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Solar Site Analysis

Before designing or installing a solar energy system, itís important to determine how much solar energy your site receives. To be eligible for most financial incentives, you will need to demonstrate that your site meets some minimum solar resource requirements. If you hire a solar contractor or a passive solar design architect, they will perform the solar site analysis for you.

A solar site analysis will evaluate the combined effects of:


Maximum solar energy will collected with your building or solar panels oriented true south. Use a compass to measure your siteís magnetic south, then adjust for magnetic declination to locate true south.


Summer shading may be desired in passive solar design, but is detrimental to solar electric or solar water heating system output. A shade evaluation tool such as a sun chart or solar pathfinder is used to analyze the impact of shading on your site. These tools show the daily path of the sun across the sky during all hours and all months of the year. The impact of shading can be calculated by mapping (manually or photographically, depending on the tool) all of the items that will block the sun's rays, such as trees, hills and buildings. Be sure to note items such as trees and planned construction that might shade the site in the future. Also consider that morning or afternoon shading will be more detrimental to solar panels facing east or west, respectively.

Tilt angle:

Solar panels can be tilted at a variety of angles and still allow solar electric or solar water heating systems to work effectively. You may choose the tilt of your solar panels to result in the best aesthics and ease of installation, for maximum annual energy production, or for targeted seasonal production.

Learn more about how to site a solar electric or solar water heating system.




50% State Tax Credit NOW!
Available towards the cost of
solar power for your home or apartment. learn more

How to Receive the 50% State Tax Credit
What you need to know to qualify your purchase and receive your tax credit is included in these Louisiana Department of Revenue Rules for " Wind or Solar System Tax Credits" . learn more

To learn more about the New Orleans Solar America Cities project partners click on the logos below:

City of New Orleans

Alliance for Affordable Energy

Global Green USA