What Is The Ideal Direction For Aligning Solar Panels And Why
The conventional idea is that solar panels should face south. This is because, while we complete our yearly orbit around the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is always in the southern region of the sky. As a result, the current best practice has always been to arrange solar panels facing south in order to gather the most amount of sunlight possible.
In the solar industry, its common knowledge that these south-facing panels should be angled between 30 and 40 degrees. This angle fluctuates and is roughly equivalent to your homes latitude .
This angle specificity is intended to ensure that sunlight strikes panels at a perpendicular angle, which provides the most energy. In the northern hemisphere, an angle along these lines also makes it easier for snow to slide off solar panels during the winter.
Some rooftops slope almost perfectly, allowing installers to mount the panels snugly against them while maintaining a fantastic angle for capturing the suns energy. Some rooftops are steeper than others, while others are level. There are many mounting techniques to help place your solar modules so that they can produce at their best, depending on the sort of roof you have.
Whats The Best Direction For Your Solar Panel
So to recap if you are currently on a standard fixed-rate contract, you want to maximize your average energy generation -which means that the best direction for your solar panel is south.
If you are on a time-of-use payment structure, you want to maximize your energy generation in the times when electricity is the most expensive which means that the best direction for your solar panel is west.
You might be asking but what if I already have the panels installed and they face the wrong direction? In that case, you might want to explore whether shopping around for a different electricity plan or payment structure might not yield more benefits. The best thing to do is to enter your zip code and shop around your area for competitive electricity rates offered by different suppliers and pick one that best suits your solar panel condition.
Another option for you to consider, if you are unable to face your solar panels in the desired direction is to compensate by increasing the solar panel area, either using more panels or larger collectors.
Why Should Solar Panels Face North
Solar panels should face north when they have been placed anywhere in the southern hemisphere which includes places like Australia, South America, or some Asian islands. It will receive maximum sunlight when facing north and this will culminate in a lot of energy production for all the appliances in your household. However, north-facing solar panels are ideal only when there are no obstructions on the northern side like buildings or trees.
North-facing solar panels tend to be best suited for people or families that stay home throughout the day. Since they are home for so long, the use of appliances like pool filters, washing machines, clothes dryers, etc. is also more. Solar panels facing the north direction yield more energy and hence, they are ideal for such households. In many cases, it is possible to have the panels face different directions.
While some might face north, others can face west so that the effect is somewhat like that of the north-west facing panels. This generates the least energy in the morning and the maximum energy in the middle of the day and the afternoon. This is a good thing if you wish to save money on your electricity bills.
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Home Solar Power: Which Roof Directions Are Best For Solar
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of buzz about what direction solar panels should face.
Checking if rooftop PV panels align to the correct orientation is very crucial for maximum sun energy utilization.
Perhaps another piece of information many people are unaware of is the ideal tilt and angle to aim at photovoltaic cells for their energy needs.
You shouldn’t worry, as there is an orientation map designed for you when fixing solar energy systems in the northern hemisphere.
Innovate Solar is the go-to when it comes to the best installers to show you the best roof direction for solar panels. If you are looking for the right direction to put photovoltaic cells on your house, look here.
This article has everything you need to know about solar panel orientation.
At What Angle Should Solar Panels Be
Like the direction, the angle of solar panels is an important and decisive factor in solar power generation. The correct angle can boost power generation to a significant amount. As per practical standards, the tilt angle of solar panels should be equal to the latitude of the region.
Latitude is a measure of how far a point is from the equator. The equator is at 0° latitude, while the poles are at 90° latitude. Any points, other than the poles and the point on the equator, will always have values between 0° and 90°.
Remember, in the previous sections, we have mentioned that solar power is maximum when panels are facing the sun. To be more specific, solar rays striking solar panels must be perpendicular to the panels. And it happens when the inclination of panels equals the latitude of the place.
As we can see from the above diagram, power generation is inefficient when the tilt angle exceeds or is behind the latitude. Perpendicular panels reflect fewer striking rays and consequently better absorb them. Better absorption of sunlight means more solar power.
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What To Do With A North
North-facing systems are generally considered to be the worst possible location for solar production. It isnt impossible, but will likely require additional mounting to orient the panels so that they oppose your roofs natural slant and dont sit flush with the roof. Consider a ground-based system or even one on top of a separate carport if a north-facing roof is your only option.
The Best Direction For Solar Panels
- Chapman University
- University of Tennessee
Solar panels are gaining popularity as an environmentally friendly investment that will produce renewable energy on a large scale for many years to come. Even after you make the initial decision to switch to solar panels, there are still a few things to considerand among the quantity, size, and power capacity, youll want to research the best direction for solar panels to face. Whether the system is mounted on the roof, carport, or ground, the direction your panels face is a major factor in how much energy your system produces.
Learning the direction that your roof faces will help determine the best positioning for your rooftop solar panel system, since it determines how much natural sunlight the panels will receive throughout the day. If you have a company installing your panels for you, they should be able to help give you an idea of the most optimal direction, but another option is to use Google Maps. Simply type in your address and compare your roofs direction on the satellite imagery to the provided compass grid.
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The Best Direction For Solar Panels In Georgia
The best direction for solar panels in Georgia is the south. The weather patterns of this state are not as predictable as other states, which makes it more difficult to know what will be the optimal placement.
For example, we have a lot of thunderstorms that can happen at any time during the year and produce heavy rainfall.
This leads to increased humidity and less sunshine both factors that affect our energy production. However, theres still plenty of sunlight hours left during the summer months!
Do not worry about missing out on those rays because you live near Atlanta or Savannah!
Finding The Best Direction For Solar Panels To Face
So, youve learned all you can about how using solar energy can impact the world. Youve even consulted a Solar Energy Specialist and your pocketbook is yearning for a stack of solar savings. Now, if youre curious about determining the best direction for solar panels to face, here are some of the basics.
Read some commonly used terms:
- Roof Pitch This is the angle of a roof. Also referred to as the roofs tilt. Heres a blog that delves into roof pitches further.
- Peak Sun Hours 1 peak sun hour = 1000 W/m² of sunlight per hour. This is the maximum amount of sunlight a home can receive at a specific time.
- Axis An imaginary straight line that the Earth spins around. The Earths axis is why different areas receive different amounts of sunlight at different times.
- Tilt Solar panels need to be tilted at an angle that allows them the most access to the sun. Optimum tilt is the perfect position for solar panels to catch the most sunlight.
Lets explore some of the options for solar panel placement.
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What Should Be The Direction Of Solar Panels On Your Roof
The best way to improve the efficiency of this system is to position the panels so they are facing south and tilt at an angle between 30 and 45 degrees.
Some people may be more inclined to put their panels north or east because those directions will still capture some sunlight, but its important not to compromise on anything if you want maximum production!
2. Why might you consider west-facing solar panels?
The concept of a free, renewable energy source is very appealing to many people. While it may be obvious that south-facing solar panels will receive more sunlight than west-facing ones, you will be surprised to know how much difference there is between them!
When choosing which direction to face your panels, you should consider your positioning because they could produce up to 50% less electricity if theyre facing away from the sun instead of towards it!
Environmental Influences On The Angle Of Tilt
Environmental factors in your location may also have a bearing on the optimum angle of tilt for your solar panels. The lower the angle of the inclination, the more likely it is that your solar panel will collect leaves, dirt, and snow, all of which will affect the panels efficiency.
But in more northern states with higher latitudes, the optimal angle of tilt is fairly steep anyway, so if you are following best advice, then your solar panels will already be angled in such a way that snow and other things slide off easily.
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Southward Facing Panels Produce The Most Energy Around Middaywhen You Arent Home To Take Advantage Of It Facing Panels To The West Generates Energy When You Need It Most
Facing solar panels to the south is essentially a compromise that maximizes energy production throughout the day, and annually. This is fine if your biggest goal is to maximize how much electricity you produce.
But this doesnt take into account the extremely high cost of pulling energy from the grid during costly super peak hours.
Looking at how the TOU pricing schedule breaks down, ask yourself: would you rather have your solar panels produce about the same amount of energy all day long? Or would you prefer your system to produce more electricity towards the end of the day, when you and the kids are all at home and using electricity, and electricity happens to be much more expensive? Probably the latter, right?
This is where the traditional approach to facing panels to the south really fails. At about 5 PM, home solar power systems with panels facing due south only produce 15% of their peak production. This means that these homeowners have to rely heavily on utility-sourced energy, right when its most expensive under TOU pricing. On the other hand, panels facing to the westtowards the direction the sun setsproduce 55% of their peak output at 5 PM. Thats a big difference.
To learn more about how we work with you to maximize the electricity bill savings you enjoy with a home solar power system, contact Capital City Solar by calling , or sending us a message using our contact form.
Start Saving With Solar
Remember, you dont need to live in the sunniest state in the country or have a rooftop that faces directly south to take advantage of the financial benefits of solar the most important factor in determining your solar savings is how much you pay for electricity. By going solar, you reduce or even eliminate your utility electricity costs, so even if you arent perfectly maximizing your electricity production, your solar investment can still pay off in a big way. Use EnergySages Solar Calculator today to determine just how much you can save.
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Which Direction Should Solar Panels Face The Simple Answer
Here in the US, we are in the northern hemisphere, and the sun tracks across the sky to our south. This means that generally speaking, we should place solar panels on south-facing roofs to maximize their sunlight exposure.
Even though the position of the sun in the sky changes depending on the season, a south-facing solar system will capture the most sunlight year-round.
Are Certain Types Of Panels More Effective
While you might not be aware of it, there are many different types of solar panel from a range of providers. The two most common are the cheaper but less efficient polycrystalline solar panels and the more expensive but more efficient monocrystalline solar panels.
While these panels work to achieve different levels of output, this is not down to their positioning, so you can choose the panel that is right for you separately from deciding its placement.
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Start Saving With Innovate Solar
You are now familiar with solar panels direction and angle, but in the solar panel marketplace, we also provide you with a solar systems calculator to help you decide budget estimations for ample electricity production. Innovate Solar has smoothed the long process to find the most affordable cost of solar panels for homes in Florida.
Most homeowners still ask this question do solar panels pay for themselves? Yes! Recent data shows that, on average, a 5kW PV system costs $10,212 after national tax incentives, and the positive impact is electricity bill savings of up to $130-150 per month.
To start benefiting from our solar energy partnership, all you need to do is register with us online, and after regulatory vetting, we begin to pair you up with the right leads.
Finding The Best Direction
Locating the best direction to point your solar panels can be accomplished very quickly. You could use tools if you wanted to, but you can just as quickly figure it out with none at all. The rule is that if you live in the southern hemisphere, you should point your panels true north, and if you live in the northern hemisphere, you should point them true south. Now, a compass tells you magnetic north and south, but it does not show you true north and south. There is a difference. A compass works using the magnetism of the north and south poles, whereas true north and south can be found based on geography. So, dont grab a compass expecting to find the best direction with it. If this is a little over your head, lets just go ahead and look at the simple way to find true north and south.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, at noon, shadows from vertical objects will face true south. Simply go outside and look at where your shadow faces. You could even stick a stick in the ground and take note this is the direction your solar panels should face.
On the other hand, if you live in the southern hemisphere, you can use this same technique however, you would want to face your solar panels in the opposite direction of where your shadows face. This is a simple tried and true way to find the perfect direction, and like I said, you can do it with no tools.
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Best Direction For Solar Panels To Face
- Post author:Solar Sena
As the price of solar panels falls, photovoltaic technology will continue to boom in the coming years. Some estimates by IRENA say solar will contribute around 13% of the global electricity generation by 2030. Today, we can see this rising trend in many countries, including America, Australia, the UK, Spain. More and more people are switching to solar to save electricity bills and due to environmental concerns. However, when you think of going for solar, many common questions pop up in your mind. Some of them are what is the best direction for solar panels to face, is my roof orientation correct, what is the correct angle, how does it matter.
In this article, we will clear some important questions related to the direction of solar panels.
Should Your Solar Panels Be Facing South
To maximize the total amount of energy produced by your rooftop solar panels, you should have them positioned towards the south. This direction will expose your solar panels to as much light as possible and will optimize their energy production. If you are currently paying a fixed-rate for a kilowatt-hour of electricity , south-facing panels are the right choice for you, because you are interested in reducing your average electricity consumption from the grid.
An interesting fact to note south does not always mean south. When using a compass, it will show you the Earths south magnetic pole . Solar panels, however, need to face the solar south . The general direction is rightbut not exact. To find the true south, you can look up your house on Google Eart, and select the Grid view to see the north-south grid lines.
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