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What is the best roof direction for solar panels?

The answer to this question may seem obvious – after all, solar panels need to face the sun in order to work. However, there are actually a few different factors to consider when deciding which direction your solar panels should face.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the best roof direction for solar panels, and help you make the decision that’s right for your home.

Best solar panel direction overall

What is the best roof direction for solar panels

There is no question that solar panels placed in the right location will produce more energy than those that are not. But what is the best location for solar panels? The answer might surprise you.

It turns out that the best direction for solar panels is actually due south. This is because the sun is directly overhead at noon, so south-facing panels will get the most direct sunlight.

East- and west-facing panels will also get good sunlight, but not as much as south-facing panels. However, east- and west-facing panels can still produce a lot of electricity if they are placed in a sunny location.

Best Angle for Solar Panels

Most solar panels are fixed at a particular angle relative to the sun, but some types of panels can be adjusted to follow the sun as it moves across the sky during the day. The optimum angle for solar panels varies depending on your latitude – that is, how far you are from the equator. Solar panels located nearer to the equator should be set at a lower angle, while those located further away should be set at a higher angle.

In general, the best angle for solar panels is between 30 and 45 degrees from horizontal, but this varies depending on your latitude. If you live in a location that is nearer to the equator, you should set your panels at a lower angle, between 15 and 30 degrees.

If you live in a location that is further from the equator, you should set your panels at a higher angle, between 30 and 45 degrees. The optimum angle for your location can be found using a solar panel angle calculator.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best angle for your solar panels. If your panels are adjustable, you will need to adjust them seasonally to keep them at the optimum angle. If your panels are fixed, you will need to choose an angle that works best for both winter and summer sun angles.

The good news is that even if you don’t have adjustable solar panels, you can still get decent power output by setting them at a fixed angle – it just won’t be as good as it could be if they were adjusted for seasonal changes in the sun’s position.

Solar Panel Tracking Systems

Solar panel tracking systems follow the sun’s position throughout the day, maximizing the amount of sunlight hitting the panels. There are two types of tracking systems: single-axis and dual-axis.

Single-axis tracking systems follow the sun on a north-south plane, while dual-axis systems follow the sun on both a north-south and east-west plane.

The best direction for Time of Use billing

If you are on Time of Use (TOU) billing, the best direction for your solar panels is going to be due South. This will give you the highest output during the times when electricity is the most expensive.

Are certain types of panels more effective?

Multiple factors affect how much electricity solar panels produce, including the angle at which the panels are installed (called the “tilt angle”), the direction they face (called the “azimuth angle”), and how much sun they get each day (a function of latitude).

In general, solar panels should be installed so that they have a south-facing azimuth angle and a tilt angle between 30 and 45 degrees. This orientation will maximize the amount of sunlight that hits the solar panels throughout the day and year, resulting in more electricity production.

However, depending on your latitude, it may also be possible to produce a significant amount of electricity with panels that are facing east or west. In general, east-facing panels will produce more electricity in the morning, while west-facing panels will produce more electricity in the afternoon.

Finally, it is also worth noting that some types of solar panels are more effective than others at converting sunlight into electricity. Monocrystalline silicon panels are typically the most efficient type of panel, followed by polycrystalline silicon panels. Thin film panels (such as amorphous silicon or cadmium telluride) are typically the least efficient type of panel.

How much does direction impact output?

The amount of sunlight that hits a solar panel directly affects how much electricity the panel can produce. If the panels are not positioned correctly, they will not be able to produce as much electricity as they could if they were optimally positioned. Roof direction is important, but there are other factors that also impact output, such as angle and shading.

In general, solar panels should be pointing towards the south if you are in the northern hemisphere, and towards the north, if you are in the southern hemisphere. This is because the sun is usually highest in the sky around midday, and by pointing the panels towards the sun at this time, you can maximize how much sunlight hits them. The angle of your roof also affects how much sunlight hits your panels.

A steeper angle will allow more direct sunlight to hit the panel, whereas a shallower angle will cause more of the sunlight to be diffused and less direct. Finally, shading from trees or other buildings can reduce how much sunlight hits your solar panels and therefore reduce their output.

What if your roof doesn’t face south?

Not to worry, your panels will still produce electricity, just not as much as if they were facing south. The amount of electricity produced by a solar panel facing south at a tilt equals about 75% of the amount of electricity that would be produced by the same panel if it were installed horizontally (no tilt).

Panels installed at a tilt facing east or west produce about 62% and 47% respectively of the amount of electricity that would be produced by the same panel if it were installed horizontally.

What if a North-Facing Roof is My Only Option?

If you’re wondering if a north-facing roof is the best option for solar, the answer is… it depends. Homes with north-facing roofs in the Northern Hemisphere generally have the best solar potential because they receive direct sunlight from the south throughout the day.

However, a north-facing roof is not a dealbreaker when it comes to installing solar. In fact, most homes — no matter which direction their roof faces — can benefit from solar power.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering solar for a north-facing roof:

· The angle of your roof: If your north-facing roof has a steep pitch (i.e., it’s sloped at a greater than 45-degree angle), this can actually be an advantage, as it means your panels will be angled closer to the sun. This can increase the amount of sunlight your panels absorb and, as a result, increase your system’s output.

· The amount of shade: Even if your north-facing roof isn’t perfectly positioned for solar, there may still be areas that get enough sun to make going solar worthwhile. A good way to check is by using our Shade Analysis tool, which uses satellite imagery to show you how much shade falls on your property throughout the day.

· The type of solar panel: Some types of solar panels — including amorphous silicon (a-Si) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) — perform better in low-light situations than others. If you’re considering solar for a shady or north-facing property, these types of panels may be worth investigating.

How to calculate output on your roof based on its direction?

In order to calculate the output of solar panels on your roof, you need to take into account the direction that your roof faces. The North-South axis is the most important factor, but the East-West axis also plays a role.

If your roof faces due north, you will get the most consistent output throughout the day and year. This is because the sun will be directly overhead at noon during the summer, and directly opposite (in the south) during the winter.

If your roof faces east or west, you will get less consistent output, but you will still generate a significant amount of electricity. The reason for this is that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so your panels will only be generating electricity for part of the day.

The amount of electricity you generate will also be affected by how much sun your panels are able to receive. If there are trees or other objects blocking part of your roof, this will reduce the amount of electricity you generate.

Do they have to be attached to the roof?

Solar panels can be mounted on the roof or on the ground. The most important factor is that they need to be in a sunny location. If the panels are mounted on the roof, it is important that they are facing south if you are in the northern hemisphere (or north if you are in the southern hemisphere) so that they can get the maximum amount of sun.

If you would like to know if we can install solar and put thousands of dollars in your pocket for doing it, use the form below to submit your electric bill for a no cost, no obligation evaluation.