Best Angle & Directions for Solar Panels

Best Angle & Directions for Solar Panels

Solar panels are the most popular equipment that is used to convert sunlight into electricity.

Also, these can be used for a wide variety of applications of both residential and commercial purposes.

A solar panel produces electricity when sunlight hits its surface. 

Electricity production of solar panels primarily depends on two factors:

  • Type of the solar panel you are using 
  • Orientation and placement of the solar panel

We have already covered the types of solar panels available in the market along with their price, and efficiencies.

In this post, we will get to know about the best angle and directions in which you should place your solar panels to get the maximum energy production.

Let’s get started:

Best Direction for Solar panel

However, solar panels perform best when sunlight falls perpendicularly on them, that is, sunlight should fall straight to the panels for maximizing production.

But, we all know that it cannot be possible all day long.

As a kid, we all studied that the sun rises in the east and sets int he west, that is the sun is never stable.

So, what’s the solution?

There are also solar arrays that follow the sun using solar tracking systems which significantly increases electricity production. These are often expensive than fixed systems.

How to get maximum energy production from ‘fixed’ panel systems?

In the case of fixed systems, you can ensure that solar panels face the correct direction and have an appropriate tilt position. 

This will help them to produce maximum energy as they are exposed to the highest intensity of sunlight for the greatest period of time.

Tilted solar panel

The general rule for solar panel placement is that solar panels should face true south (or geographical south).

If you are living in the southern hemisphere face your solar panels to the north and contrarily if you are living in the northern hemisphere face your solar panels to the south.

Best Angle for Solar panel

We now know that the optimal direction is south. We will see the right tilt angles for the solar panels.

The angle that a solar panel is determined by the geographical latitude.

When a solar system is leveled with the ground, it is in no tilt position. 

The general rule for optimal annual energy production is to set the tilt angle of your solar panel equal to the geographical latitude

For example: If you are living in Brussels, a city having latitude 50°, then you have to tilt your solar panel 50° from the ground.

Tilt Angle

What is the best solar panel tilt for your latitude?

To know what will be the best tilt angle for you, you must first know your latitude.

Know your latitude by city name here.

The optimal tilt angle increases with the increase in latitude.

Below is the data from EIA showing U.S. utility-scale fixed-tilt solar photovoltaic capacity tilt angle.

Latitude vs Tilt graph

Panels are often installed at a shallower tilt than would be indicated by latitude because of other factors such as height limitations, shading concerns, and system layouts.

Seasonal Adjustments

The Tilt of the panel primarily depends on the two factors:

  • The geographical latitude of your area 
  • Season in which you are installing

If you have an adjustable mount of the solar array and don’t mind tilting your panels manually, you can change the angle a few times a year.

This will help you to get a bit more production from your array. 

Furthermore, if you do not have an adjustable mount then you can tilt solar panels on the position equal to your area’s latitude.

The general seasonal adjustments** are: 

Spring: Tilt the panels to your latitude.

Summer: Tilt the panels to your latitude minus 15°.

Autumn: Tilt the panels to your latitude again.

Winter: Tilt the panels to your latitude plus 15°.

**You may get better results by customizing your adjustments schedule based on your location.

FAQs

Q. What is the best angle and direction for mounting a solar panel?

Ans: The best angle for your solar panel is equal to your geographical latitude. You can check your latitude here then tilt your solar array at the same angle.

And, best direction is geographical south**. However, you can do seasonal adjustments to get maximum output.

Q. What direction should I face my solar panels?

Ans: The best direction is geographical south**. Also, if you want you to get the maximum energy production all year then you can do seasonal adjustment of your solar panels (mentioned above).

**If you are living in the southern hemisphere face your solar panels to the north and contrarily if you are living in the northern hemisphere face your solar panels to the south. 

Q. What side of the roof is best for solar panels?

Ans: South facing roof gives the best output since solar panels exposed to the highest intensity of sunlight for the greatest period of time.

Q. Do solar panels need direct sunlight?

Ans: Yes, solar panels produce electricity with the best efficiency when it is exposed to perpendicular sunlight.

Q. Why does the angle of a solar panel matter?

Ans: Solar panels produce most energy when sunlight is falling perpendicular to the surface of panels. 

So, the best angle will be considered that will allow panels to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.

Final Words

The angle of inclination and direction of solar panels highly affects the performance of solar panels. 

To get the maximum possible energy production you should tilt your solar panels according to both latitude and season.

Also, along with adjusting direction and angles, testing solar panels is also an important step. 

By doing so, you can ensure that you don’t waste your time installing panels that you’ll have to take down and fix.

In this post, we have seen the best angles & directions for your solar panels. I have tried my best to explain this in easy words. Hope you find it helpful!

To get daily updates about the latest solar news and technologies, you can also follow us on Instagram @solar.funda.

See you in the next post!

Keerti Bhatnagar

Keerti is a tech geek with a vision to save the environment. She is from Uttarakhand, India. And, She is currently pursuing her MCA from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *