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How Solar Panel Orientation Can Affect Your Solar System’s Energy Production

March 22, 2018 3:14 pm Published by

Solar electric systems are an environmentally friendly and often cost-effective alternative method of producing energy. These systems have been gaining a lot of traction in both homes and businesses around the world because of their many benefits and proven results. Technology has also helped make photovoltaic (PV) panels or solar panels in Albuquerque, NM more affordable, meaning more citizens are able to install them and reap the benefits of the sun’s clean, ever-present source of energy.

Many customers purchasing solar panels assume that they can simply slap them flat onto their roof and yield results because the sun is shining overhead. That is not the case, though. The angle at which the panel is tilted and the direction (or orientation) it has toward the sun will make a big difference in the amount of energy your solar panels can produce. It’s very important that customers understand these two concepts and how they relate to their system’s energy production so they can discuss it with their solar panel provider and achieve optimum results.

Understanding azimuth angles

The sun moves across the sky throughout the day, and its path also changes over the course of the year. Because of these changes, your solar panels in Albuquerque, NM should be optimized to sit at the right azimuth and tilt angles in order to yield the highest amounts of energy from the sun’s rays. These angles will depend on your location and the season in which you need to produce the most energy.

The azimuth angle refers to an angle calculated either east or west of true south. In the northern hemisphere, the sun sits directly overhead to the south at noon, otherwise known as an azimuth angle of zero degrees. Angles to the east of true south are negative, meaning due east would have an azimuth angle of -90 degrees. Angles to the west of true south are positive, meaning due west would have an azimuth angle of +90 degrees.

The azimuth angle your solar panels will need to be oriented at will largely depend on your location and the time of year you require the most solar energy. Most of the sun’s rays are delivered in a straight line, so your solar panel provider will help you identify the azimuth angle at which your panels can sit perpendicular to the sun’s rays the most during the year.

Understanding tilt angles

Once the azimuth angle has been determined, you’ll need to identify the best angle of tilt, or elevation from horizontal, for your panels. The same principle applies here—the tilt of your solar panels toward the sun will help maximize the amount of sunlight your panels can absorb and turn into energy and will depend on your latitude and whether there are any obstructions nearby.

Many solar panels in Albuquerque, NM are fixed, meaning their azimuth and tilt angles do not change at all during the year. These types of panels will gain somewhat less energy during some months, whereas adjustable or tracking panels can be shifted or automatically track the sun to optimize energy production.

Optimizing the azimuth and tilt angles for your solar system can make a large difference in the energy outputs you see year after year. For the best results, work with a professional who can design the best solar system to meet your needs.

Experienced Solar has designed, engineering and installed turnkey remote solar electric systems for residential, commercial and industrial clients for 20 years. We design everything to your unique application and are well known for our precision and premier products. Call us today!

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