Tuesday, December 5, 2023

How To Find True South For Solar Panels

South Is Best With Battery Systems

Maximize Solar Production by Finding True South

South-facing panels are best if you plan to install a battery storage system such as the Tesla Powerwall or sonnen Eco.

That’s because if you have a battery system, your goal is to produce as much power as possible over the day. Facing your panels south should allow you to meet your daytime needs and, crucially, generate lots of surplus power to charge up your battery. You can then use your battery to meet your power needs at peak times, overnight and during grid outages.

The combination of south-facing solar panels with a battery solution allows you to maximize your energy self-consumption. This means reduced reliance on the grid, or even the ability to go off the grid entirely.

Best Solar Panel Direction Overall

South is the best direction for solar panels to face overall. In nearly all cases, homeowners will achieve the highest electric bill savings and a quickest payback period by facing their solar panels south over any other direction.

Having your panels face south improves the economics of solar in the following ways: it maximizes solar output, it maximizes your ability to take advantage of net metering, and it maximizes your ability to utilize battery storage.

We explore each of these reasons in more detail below.

Why Face Solar Panels South

Photovoltaic solar panels produce electricity from light. More light means more electricity. You might have heard that a South-facing garden gets more light than a North-facing garden. Well, its the same for solar panels. Researchers have found that in Ireland, South-facing panels produce the most electricity. So why is South not always the best direction for solar panels?

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How To Find The Optimal Direction And Angle For Solar Panels

Alongside the type of solar panels you buy, their placement and direction is equally important. The panels can absorb the maximum energy when the suns rays hit them perpendicularly. You can ensure that the solar panels generate a sufficient amount of power when they face the right direction and have the correct tilt so that they receive maximum sunlight for a long period of time.

Energy production significantly increases in a few cases with the help of solar tracking systems that guide the solar arrays to follow the sun. In this article, we will discuss some important topics related to the direction of solar panels, the angle of their tilt, and so on. We hope that after reading it you will be able to reconfigure your solar panels to maximize energy production.

Choose Best Roof Styles For Solar Panels

How to Calculate True Solar Panel Cost For Your Home

An ideal roofing style helps you establish solar panels at the lowest cost. A roof with super steep pitches will make it hard to install solar panels.

As we discussed, the south-facing homes are consummate for installing solar panels. These types of roofs provide sunlight all day long.

However, roof style can not set up everything. There are additional factors regarding the issues.

If you have an ideal roof, then it is fantastic. Otherwise, the installation process needs customization and excessive equipment.

Finally, you have to determine all the matters and choose the best roof styles for solar panel installation. It will bring all the changes and produce green energy at ease.

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Solar Panel Direction: Which Way Should My Solar Panels Be Facing

Five or six years ago the question of which direction solar panels should face was easy. Because high feed-in tariffs were available, they simply had to have an orientation facing north in order to maximise the amount of electricity they produced and so earn the most feed-in tariff money possible.

But now high feed-in tariffs are a thing of the past, so the question of orientation is more complicated because of the importance of maximising self consumption, which is making sure your home uses the most solar electricity and the least grid electricity possible. The concept of self consumption is the key to tiny electricity bills with solar panels if you dont know why, read this and then come back.

Using your own solar electricity instead of grid power is far more cost effective than receiving a low feed-in tariff for sending electricity into the grid. The more you are charged for grid electricity and the lower your solar feed-in tariff, the more important it becomes to maximise self consumption.

Powering Your Home With Solar

There are three main ways to go solar:

  • Off-grid: A true off grid dwelling is not physically connected to the electric utility, and generally uses batteries to provide baseload power, recharged by solar panels and/or a fossil fuel generator. Being off-grid means you have significant limitations to how many power loads you can use and only makes sense in situations that are extremely difficult to connect to the utility grid, i.e. you build a home up on a mountain or on an island.
  • Grid-tied: 99% of solar installations in the United States are grid-tied, meaning they still have a physical connection to the public utility grid, but can also produce their own solar power. Under this arrangement, you treat the utility like a gigantic battery anytime the sun is out, your home produces and consumes its own solar electricity, but any excess you can send out to the grid. At night or during crummy weather, you use power from the electric grid like normal. Utilities are required by law to give you credits for any solar power you send out to the grid, under an arrangement called net metering. It varies, but in most places, you get a 1:1 credit, or 1 unit of exported solar = 1 unit of utility credit you can use later.
  • Grid-tied with battery backup: The best of both worlds, is have a grid-tied solar array with battery backup . ReVision offers modern battery backup solutions, such as the Tesla Powerwall.

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How To Avoid The Solar Panels For Your Home Scam:

When it comes to solar panel installation fraud, learn how to distinguish the real companies from the scammers. Think about it. How much do you pay for your energy per year? How about for 10 years?

If you are looking into the solar panel option, get bids from at least three-four companies and then check out their Better Business Bureau reviews. Needless to say, you should never pay the full price upfront or a deposit of more than four figures.

Alternative energy is a new industry. Thats why questionable individuals might take advantage of the novelty and try to sell concepts and products that might not be doable or legitimate. Maybe before asking yourself how much do solar panels cost? you should first look at the solar energy pros and cons and evaluate if its the right thing to consider for your house.

Should Your Solar Panels Be Facing West

How To Know If Your Solar Panel Is Pointed At True South 2016

If you are currently on the Time of Use payment structure with your electric supplier, you might want to consider a different approach to maximize your return on a solar panel. Your goal is not to reduce your average electricity consumption from the grid, but rather to reduce it during peak times. Therefore, west-facing panels might make more sense. Why?

The late-afternoon hours, when we use the most electricity in our homes are coincidentally also the times when the sun is heading towards the western horizon to set. West-facing solar panels will be able to capture the maximum sunlight during these critical peak hours, reducing the reliance on the electric grid.

One study estimated that west-facing rooftop solar panels produced 49 percent more electricity during peak demand compared to south-facing panels. It means that you could nearly halve your energy consumption in the times when electricity is the most expensive for you.

Of course, every utility company has different peak times, but they almost always correlate to when most of the customers use large amounts of energy which is usually in the late afternoon, after returning from work.

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Educate Yourself Before Solar Panel Installations: Save Money

However, before considering an alternative energy solar you should get educated about the solar panel use. Also, get a good understanding of how the solar panel installation works. Here it is:

When sunlight hits the module on a solar photovoltaic installation, the modules convert the suns energy into electricity that can be used to power your home. Whether the electricity is being drawn from the PV installation or utility company, your homes power performance will stay the same.

The Direct Current that the installation produces is wired to an inverter. This inverter converts the DC power into an Alternating Current . The AC power is the standard electrical current use for powering most home appliances throughout the world.

The electrical current then flows from the inverter to the homes electrical service panel that feeds electricity into the household. You can also use a tracking meter, which can keep track of the homes electrical consumption, the total output of the solar installation, and more.

These tracking systems often have live display systems or online monitors, so you can track how much of your homes electricity needs are being met by your systems production and how well your system is performing at any point in time.

During the day, if the solar systems production exceeds the houses electrical needs, the excess electricity is fed back to the power grid. When this occurs, you can observe the electrical meter spin backward.

Scenario : Solar Industry Trick Free Health Check And Service Letter

Did you receive a letter in the mail notifying that you have not received your free health check and service and your warranty may be due to expire? The solar industry has its tricksters too, just like any other home-related ones What does the letter say? As a call-to-action, it asks the recipient to contact the sender to validate the warranty and request a free health check. It looks like this:

Be wary of any unsolicited approach and never agree to services, to having work done, or for someone to visit your home if approached in this way by so-called solar companies. If you own a solar panel, you should always talk to your suppliers before allowing any work or maintenance to take place on their panels. A solar panel system does not necessarily need servicing, although it may benefit from being cleaned if the panels are dirty.

Later on in this article, we have a Top 5 list with the highest-ranked solar panels systems, in case you think of purchasing one from a safe seller.

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Example Of Adjusting A Compass To Find True South

Step 1. Find your magnetic declination:To find you magnetic declinationNOAA’s website allows you to give it your zip code if you’re in the US, or select a city from many places around the world, otherwise you can give it your latitude and longitude.If you don’t know how to find your latitude and longitude, see the section above that tells you how. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is at latiture 45° 25′ north, longitude 75° 41′ west. So for Ottawa, by giving NOAA’s page above 45 25 north and 75 41 west,we get a declination of 13 degrees and 26 minutes west.

Step 2. Align your compass needle north-south:Place your compass flat so that the needle can move freely and rotateit horizontally so that one end of the needle points to the letter “N”and the other end to the “S”. Then “N” should now be pointing tomagnetic north.

Step 3. Adjust the compass needle for the magnetic declination:If NOAA’s website told you your declination was some number west then rotate your compass clockwise by the number of degrees indicatedby your declination. In the case of Ottawa it was 13 degrees west sowe’d rotate it 13 degrees clockwise. If NOAA’s website toldyou your declination was some number east then rotate the compasscounterclockwise instead.

The “S” on the compass should now be pointing to true south.

Basic Knowledge: True Solar South Vs Magnetic South

How to Clean Your Solar Panels

Before we talk about the methods of finding true solar south, lets go through the basic knowledge quickly

  • What is True Solar South?
  • What is Magnetic South?
  • Is there any difference between them?

This can be easily understood with the help of the following image :

In fact,

There is a giant magnet in the earth.

Its magnetic South Pole is around the Earths South Pole, while its magnetic North Pole is around the Earths North Pole .

This big magnet rotates along with the Earth. However, its axis is not aligned with the Earths, although they are pretty close to each other. The declination is approx. 14 degree.

For better understanding:

When the compass needle points at the south, it is actually aligning with the Magnetic South Pole and not the true South Pole.

We often refer to the direction of the Earths South Pole as the true south or the true solar south, while the direction of the magnetic south pole is referred to as the Magnetic South.

In the solar energy-related industry, accurately locating the true south means a lot to the solar PV system.

Lucky for you,

we have 4 proven practical methods you can use today to help you when adjusting your solar panel to ensure you find the right direction and improve the efficiency of your solar-powered system.

Now, Lets dive into the content step by step.

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Optimum Tilt Of Solar Panels

To get the most from solar panels, you need to point them in the directionthat captures the most sun. But there are a number of variables in figuringout the best direction. This page is designed to help you find the best placement for your solar panels in your situation.

This advice applies to any type of panel that gets energy from the sun photovoltaic, solar hot water, etc. We assume that the panel is fixed, orhas a tilt that can be adjusted seasonally. to 40% more energy than fixed panels. This page doesnt discuss tracking panels.)

Solar panels should always face true south if you are in the northern hemisphere, or true north if you are in the southern hemisphere. True north is not the same as magnetic north. If you are using a compass to orient your panels, you need to correct for the difference, which varies from place to place. Search the web for magnetic declination to find the correction for your location.

The next question is, at what angle from horizontalshould the panels be tilted? Books and articles on solar energy often givethe advice that the tilt should be equal to your latitude, plus 15 degreesin winter, or minus 15 degrees in summer. It turns out that you can do betterthan this – about 4% better.

Which Solar Panel Direction Will Maximise Your Self Consumption

The best panel direction to maximise self consumption of solar electricity will depend upon a households electricity usage patterns. Panel directions and the type of households various orientations generally best suit are given below:

North Orientation: Panels that face north will produce the most electricity overall. North facing solar panels are often the best choice for people who are at home during the day. Not only because they are there to use electricity when it is produced, but also because it is easy for them to shift demand by using washing machines, clothes dryers, pool filters and other devices in the middle of the day. Because north facing solar panels produce the most electricity overall, they will have the greatest environmental benefit.

North-West Orientation: Solar panels that face north-west will produce around 5% less electricity overall than north facing panels. Their electricity production through the day will be between that of north and facing panels and that of west facing panels. They produce slightly more electricity during the afternoon and slightly less in the morning.

North-east Orientation: Panels facing north-east provide will produce around 5% less electricity than north facing solar panels and their production through the day will be between that of north facing modules and east facing ones.

An east/west split can suit both people who are home through the day and those who are at home in the morning and the afternoon.

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Water Heating With Solar

Heat pump water heaters are the most efficient way to get hot water for your home, using similar technology as mini-split heat pumps youll use for space heating and cooling. Other options include heavily insulated electric tanks, or on-demand electric units, which may be preferable if your home will have limited mechanical room space.

Similarly to space heating, the design process involves looking at the homes number of occupants and making some assumptions around usage, in order to come up with a realistic design estimate:

Heat Pump Water Heater:

Effect Of Tilt Angle On Solar Panel Output

How to Align Solar Panels to Solar South

The perfect roof pitch selection depends on the location of the installation of the solar panels. It is said that the roof pitch equals the latitude of the solar panels location.

The pitch angles between 30 to 45 degrees often work.

When you install the solar panels at the perfect angle, it will increase the energy production rate. That means it will enhance the efficiency of solar panels.

The pitch and angle ensure the array of sunlight on the solar panels. If the system picks more sunlight, you will get more energy.

So, the tilt angle may affect the production and output of a solar system. It is better to understand the facts to get the ultimate output.

Flat Roofs and Ballasted Solar Panels

You need different solar panels mounting systems if you have a flat roof house.

Homes with flat roofs require more equipment and installation techniques to gather sufficient sunlight.

On the contrary, the ballasted roof mount system is quick to ship, easy to install and perfect to pick sufficient sunlight.

The ballasted roof mount system comes with a simple installation process, and it can be a solution for challenging roofs. It uses blocks and racks to hold the solar panels on the roof.

It is also applicable for home and commercial purposes. You can increase energy production with this compact solar installation system.

So, the ballasted solar roof mount is ideal for flat roof solar panel installation.

Sun, Shade and Solar Panel Placement

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