If you are considering getting solar panels to power your home, you surely have a lot of questions. Aside from inquiries about power and installation, you’ve probably asked this question: What is the best direction for my solar panels?
If you have posed the question above, we are here to answer it and help make your transition to solar energy the easiest possible. Read on to find out why the direction your panels face is important and what positioning you should choose.
Why is the Orientation of My Panels Important?
As you may have guessed, the positioning of your panels directly affects the amount of energy they will produce. If the sunlight hits the panels at a right angle, then they will be the most efficient.
Also, the panels need to be tilted at a certain angle as well, so the highest amount of sunlight can hit them for the longest amount of time possible. The tilt of your panels is also important because of any possible snow accumulation. If there is heavy snow, the tilt will help keep your panels clean. Thus, you will lose no energy, as the snow won’t block the sunlight from hitting your panels.
So, the things you should pay attention to are the direction and the angle of your solar panels.
What is the Best Direction for My Solar Panels?
In the northern hemisphere, solar panels should be placed so they face true south. Conversely, in the southern hemisphere, they should face the true north. What is important to note when positioning your panels, is that true south or north is not the same as magnetic south and north.
Magnetic south is the south a compass points to. However, that does not always correlate with the true south or the geographical south. Put simply, your panels need to be pointed toward the South Pole (or the North Pole, if you are on the other side of the world). That way, the panels will face the sun directly and get the most sunlight.
Also, it might be beneficial for your panels to be turned slightly south-west. That way, your panels will collect more energy throughout the afternoon. You’ll have more energy to use your appliances while you’re at home. However, if you need more energy in the mornings, you don’t have to do this. It all comes down to your preferences and needs.
What is the Best Angle for My Solar Panels?
The angle of your solar panels, also called the tilt, is another important factor to consider. We calculate it based on the geographical latitude. The angle and the latitude should be equal for optimal efficiency. So, if your house is located at 45o latitude, then your panels should be tilted at the same angle as well.
Essentially, the closer your location is to the equator, the more your panels will need to point straight up at the sun. Conversely, the closer you are to the poles, the more your panels will need to be tilted towards the equator. Though this might sound too complicated, don’t worry. Whoever installs your panels will know exactly how to position them to ensure you get the most out of them.
So, if you’ve been asking yourself “what is the best direction for my solar panels?”, we hope that we managed to give you an answer. As you have read, it all depends on where your house is, and what your energy needs are. Now that you have everything you need to know it is time to find a reliable solar company and make all your solar dreams come true!