The average household in the United States uses 914 kilowatt-hours of electricity every month. If you multiply that by the average national electricity rate, that amounts to about $1,500 annually. Power generated from solar panels can greatly cut into these costs.
But if you are interested in calculating how much solar can save you, there are many different factors to consider, all of which have to do with their access to rays from the sun. To achieve this, you must determine the best angle for solar panels.
Fortunately, once you understand the variables that go into this, it will be easy to determine how well your solar panels will perform. The information below will tell you how to make calculations that will help you get the most from your system.
The more time a solar panel is perpendicular––or 90 degrees–relative to the sun’s rays, the more energy it will produce. For that reason, solar panel direction is the most important aspect of their position in terms of performance.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, the ideal direction for your panels is due south. The opposite is true for homes in the southern hemisphere: due north is optimal.
If this cannot be achieved, due to obstacles like trees or the layout of your roof, then the opposite direction is the next best thing, because the panels will be accessing direct afternoon sun. For instance, in the northern hemisphere, north would be preferable to southwest or northeast.
Seasons (in General)
Since the Earth has varying orientations toward the sun during different times of the year, seasons must go into your calculations. The most straightforward way is to focus on summer and winter since that is when the Earth is closest and farthest from the sun.
Winter is the most challenging time for solar production. On clear days, solar panels can produce as much during the winter as the summer. But that’s not the case when it is overcast or if snow is covering your panels.
You can’t do much about the weather, but another challenge in the winter months is that the sun is lower relative to the horizon. Adjusting to steeper angles during this time of year can help mitigate this challenge.
Likewise, during the summer months, the sun is much higher relative to the horizon. Adjusting your panels to a shallower angle can help.
The final factor that goes into determining the best angle for solar panels is how far north or south you live. Given the curvature of the Earth, in general, the farther north you live, the greater panel tilt required.
There is an easy calculation for adjusting the angle of your solar panels based on latitude. The contiguous United States is positioned between about 25 and 50 degrees latitude. Identify your approximate position and adjust for the slope of the Earth.
For this calculation subtract 23 from your latitude during the summer, and add 23 degrees for winter. This will give you the ideal angle for the middle of that season.
For instance, if you live in South Carolina, you are around 35 degrees latitude. During the middle of summer, your optimal solar panel angle would be approximately 19 degrees. During the winter months, an angle of 58 degrees is ideal.
This calculation will get your solar panels pretty close to where they need to be. If you want to be even more precise, a professional solar installation company, like this one www.blueravensolar.com/south-carolina/charleston/, can point you in the right direction.
Find the Best Angle for Solar Panels
Now that you have an idea of how to calculate the ideal orientation for your solar panels, you can make the most of your system. It’s a great way to save energy, reduce costs, and help the environment.
We hope this information on the best angle for solar panels was useful to you. Be sure to check out some of our many other posts on home improvement, security, services, and interior design.