On a recent walk in the Church and Market neighborhood, I discovered that the red-brick church on Church Street has been harvesting solar energy from the photovoltaic panels that were installed non-discretely on the south side of their pitched roof. The panels look pretty good on the roof probably because they sit flat on the roof and the two colors match.
This open endorsement on solar power has got me to think that the design of most churches is actually perfect for laying out solar panels. Most churches are elongated on the east-west axis. As a result the long pitched roof faces south and north on each side. In the northern hemisphere, the best orientation for a simple angled roof to harvest solar power is the south side. This makes the south-facing side of the long pitched roof a perfect location for the solar panels. Also the fact that most churches are taller their neighboring buildings ensure the solar cells have enough exposure to the sun rays. It’s interesting how a place of worship can be so fitted for generating solar power.
st. francis lutheran church @ 152 church st., san Francisco – 3:06pm, dec 31, 2012