As communities across Virginia and the rest of the country continue to adopt solar energy systems at a tremendous rate, you’re more likely to see a wider diversity of installations near where you live.


One example is the idea of creating panels that are able to move in a rotational range of motion — a rotating system allows the panel to change positions to optimize light harvesting throughout a day.


With more diverse systems, property owners have more choices about how to set up solar systems on their properties. Here are four basic things to know about rotating solar panels.


Rotating solar panels are generally more costly — since the rotating panels require specialized parts, they’re going to be more expensive to install. By contrast, it’s easy to set up a fixed solar panel on the roof or on the ground — compared to the rotating variety, fixed solar panels are becoming very affordable.


Rotating solar panels have a higher maintenance burden — of course, you’re going to also have more maintenance needs when dealing with rotating solar panels. Even well-engineered systems will need some sort of maintenance over time, where fixed panels simply sit on a roof or other mounted space and need very little maintenance over a long period of time.


You get a lot more power — one of the big pros of rotating solar panels is that they can move with the sun to harvest much more power throughout the day. For example, check out this article from Inhabitat where one supplier boasts that it’s cone panels can generate up to 20 times more than a flat panel. You get the idea.


They’re good for smaller areas — one of the best applications of rotating solar panels is where a property doesn’t have enough space to harvest the energy that it needs with fixed panel systems. Many of the larger solar farms and many smaller systems on large parcels of land have fixed panels because they can afford the space and save money. However, if there is a capacity issue due to grading, forest canopy, buildings or other considerations, a rotating solar panel design can be a way to up production without increasing the land used for solar harvesting.


Rotating solar panels aren’t just theoretical — for example, take a look at reporting from the Northern Virginia Daily this month on a new solar project in Mount Jackson that has just been given a green light by the town council.


If you are in Charlottesville or around the Albemarle County area, Sun Day Solar can help you to figure out which type of system is the best for your particular property. Talk to us about all of your practical questions on installation and maintenance, and ask about various incentives and grants available to fund solar improvements. Let us help you to get the best system for your property, and start enjoying renewable energy!