Solar energy systems are more affordable than ever, so it’s no surprise that they’re becoming more popular for businesses and homeowners alike. Sure, everybody likes saving on energy costs, but companies have the added benefit of being able to publicize their solar panel installation and get the word out that they’re using a renewable energy source.
However, there are some key differences between residential versus commercial solar systems found on commercial buildings. Let’s learn a little more.
1. Solar Panel Size
The most obvious difference between commercial and residential solar is the panel size. Commercial solar panels are usually larger than residential solar panels, and that’s because of roof size. Commercial flat roofs are large expanses of open space that catch a lot of sunlight. Residential homes, on the other hand, have small pitched roofs that won’t receive the same amount of sun exposure.
2. Installation and Mounting System
Due to the flat nature of most commercial roofs, the commercial solar installation process sometimes varies from residential customers. Many commercial solar panel systems use a ballasted system that doesn’t penetrate the roof layer. However, some commercial solar projects use a bolted racking system like the kind on residential buildings.
The main difference between the two is installation time. From this perspective, residential installations are easier, due to fewer solar panels being installed and the ease in which technical issues can be ironed out. But for commercial customers, it’s a different story. Planning a commercial project takes a lot of time and know-how. That’s why rooftop solar installations can take months (not counting the time it takes for building permits to make their way through the local government)!
3. Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar technology utilizes photovoltaic cells. Simply put, these are the cells that absorb sunlight and convert it into direct current. Direct current passes through an inverter where it’s converted into usable alternating current.
Since solar systems like the kind found on commercial buildings use larger panels, they are more energy efficient than home systems. Residential solar systems that are ground-mounted are usually more efficient, but more expensive. For commercial, tilt angles can maximize efficiency by capturing more sunlight. The efficiency is also a reason that lends itself to why many solar farms are ground-mounted.
LEARN MORE About Commercial Solar Panel Installation HERE
4. Solar System Color
Believe it or not, there is a difference in color when it comes to residential and commercial solar power systems. Commercial solar panels are usually white, while residential solar panels can be black or white. (The color typically found in residential areas is black with black backing.)
Black (and darker) solar panels “capture” more sunlight due to monocrystalline silicon. White has polycrystalline silicon, which doesn’t hold onto solar energy as much. If you want your choice of colors for your home’s clean energy source, it can be done. If you’re a commercial business looking into solar cells, you might follow other commercial locations opting for black panels on a white backing.
5. Commercial Solar System Financing
Costs are different between residential and commercial solar panels. Naturally, residential will cost less because the systems themselves are often smaller than their commercial counterparts.
There is a federal solar tax credit for residential, but the good news is that there’s a Federal Investment Tax Credit for commercial solar panels, too. Businesses also have the opportunity to get locked into a lower interest rate for a long time (decades), which can lead to more financial sustainability.
TEMA Roofing: Brighten Your Roof and Energy Source
Now you have an idea about the differences between residential vs. commercial solar system options! As you research the technology and solar industry professionals for your commercial building, look no further than TEMA Roofing Services. We can provide all the information needed prior to commercial solar panel installation, so contact us today!