Investing in the best solar panels for your home won’t mean much if the panels lack adequate sunshine. Solar panel placement is as important as the quality of the panels and other factors such as size, power, and consumption needs. Most people assume that solar panels placed on a roof will automatically get optimal sunlight. This isn’t entirely the truth!
The sun moves around all day. It rises in the east and sets in the west because the earth is constantly rotating. The sun also changes its position throughout the year. Earth’s axis is on a tilt, so these various solar positions affect the sunlight exposure of different places throughout the year. Since the sun changes its position so often, many solar panel owners wonder what direction their home solar panels should face.
For years, solar panel installers told homeowners to mount solar panels on their roofs facing south, as this position captures the most sunlight over the entire day. However, this approach isn’t entirely sound. For instance, the demand for power varies during the day. Therefore, it may make more sense to mount solar panels to capture sunlight as the sun sets in the west (afternoon) since it would translate to having power when it’s most valuable. While overall production is bound to fall, power will be available when it’s most needed.
Research conducted in California involving 110,000 households with rooftop solar power systems suggests that solar panels facing south produce the most electricity. Given participants in the study were paid depending on the electricity produced and most were facing south, it’s safe to conclude that solar panels facing south maximize overall production.
However, peak production is usually at midday as opposed to the afternoon, where more power would be most helpful and consumption is highest. Most people watch TV, run appliances, and turn on their lights in the late afternoon. As a result, south-facing panels may not optimize solar production on a supply and demand basis. However, when the power is stored for use when it’s most needed, south-facing solar panels will produce the most power overall.
While solar panel placement and other factors such as the quality of the panels matter, you also need expert residential solar panel installers. You can determine for yourself which side is south. However, one part of the roof may offer better solar production than another. The quality of solar power components also matters. For instance, some solar power battery systems will store power better and longer than typical battery systems. By speaking with a professional installer, you can create the best plan for your roof.
Expert residential solar panel installers are the best-placed persons to answer the question “What direction should your home’s solar panels face?” as well as address other factors affecting overall solar power production. You also stand to enjoy other notable benefits, like zero out-of-pocket expenses when you use solar panels.
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