 # How much solar energy can my roof provide in Michigan? – A scientific approach

Solar power is an inexhaustible and sustainable energy source that can be obtained using solar panels or solar roofs. A solar roof is a roof that is equipped with solar panels to produce electricity from sunlight. The quantity of energy generated by a solar roof is determined by various elements, such as the dimensions and direction of the solar panels, weather patterns, and the efficiency of the solar panels.

## The efficiencyof Solar Panels

The efficiency of a solar panel pertains to the amount of energy that can be generated by a solar panel in proportion to its surface area. The efficacy of a solar panel can be influenced by several factors, including the quality of materials employed, the temperature of the panel, and the amount of sunlight that reaches the panel. The efficiency of a solar panel generally varies between 15% and 20%.

Solar panels help with energy efficiency

Solar irradiance represents the amount of solar energy received per unit area at a given moment. The amount of solar irradiance that reaches a solar panel is affected by the positioning of the panel, the angle of the panel, and the atmospheric conditions. The amount of solar irradiance is quantified in kilowatt-hours per square meter per day (kWh/m2/day).

### Assessing the Energy Yield of a Solar Roof

To determine the energy output of a solar roof, the following factors must be taken into consideration:

The size of the solar panels: The bigger the solar panels, the more energy they can produce.

The orientation of the solar panels: The direction of the solar panels affects the amount of solar irradiance they receive. Solar panels facing south receive the most solar irradiance in the northern hemisphere, while solar panels facing north receive the most solar irradiance in the southern hemisphere.

The angle of inclination of the solar panels: The angle of inclination of the solar panels affects the amount of solar irradiance they receive. In general, solar panels should be inclined at an angle equal to the latitude of the site.

Weather conditions: The quantity of solar irradiance that reaches the solar panels is influenced by atmospheric conditions. Cloudy and rainy weather can reduce the amount of solar irradiance that reaches the panels.

The efficiency of the solar panels: The efficiency of the solar panels affects the amount of energy they can produce.

The following formula can be employed to compute the energy yield of a solar roof:

Energy output (kWh/day) = Panel surface area (m2) x Solar irradiance (kWh/m2/day) x Panel efficiency x System efficiency

Panel surface area refers to the complete surface area of the solar panels installed on the roof. Solar irradiance is the quantity of solar energy that is received per unit area at a given moment. Panel efficiency pertains to the efficacy of the solar panels, and system efficiency relates to the efficacy of the entire solar system, including the inverter and other components.

For instance, if a solar roof has a panel surface area of 50 square meters, a solar irradiance of 4.5 kWh/m2/day, a panel efficiency of 17%, and a system efficiency of 90%, the energy output of the solar roof would be:

Energy output (kWh/day) = 50 x 4.5 x 0.17 x 0.90 = 34.43 kWh/day

The climate in Michigan, a state in the northern region of the United States, can have an impact on the energy output of a solar roof. Michigan has a cold and cloudy climate, which can decrease the amount of solar irradiance that reaches the solar panels, thereby reducing the energy output of the solar roof. However, solar panels can still generate energy even in less sunny conditions, making solar roofs a feasible option for energy production in Michigan.