Will shade impact my ability to go solar?

When considering a location for a solar array, one of the most important factors to think about is shade. Whether you live in Albany, Dutchess, Saratoga, or Orange County, direct sunlight is required for a solar panel to produce electricity. Remember: Shade is the enemy of production!!



FAQ #1: I think my roof gets shade during the day sometimes… Is it a good location for a solar array?

Answer #1: It is difficult to calculate the effects of shade from a tree or other obstructions just by looking periodically at your roof.  One of the main reasons Hudson Solar likes to come out to your home is to assess shade using a tool called a Solar Pathfinder. This gives us an immediate picture of every hour of every month of the year to see exactly when shade will fall on the array.

Even if it appears that a specific location is in the sun all day long, it is possible that the Solar Pathfinder will reveal shade in the early morning or late afternoon, or in the winter when the sun is lower in the sky. A proper Solar Pathfinder analysis will indicate the percentage of production lost due to shade.



FAQ #2: Do utility wires and tree branches affect my array?

Answer #2: Yes. Utility wires and trees (even without leaves in the winter) may adversely affect the production of the array depending on what time of they day they cast shade on the array.



FAQ #3: Will shade impact my system payback period?

Answer #3: Yes. Since electricity production from the solar array provides the revenue stream to pay off the array, shade will impact your system payback period. If your array experiences 30% shade, for example, your payback period will be lengthened proportionally. With an optimal site (limited to no shade), the solar payback period will be the fastest.


For any additional questions, please contact Hudson Solar at (866) 452-7652 or via email at

Posted in General, Hudson Solar.