I'm slowly teaching myself on how I can build a solar PV system for my own home.

Anyone kind enough to provide a breakdown of what tools i need to test my site for an optimum conversion of solar energy to electricity, and what i need to look out for.

Im looking at a grid-tied PV system.

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    I've voted to close the question since it appears to be a duplicate, but if the other question doesn't cover what you need, then please explain, and we can keep it open. Dec 17, 2015 at 7:48
  • hmm my question is related to the site test before any installation take place, whereas that question is related to monitoring of PV system after installation. I don't think its really similar.
    – ttinggggg
    Dec 18, 2015 at 8:14
  • Ok, we'll need to reword the question I think. The title especially makes it sound like the tools needed are for an existing installation. Are you able to describe the kind of problems you're looking to solve? eg how to choose the correct orientation and tilt for the panels, how to choose wiring or inverter specs perhaps Dec 18, 2015 at 20:58
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    The original title (Detailed breakdown of Solar PV installation site test) made it more clear that he wants to do a site survey, not test an existing installation.
    – Johnny
    Dec 29, 2015 at 1:58
  • There are a number of tools on-line that provide historical weather data to give an estimate of power output from a proposed PV installation. Is that the sort of thing you're looking for? If so, we'll need to know your location in order to recommend the best tool.
    – LShaver
    Dec 20, 2016 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


Partial answer:

Most of this boils down to what the availability of sunlight at your location is.

Factor 1: How much sunlight does your area get? Try googling "PV potential resource atlas" This will often find either maps or tables for your country that will list the sunlight resouce for a Typical meteorological year. (TMY)

The result of this is usually a number "kWh/Kw installed capacity" for given orientation. Most table I've seen have numbers for vertical, latitude +- 15 degrees, and horizontal. There are ways to adjust for non-south orientations.

Factor 2: Orientation and shading of the mount location. There are apps for smartphones that show the path of the sun at solstice/equinox. Using these you can quickly determine if there is going to be shade on your location at any given time.

Factor 3: Regulations affecting your hookup. Check this carefully, as in some jurisdictions it is effectively impossible to get connected, or there is such a discount applied to the power you add to the grid, that it is not economical. This may also affect how much of it you can do yourself and how much you have to hire done.

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