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Solar Panel Shutters for the North

 
gardener
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Location: Ohio, USA
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I'm curious if anyone has done this.  Replaced their shutters with solar panels. They are similar in size and color.  They are in an ideal location for northern homes to get sun when it's cold, not hold snow load, and get dusted off as necessary. I'm considering it on my house.  They'd theoretically pay for themselves in about 5-7 years, which means they are on the verge of being worth it in my mind. It wouldn't feed your average family's power use, but we are on the low side and snow+declination of the sun makes the roof not really ideal, especially during winter in northern climates, when you'd need it the most. Thanks!
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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This might work on the south-facing side of the house, but not so much on the other sides? I'm wondering if the angle would be right to get sunlight. I live on a north-facing slope at a northernly latitude, and only get 2-4 hours of sun during the winter--and that's across my whole property. My house gets maybe 2. And I don't have any south-facing windows.

But, maybe it'd work for southfacing windows in a cold area that gets lots of sun and sun that reflects off of snow?
 
pollinator
Posts: 261
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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This is a very interesting idea!  We have solar panels on our roof because it happens to face the right direction but I have always liked shutters.
 
pollinator
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Location: North central Ontario
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The problem I see in the scenario is for the northern hemisphere in locations where shutters are of most use winds are usually out of the East west and north none of which are great solar angles especially mounted at 90 degrees on a wall. You would gain some on the south wall. The Ideal angle as a rule of thumb is latitude plus 15 degrees for winter time. Every 15 degrees off that ideal angle expect 5 to 10 percent less production off the panel.
Cheers, David
 
Amit Enventres
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We get lots of grey, but the white all around is so complete you can see outside at night. Our latitude is 41° +15 = 56°, but based on where the light hits inside during winter,  I don't think that calculation makes sense, but I've been wrong before.  Solar panels don't move, so they only get direct sun occasionally, even if oriented to that equation.  Daylight hours here is about 12 during winter and about 15 during summer. I'm experimenting with some solar lights and indoors through dirty windows at bad angles I usually can get a few hours of light, which makes me hopeful for a proper set up.  I will have to see how well things go over winter... though I might decide to clean the windows. Thanks for the advice!
 
David Baillie
pollinator
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Location: North central Ontario
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There is a difference between hours of daylight and sunhours. This is a good overview  www.solarpowerauthority.com/how-to-calculate-your-peak-sun-hours/
And here is a decent map for the worst month
http://www.solardirect.com/outdoor-lighting/solar/street/area-light/solar-insolation-map.html


Cheers,   David
 
steward & bricolagier
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Location: SW Missouri
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Amit: Do you mean replacing useful storm shutters with solar panels, or the fake ones they put on suburban houses as decor?

If you have useful shutters, I'd think on which matters more in your climate, getting a bit of solar vs the protection of functional shutters. Where I am, I need good storm shutters, that's priority for me. If I had fake shutters though, oh yeah, replace any of those that face the right way! Anything you could do to those things is an upgrade.
 
gardener & hugelmaster
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Location: mountains of Tennessee
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The angle of solar panel orientation is critical. Will try to attach a pdf file. It's a little different than conventional thinking on the subject but worth a read. If it the file doesn't attach do yourself & your wallet a favor & look up panel orientation online. It makes a huge difference in performance.
Filename: Tilt-and-Angle-Orientation-of-Solar-Panels.pdf
File size: 113 Kbytes
 
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