Why placement and orientation of your solar panels matter.
Is there such thing as the best place for your solar panels? Most definitely. It’s one of the most important factors you need to consider when switching to solar energy as the right placement can ensure that you get maximum panel output. When sunlight falls perpendicularly on the surface of the panels, placed in the right direction and appropriate tilt, they receive high-intensity sunlight for a longer time. This ensures that the panels generate maximum power. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.
The best direction for your solar panels
The general rule is that the panels should face true north in the Southern Hemisphere and true south in the Northern Hemisphere to ensure that the solar panels receive direct sunlight at a stretch throughout the day. This is because in the Southern Hemisphere the sun is always along the northern part of the sky and vice versa.
Since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the panels should ideally face north. However, if this is not possible, due to location, position of the roof or other factors, panels facing east or west work well too. Although, it may impact the efficiency of the panels and compromise output by 10-15%. Placing panels in the north-east or north-west directions will increase sun exposure to the panels, thereby increasing energy output. In addition, you can make the most of your system by prioritizing energy usage based on peak power generation hours. West-facing panels generally produce more energy in the afternoons, whereas east-facing ones produce more energy in the mornings. South-facing panels produce the least amount of energy in Australia as compared to other directions.
The right angle
Solar panels generate maximum power when they are titled at an angle perpendicular to the sun so that the rays hit them at a 90° angle. The angle at which the solar panels are positioned to generate the most energy in a given year is determined by latitude. The general rule for optimal annual energy production is to set the tilt angle of the solar panel equal to the geographical latitude. If the solar panel is located at a latitude of 60, the optimum tilt angle is also 60. The closer the solar panels are to the equator, the more they should be pointing straight up. And if the panels are closer to the poles, they should tilt more towards the equator.
The angle of the solar panels also influences the power output due to environmental and climatic factors. In northern climates, snow accumulation on low-tilt panels may reduce or completely block the sun’s rays from reaching the solar panel during winter. Therefore, it is important to adjust panels based on the climatic conditions of the region to ensure optimal results.
To get the most out of your solar system it is vital to get the direction and tilt of the panels as accurate as possible. However, you don’t have to stress out about your location, how the angle of your roof factors and other messy calculations. An experienced solar installer will assess all essential factors and recommend the best position for your panels so you can sit back and soak up the power of the sun.