What is Solar Panel Orientation?

The efficiency of your solar storage system depends on a crucial but easily overlooked factor that can drastically affect how much energy is absorbed into solar storage and how effectively your solar power storage fuels your home. This factor is called orientation, or the placement, direction, and angle of your solar panels. Keep reading to find out more about why orientation is the most important consideration when placing your panels.

Solar panel installation

Following the Sun

The sun is the key to all life on Earth – a source of heat, light, and of course the energy that you want to harness in order to properly power your home. But the amount of solar energy that your panels can take in depends on where the sun is in the sky at any given time of the year.

You want your solar array to be exposed to maximum sunlight, and that means you’ll need to “follow the sun.” Earth spins counterclockwise on its axis and revolves around the sun, meaning the sun “moves” across the sky during the day and appears higher or lower depending on the season.

Solar Panel Direction

When you need your solar array to provide the most energy output, such as during the coldest or hottest parts of the year, orientation becomes especially important. In the northern hemisphere, your panels should face true south if you live in the northern hemisphere. If you live in the southern hemisphere, they should face true north.

Solar Panel Angle

The angle of your panels also matters. In summertime, the sun is higher in the sky and therefore solar panels should be more tilted to capture the sunlight. In the winter, the panels should be more vertically oriented to catch the low-hanging sun.

The exact angle varies depending on your geographical location. There are several ways to gauge the angle using your latitude and mathematical calculations, but you’ll still need to change the angle throughout the year to maintain ideal solar energy capture. This can add unnecessary hassle in your life.

Tracking Solar Panels

If you’ve ever wondered if there are solar panels that move and tilt themselves, then tracking solar panels are your answer. They provide higher electrical output, but these units might not be the best option for every home. For one, they’re much more expensive to purchase, install, and maintain than fixed panels, and solar energy is already a worthy but hefty investment. Secondly, tracking units are usually too large and heavy to be installed on a residential roof. You will need the space for a solar array on the ground.

Mission Solar Mono

Expert Help

Unfortunately, solar panels are not “set it and forget it” technology. For optimal sunlight absorption and energy production, your panels should be facing the proper direction and be held at the right angle to make the most of the sun’s power. As you’ve read, there’s mathematical precision involved, and therefore it’s best to have a qualified professional to accurately determine your ideal solar panel orientation.

Whether you’re curious about the latest solar systems for sale, have questions about orientation, solar power battery storage, or anything else solar-related, you can trust the experts at The PowerStore Inc. They can help you choose the best system for you and handle the orientation calculations, installation, and maintenance of your array so that you can be sure every drop of sunlight becomes clean, green energy for your residence.