How to see the shadows of the roof before putting solar panels

If you are thinking of putting solar panels, you have already carried out a small study of whether they are worth it or not, the next thing you should look at is if you have shadows on your roof. The shadows can come from our own or neighbor’s chimneys, also from nearby trees and even from some building that we have nearby. Paying close attention to what shadows we have throughout the day (from sunrise to sunset) is a fundamental aspect. Today in this article we are going to help you with this using a free tool to see the shadows, thanks to this tool we can see a simulation of the shadows that we will have.

Shadow simulator for our roof

see the shadows of the roof before putting solar panels

Looking at what shadows we have on our roof is very important to know where they are and how to avoid them, we must bear in mind that when we put solar panels, if one of the panels has a shadow, the entire chain of plates is disabled unless you put devices like the “optimizers” , which basically what they do is “override” that plate with shadow and the rest work correctly. Our recommendation is that you look at the roof at different times of the day, but this is more difficult to see during every day of the year because the sunrise and sunset changes radically. In order to simulate where the sun rises and where it sets, it is very important that you use the following free tool:

In this simulator, the first thing we have to do is locate our house on the map , it is based on Google Maps so we will not get lost. In order to better locate our country and city, we can choose the map view instead of the satellite view. Later, when we already have our location, we can select the satellite view to see our roof without a doubt.

In the menu on the right we can configure the height that our roof will have, we can also choose the simulation of the sun on the current day , on the summer solstice or on the winter solstice. Of course, we could also choose specific dates to simulate what shadows we would have depending on the position of the sun.

If we choose the satellite view, we also have the possibility to do it with the “labels” to know where we are moving. To be able to zoom in we have to use the corresponding buttons or the CTRL key + mouse wheel.

In this example, we are going to simulate the shadows of any house. We choose the area and draw a rectangle with the tools that we have at the top. We can choose a square or a rectangle by defining the vertices. Another information that we have to put is the height of the roof , an approximate height so that it calculates the shadows correctly, because not only our shadow is important but also that of the buildings around us .

Once we have defined our roof, if we have a chimney we can see at what times it casts shadows on the plates. We can also move the sun throughout the day, because it is possible that at certain times we have a lot of shade, but at other times there is simply none.

It is critical that you use the different controls to see the shadows at different times, months of the year, and even from nearby buildings as well. In our case, after installing the solar panels we have verified that the shadows calculated by this tool correspond to reality, so before installing them, check if you do not have a building that takes away all the sun in the afternoon.

As you can see, one of the most important factors when installing solar panels is to look at the shadows we have, both those from our roof with the chimneys, as well as those from nearby buildings, so that we do not have absolutely no shadow, or at least the minimum number of them.