Solar Panels – Tilt Angle Effect

Effect of tilting solar panels

The angle that you select to mount your solar panels will depend on a few factors. If you have got just a straight grid-tie solar system that is going to be on your roof and your roof is a normal, average tilted roof, you’re really just going to put it on that, because chasing after every little last angle on a grid-tie system quite often isn’t worth the extra money. However, if you’ve got an off-grid solar system, and you need to pull out every single watt hour you can out of the system, then angle really does come into play, quite significantly.

Maximizing Performance

In the demo below, we show you the effect the tilt of your solar panels can have. First, you need to figure out when you will be maximizing it. For example, this demo takes place In Massachusetts, so the latitude here is 42 degrees. If we are looking to maximize year-round performance, we would want to set the solar panels as close as possible to 42 degrees, because if you figure, the sun is going to be that angle in the spring and the fall, as opposed to in the summer when it’s just going to be really high, or in the winter when it’s going to be very low.

Other scenarios to consider:

  • Do you have a winter hunting cabin that you need to maximize your winter? In that case, you’d want to put the panels at a bit of a steeper angle to try to get as much power as you can during the short winter days.
  • If you just have a summer camp, you’re likely going to have it really up very high.
  • If you’ve got an RV, odds are pretty good that if you just put it flat on the top of your roof, you’re going to be great, because you are likely going to be using it in the summer months when the sun is the highest.

So, let’s actually see what effect the tilt of your solar panels can have…


 

About Author

Amy Beaudet
Amy Beaudet has been in the solar industry at the altE Store since 2007. She’s been a sales rep, an instructor, and an all around solar evangelist, sharing her passion for solar around the world. When not at work, she’s either sailing or skiing, depending on the season, but odds are good she’s still talking about solar on the boat or on the slopes. See more of Amy Beaudet's blog posts.