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Panel Orientation and how it affects Solar Production

Panel Orientation and how it affects Solar Production

Deciding to “go green” with the installation of a solar powered system is only the first step to adopting a renewable source of power. Some of the fundamental things to consider when getting a solar system installed for your residential or commercial property are-

  • The direction of your roof for optimal production through the panels
  • The available area on your roof for an ideal solar installation

North facing panels are considered the most suitable for people who are likely at home during the day as this panel orientation produces the most electricity overall than having the panels in any other direction. The North facing roof captures the most sun, thus giving the homeowner the most solar energy over any 12 month period.

Most solar installers highly recommend having panels on the north facing roof for this reason but in the recent past more and more people have begun favouring the east and west directions for installing the solar panels. This is because by having the panels on the east and west direction has made the electricity usage of the Australian population more in sync with the timings the “office and school goers” are more likely to be available at home to use the solar power created by their systems. Panels installed on west facing roofs produce around 12% less electricity overall than the north-facing panels. They also produce less electricity in the morning compared to the afternoon. Having the panels installed on the west facing roof can be ideal for people with high demand for air conditioning in summer as panels placed with this orientation reach their maximum output during mid-day – when it tends to be the hottest. It’s also an excellent direction for people who are usually out of the house by the time the sun comes up but return in the afternoon.

In terms of distributing the panels on the east and west directions can have its benefits for people who have high consumption in the mornings and then in the afternoon as they are out of the house for most of the day. Solar panels that are installed facing east are similar to west-facing panels and produce around 12% less electricity overall than north-facing ones. The east facing panels are especially helpful for homeowners who consume more electricity in the morning and less in the afternoon.

For most Australians, the least preferred direction is to have the panels facing south. Professionals would consider installing panels facing south almost as large a mistake as installing them upside down. In Sydney, south-facing solar panels will produce around 28% less energy than north-facing panels. In some rare cases, when the only available space for a roof is facing south, the installers can use “Tilt frames” to install the panels such a way that with the use of these tilts, the sunlight they receive is similar to what they would get if they were placed on a north facing roof. These tilt frames however cannot be installed on tiled roofs but can be useful for people with tin roofs.

In conclusion, based on the direction of the sun in Australia, the north facing roof is considered the most ideal, next preferred directions are the west and east facing roofs depending on what hours of the day you are most likely to have higher usage and the south pitched roof is the least preferred and if it is insisted upon due to no other available option, it is best to have these panels installed with tilt frames.

Contact Sunmate Solar today for a free quote and the best panel layout based on your consumption.

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