What is a solar site survey and why you should always do it

Yasaman Kamali
Yasaman Kamali
Online Marketer

Have you ever finished installing a solar system, only to realize afterwards that it actually has serious performance issues? Frustrating isn’t it?

This is why a site survey should be an essential step in your solar installation projects. It enables you to make informed decisions and to prepare thoroughly for a successful installation.

This article focuses on the importance of a solar site survey, the benefits it has and offers useful insights from professionals to help you craft your own site survey.

What is a solar site survey?

A solar site survey is usually done by a professional in solar installation, such as a solar installer or an engineer specialized in renewable energy systems. During a site survey, they visit the property in order to evaluate the suitability and essential requirements for the installation project. A solar site survey has two important purposes:

  • Helping you in creating more accurate quotations, as it provides you with specific conditions and requirements of the property.
  • Ensuring optimal performance of the solar system by providing you with more insight into the best placement of the solar panels to maximize energy production.

What are the benefits of a solar site survey?

Performing an all-inclusive site survey offers numerous advantages that contribute to the success and quality of your installations. Let’s discover some of these key benefits together:

1. Shading analysis

Shading analysis is identifying shading sources, such as trees, nearby structures or natural obstacles on the roof. As you know solar panels generate electricity when exposed to the sunlight, so it’s essential to position them strategically. A meticulous shading analysis enables you to choose the best location for solar panels to minimize shading impacts, ensuring your solar system operates at peak efficiency and delivers the promised energy output.

2. Orientation and topography of the site

Knowing the orientation and topography of the property is super beneficial in every solar installation project, as it assists you in optimizing the design and placement of solar panels. For instance, in the Northern hemisphere, solar panels are typically mounted facing south to capture the maximum amount of sunlight during the day, while in the Southern hemisphere, they face true north.

Additionally, it is important to assess the slope and the angle of the roof to gain further insight into the optimal tilt for solar panels for maximum solar exposure. By considering these elements during the site survey, you can custom-design the solar system to leverage the site’s natural characteristics and enhance the system’s performance for years to come.

3. Roof inspection

This is a fundamental component of every solar site survey. A thorough roof inspection includes: assessing the roof material, understanding the type of roof and examining the roof's condition.

Assessing the roof material consists of examining whether it's made from shingles, asphalt, metal or tile. This enables you to ensure compatibility with the mounting system and structural integrity. Understanding the type of the roof, whether it’s slanted or flat is a key element in designing the solar system and choosing the right mounting system as well. Lastly, evaluating the roof’s structural integrity and conditions allows you to identify any issue or necessary repairs before proceeding to the installation phase.

4. Electrical capacity

Another key element of a site survey is assessing the electrical capacity of the property. This crucial analysis enables you to determine if the electrical infrastructure can actually support the additional electricity load generated from the solar system without overloading or causing electrical issues in the future.

How is it done? By inspecting the property's fuse box, electrical wiring and distribution system! This allows you to plan the integration of the solar system effectively, ensuring compatibility and compliance with electrical codes and regulations, and providing a reliable installation for your client.

5. Customer consultation

Just like any other business, customer satisfaction is crucial in solar installation. After all, it’s the property owner who will benefit from the energy solution you provide, so consulting your customer during site survey is essential. This not only demonstrates your commitment to their needs but also ensures that the final installation aligns with their expectations. Actively asking for feedback and thoughts allows you to tailor the installation to their specific requirements and preferences.

Take the time to inquire about their current and future energy needs. Understanding their consumption patterns, lifestyle, and future plans, enable you to design a solar system that not only meets their current needs but also accommodates any future change or expansions.

Furthermore, clients always have valuable information about the property that can benefit the installation process. They can assist you in identifying areas prone to shading and their preferred panel placement. Or they can simply share their concerns about aesthetic appearance. All this information enhances the success of the installation project.

6. More information, better preparation

“Knowledge is power” is also true in the field of solar installation. The more information you gather during the solar site survey, the better prepared mechanics are for the installation day, ensuring precision and efficiency in project delivery.

Incorporating pictures, such as roof conditions, surroundings and potential challenges is a great way to document information for mechanics to prepare for installation day and anticipate any eventual needs. For instance, including pictures in the site survey enables installers to determine the type of roofing material and prepare accordingly. They can bring matching replacements for tiles, ready to prepare any eventual damage.

7. Safety measures

Last but not least, incorporating safety measures into the site survey is not only responsible towards your client but also essential for maintaining a safe working environment for your team.

Assessing potential safety hazards including identifying unstable surfaces, hazardous materials or electrical hazards allows you to implement necessary precautions to minimize the risks.

Crafting your custom solar site survey: professional insights

To create a tailor-made solar site survey like a professional, consider the following key considerations:

1. You can easily find a solar site survey on the internet, but the question is: “can it reflect your business’s needs and way of working?”. So, find the right tool that allows you to custom-design surveys and document them in an efficient way.

2 . Every site survey should start with questions about demographic information such as the name of the owner, the address of the property, time and date of the inspection and of course the name of the inspector itself.

3. Start the survey by posing questions about the suitability of the property for solar panel installation. Try to ask questions that aid in determining the optimal placement of the solar panels for maximum efficiency.

4. Give clear instructions to the inspector to thoroughly inspect the power junction, cables and electrical panel. Ask them to provide pictures for future references and quality control. As said before in this article, this is a crucial step as it allows you to determine the maximum number of solar panels and determine the compatibility of the electrical infrastructure.

5. Provide instructions and questions to facilitate communication between the inspector and the customer. Pose questions about the customer's current energy consumption, their future needs and any other concern they might have.

6. And finally, integrate questions and instructions into your solar site survey to ensure an all- encompassing inspection of the roof and the surrounding. Encourage the inspector to provide detailed photographs to identify potential safety hazards.

By following these guidelines and integrating safety measures, you can confidently meet the unique needs of your clients while upholding industry standards and best practices.

How OpusFlow can help you create your own solar site survey form

Navigating the complexities of a solar site survey can be streamlined with the right tool. OpusFlow's Forms module offers a versatile solution for creating various types of forms, including solar survey forms.

With OpusFlow's Forms module, you can: - Design separate sections with specific questions and various answer fields such as : radio button, dropdown, multiple selection, date & time, Number,...

  • Include images or additional information prompts to guide respondents effectively.
  • Request photographs of crucial inspection details. These include the property's fuse box, roof condition, surrounding terrain, and any potential obstructions. This ensures comprehensive data collection and aids in future references and quality control.
  • Generate professional PDF forms to document inspection information systematically, enhancing organization and accessibility.

To streamline the inspection process and ensure thoroughness, OpusFlow's Forms module helps provide clear instructions and steps for the person conducting the inspection. This guidance helps prevent overlooked steps and optimizes the workflow, enhancing efficiency and accuracy.

Furthermore, having all documents and information stored in one centralized location ensures easy access and organization, facilitating collaboration and project management. The flexibility of accessing the survey form on a smartphone or tablet allows inspectors to answer questions sequentially, take photos for better documentation and communication, and ensure real-time data collection and analysis.

By leveraging OpusFlow's Forms module, you can elevate your solar site survey process, ensuring accuracy, efficiency, and client satisfaction in your solar installations.

Want to see OpusFlow's Forms module in action? Click here to watch our latest video showcasing the capabilities of our newest version!


In conclusion, a solar site survey is an invaluable tool for solar installers, offering insights and guidance essential for successful and high-quality installations. With the support of tools like OpusFlow's Forms module, you can optimize your survey process, streamline workflow, and deliver exceptional results for your clients.

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