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Ugly (and some nice) Solar Voltaic Installations

Some homeowners say no to solar because they don't want an ugly array jimmy rigged to their roof. I can't say I blame them as we put a lot of money into keeping our property looking good. In many cases care can be taken to make an installation look good. In my neighborhood there are lots of solar installations so I took my camera on a tour to share good and the bad of installations.

This 3.5k system is small and probably enough to get the homeowner out of the top tier much of the year. It falls down with the ugly conduit strapped to the roof and side of the house. A nicer installation would have been to run the lines directly into the attic and then cut into the drywall to the garage.

I have the same complaint as above. Here we have ugly conduit across the roof and down the side of the house. The line disappears into the garage which probably loops back into the rear of the service panel. They could have at least ran the line inside the garage instead of making a right turn outside. As above I would have preferred a straight run inside the house with a little drywall repair.

I have two complaints here. Look how high the racking system mounts off the roof. I would like to see something that mounts closer to the roof. My other complaint is the stepping around the vent. Move the darn vent and put another panel there.

For this one the install ran conduit down the side of the house, but at least they hid it inside the corners. My complaint here is all the junk mounted on the side of the house. The big object is the central inverter for the solar system. The cable coming down the side is a half assed satellite dish installation. Plant some shrubs and make this look better.

This is my solar installation. Vents were reinstalled with low profile models and plumbing fixtures relocated. All solar system wiring is inside the wall from the attic down to the garage. I hate exterior conduit.

This house did not have a lot of good south facing slope to the roof so they installed 6 panels on this smaller roof towards the front. I would have like to have seen a racking system that allowed for mounting closer to the roof surface.

Here is an irritating installation. Sandwiched around the installation is a dryer vent, attic vent, and a water heater vent. These devices should have been relocated to allow one block of solar panels.

These two west facing installations are not too bad, except I would rather have seen the panels mounted closer to the roof.

I like this installation. Darn hip roof makes for a staggered installation, but look at the tight clearance between the panels and the roof. It looks nice.

Making the best of a small roof surface. Like the others I would like to see a closer to roof installation.

Yikes, this high clearance installation looks like a trampoline mounted to the house.

Now this is an ugly installation poster child. This is the same model as my house. Here they chose not relocate any of the vents. Instead they positioned thesolar panels around them.

Notice how high off the house the panels are mounted.

Rather than running the conduit inside the house they chose to run them over the roof and down the side for everyone to see.

This one is pretty darn good. It is a nice block of panels. This house does not have the best situated roof as it points east and is partially shaded in the morning by the chimney.

I give this installation a "D." Instead of moving the attic vents they put the panels around it. If they had moved that one vent closest to the camera they could have repositioned the panels so the chimney doesn't shade the panels in the morning.

This system is mounted on a west facing roof. This means that this system will be shaded almost half the day by the chimney.

Solar is quite popular in our neighborhood.

What a mess. This would have looked nice if they just placed all the panels facing the same direction on the roof. Instead it looks like the solar factory vommited on the roof.

Look at the wiring mess coming down the side of this install. They might as well have used orange extension cords to connect this system.

Couldn't they have just lined up the panels? Come on guys have a little pride in your installation.

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