What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

If you’re thinking of installing solar panels on your home, there are a few things to consider. How much sun will your roof get? What kind of roof do you have? Does your roof face south or west? All of these questions are important if you want to maximize the energy efficiency of your new solar panels. But what about another factor that might influence how much sunlight hits those panels: where do they face?

The angle at which you install your solar panels, however, can make a big difference. The wrong angle can mean that your solar power system doesn’t live up to its full potential. In this article, we’ll explain what angles are best for each hemisphere and why it matters.

The general rule is that countries in the northern hemisphere should place their solar panels facing true south and in the southern hemisphere true north.  This is because the earth rotates on its axis at a slight tilt. This is called the ‘projection effect’ is the main reason why the polar regions are much colder than equatorial regions on Earth On an annual average the poles receive less insolation than does the equator, because at the poles the Earth’s surface are angled away from the Sun.

Note that it is True south and True North and not magnetic North or South.  Not to go to much technically into it but the Magnetic North or South are influenced by other forces in the earth’s crust that bends the direction. If you are really bent on finding out what would be the best placement for solar panels in your house then it is highly recommended that you take the services of a professional solar installer while carrying out the observation and the analysis yourself.

Which Direction Should Solar Panels Face in the Northern Hemisphere

You should face your solar panels south in the northern hemisphere.

To maximize efficiency, you want the panels to receive as much sunlight as possible. However, since the sun travels east in the northern hemisphere and west in the southern hemisphere (due to Earth’s rotation), this means that if you install your solar panels facing north they won’t be getting enough sunlight at times during daylight hours.

South facing your panels will allow them to capture more of their maximum potential solar energy over a 24-hour period because there are fewer obstructions between them and the sun

 

Which Direction Should Solar Panels Face in the Southern Hemisphere

In the Southern Hemisphere, solar panels should face North.

The north-south orientation of your solar panels will maximize their exposure to direct sunlight, which is needed for your battery bank to charge as efficiently as possible.

West and East Facing Solar Panels

West-facing solar panels are typically placed on the southern side of a building, facing west. East-facing panels face east, and north-facing panels are placed on the northern side of your house or business. In some cases though, you may have to place your solar panels in an unusual position because of obstacles such as trees or buildings blocking sunlight from certain areas of your property.

If you’re thinking about installing new solar panels on your home or business and want to know which direction is best for them to face, here’s what you need to know:

  • West-facing solar panels should be installed on the southern side of a building so that they can capture sunlight during late afternoon hours when it’s at its most intense (from around 1pm until 5pm). This will give you more energy throughout the day so that when it gets dark at night time they’ll still be working hard!

  • South-facing systems will work well too; however there isn’t much difference between these two options so if one is available then go with whichever one fits within budget constraints better!”

Other Factors Determining Solar panel Positioning

There are a number of  other factors determining the orientation and positioning of solar panels and these include the direction that the property or the roof is facing, the tilt or the angle of the roof, the strength of the roof and the weather type like hail, snow and raining hitting the area all round the year.

Obstructions and Shading

Obstructions that might cause shading are also one of the most important factors determining the orientation and positioning of solar panels. The reasons why rooftops seem to be popular when it comes to positioning solar panels is due to the fact they are most likely to receive a significant amount of sunlight needed for the production of solar energy.

To maximize the energy production of your solar panel system, your solar system needs to be installed where the panels remain exposed to a good amount of sunlight. This is the reason why rooftop solar installations in homes is very popular. However, if your roof is not suited for solar panel installations, you also have the option of installing the panels on the ground. During the perfect home solar panel installation, your home must have a very large and sunny roof with 30-degree pitch. Nevertheless, the most ideal conditions are not needed for benefiting from solar energy. By installing solar panels on the roof of your house you can actually save on electricity bills and you can also help the surroundings.

 

Right Placement of Solar Panels

Basically, you can take the help of your solar panel installer for picking the right placement and it is essential that you feel extremely comfortable with the installer’s explanation of why and where. Generally speaking, there is one important rule to installing solar panels and that is the more sunlight is able to reach your panels, the more electricity will be generated and the more money you will be able to save on your electricity bills. More often, solar panels are found placed at angles on rooftops and there is good reason for such placement.

Installing Solar Panels on the Ground

Solar panels work best when installed on rooftops, but they can also be installed on the ground, on exterior corridors and over parking areas and even close to walls. Any of the positions mentioned here might offer maximum sunlight depending on the setting and the condition of the property and the amount of solar power needed.

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