you can take advantage of. At the very least, you’ll be able to choose an energy source that’s better suited to your location than if you’d just gone with the first couple of results from your search engine.
Think About The Transport Issue
As we’ve established, not all places are created equal when it comes to solar energy. Some locations are more favorable to generating power than others. Now, although this is generally true, it doesn’t mean that transportation is out of the question. If you’re on a remote island with no other option for getting your energy needs met, you might have to consider how you’re going to transport the energy you generate to where you need it. This could be a problem. If you live on a small island close to a large body of water, you could conceivably generate a lot of energy and not have much need for transportation. However, if you need to get to a place with more sophisticated equipment or for employees to get to work, you could run into problems. You could build a small dock for boats to be driven out to; however, in the winter, this might not be the best option. For larger islands, you could build an airstrip and establish a schedule of fly-ins by helicopter to bring in supplies and evacuate waste. This might not be practical in every case, but it’s something to think about.
Choose A Site That Has Good Grid Connection
There’s another issue that you must consider if you decide to build a solar array in a particular location – how good is the electricity going to be transferred to where you need it? If you live on a remote island that doesn’t have good grid connection, you’ll have to figure out some way to get the electricity you generate onto the grid. In some locations, this can be as simple as running a wire to the nearest town or village. However, if you decide to go this route, make sure that you contact the local power company and establish a power contract before you start digging trenches and running wires all over the place. The last thing you want to do is have the power company charge you exorbitant amounts for the electricity you generate because you didn’t have a formal contract in place. So, make sure you establish one before you get started.
Take Your Time
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when choosing a location for their solar array is that they rush into things. They’ve heard about the “ripple effect” and how it is beneficial to start Small and then grow your business as you see fit. The problem with this is that sometimes, the “ripple effect” can have unexpected consequences. For example, if you’re on a small island and you start generating a lot of power, there’s not a lot that you can do with it because there’s nowhere for you to sell the power to. Or, if you do decide to sell it, the local power company might not be interested in purchasing power from a small generator on a small island. Sometimes, the “ripple effect” can work in your favor but it depends on a lot on how you want to use it. If you want to sell your power to a local power company, then you might have to take it down a notch. On the other hand, if you want to keep it for yourself, you might be able to generate enough power to drive a small industry or to provide all the electricity for a small community.