Are solar panels a viable option in IL?
I've been thinking and I'd like to have solar panels installed on my roof at some point to help reduce our electricity consumption- but I live in IL and in the winter it frequently snows. Is there such a thing as heated solar panels so they don't get coated w/ice or snow? Are solar panels even a feasible option in IL? Thank you, Anna
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Absolutely you can have solar panels in IL, there Anna. I am from Rochester, NY so I am a little familiar with frequent snowfalls! Plus my In Laws have solar panels and they live just outside of Chicago. (Oak Park sounds familiar, but I cant for the life of me remember the name of their community) Check with your local building department as to what you may have to do to your existing roof, as the panels and its necessary roof bracing can be quite heavy. Add a good Lake Michigan snowfall to an already heavy roof and you could have yourself a big problem!
In better news many utilities and states around the country provide financial subsidies and incentives that along with the subsidies from those from the Federal Government greatly reduce the initial cost and speed up the amount of time it takes for you to recoup your initial investment.
Solar panels by their very nature are warm, as they absorb the light from the sun. The latitude for IL is such that the solar panels on your roof will be tilted so much that the only way snow can build up is if there such a snowfall on your roof that its accumulation rises above the solar panels. There is no such thing as heated solar panels and you can very easily have solar panels in climates ranging from the Carribean to Northern Canada/Alaska. If you get serious about solar energy give a company called Sun Electronics a call. I know it may sound lame but my in-laws used them for their house and have been quite happy with the outcome. My In laws (at times) are cheap and are not an easy crowd to please.....but again are very happy with their outcome!
- kcguy6935Lv 51 decade ago
With state incentives that rank behind only a few states (such as the ones typically associated with solar like Florida and California) somebody definitely thinks solar is right for Illinois. (source is first site below) As for the ice and snow the typical strategy is to have a tilt that allows for only limited accumulation and still has good orientation to the sun. This is frequently talked about in articles in the magazines Homepower and Solar today. Homepower has a site online and some items are free (2nd site)
- GinneyLv 61 decade ago
You can do solar anywhere and yes, they're a viable option in IL - as they are where I live - in Maine! We get snow and also lots of low light days in the winter. It's not as easy as say -having solar in New Mexico (self-identified as the solar capitol!) but - you can still generate a nice amount of electricity with your solar panels on a nice day in IL - and they're fine in the snow.
- SPLATTLv 71 decade ago
My brother-in-law has 4 solar panels on his property. Each one is more that 4 times the size of a ping pong table and they automatically swing toward the brightest light (I.e., the sun). They generate electricity almost every day, unless it is very cloudy. He lives in Northern NJ, almost as far north as Chicago. They have been up for about 6 years and seem to be reliable.
I'm not sure that a single static panel on your roof would generate enough to make it viable. But contact some people in your area to see how theirs are working out.
Also contact your building inspector and electrical inspector to find out how to do the job 'to code'.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Yes solar panels are a good way to save money.
I know a friend of mine she has 2 solar panel she lives in IL.I i know she told me that this year she saved 500$ in electricity bills.