How To Correct Tilt Angle For Solar Panels
There are several factors that affect the performance of solar panels, from battery capacity to size of the panels. Another crucial aspect to the efficiency of solar-powered systems is the angle of the panels, when harvesting sunlight. Generally speaking, the components should be pointed directly at the sun for maximum power.
Determining the correct angle can be difficult, depending on your location. This article provides tips for adjusting solar panel angles, as well as recommendations for maximum exposure to sunlight.
Requirements and General Calculations
Ideally, in order to achieve proper angles for solar panels, the units should be mounted in a fixed, secure position that offers manual tilting. Additionally, there should not be any obstructions between the unit and sunlight (direct exposure is recommended).
To start, a general pitch-angle between 30-45 degrees is ideal for most areas. When factoring in seasons, pronounced vertical positioning during the winter season is advisable to capture low winter sun. A major tilt is suitable for the summer season, causing the panels to become more open.
The +/- 15 Rule
For individuals who want a general boost in performance without needing to commit to any complex calculations, first determine the latitude of your location. Next, take that figure and add 15 degrees during the winter season. For the summer season, remove (subtract) 15 degrees from the latitude of your location.
Example: If your latitude is 50 degrees and it is winter, adding 15 degrees will result in a 65-degree tilt (50 + 15 = 65). During summer, perform the opposite calculation (50 – 15 = 35).
For maximizing midday conditions (ideal for short winter days), more complex calculations are required. It would also be possible to automate such needs, using a solar tracker. This is highly recommended, as such devices can boost exposure to sunlight by up to 25 percent. This article is sponsored by Larson Electronics Solar – provider of solar generators.