The optimal solar panel tilt for maximizing power output depends on the system’s geographic location and the time of year.
In the summer, the angle may be computed by subtracting 15° from the location’s latitude, and in the winter, the angle can be calculated by adding 15° to the latitude. Seasonal adjustment of the angle can enhance annual power output by up to 15%.
Table of Contents
How To Calculate The Solar Panel Angle Of Your Solar System?
The angle of your solar system’s solar panels will vary depending on where you are. When solar panels face the sun directly, they produce the most electricity.
The sun traverses the sky and, depending on the time of day and the season will be low or high. Therefore, the optimal angle is never established.
To maximize the amount of sunlight reaching the panel throughout the day, it is necessary to calculate the best tilt angle and establish which direction the panels should face. This depends upon:
- Where you live
- What season do you require the most solar energy?
Generally, solar panels should be positioned vertically in the winter to maximize exposure to the low winter sun and more slanted in the summer to enhance production.
Here are two straightforward approaches for calculating the approximate angle of your solar panels based on your latitude.
First Calculation Method
Adding 15 degrees to your latitude during the winter and removing 15 degrees during the summer yields the optimal tilt angle.
For example, if your latitude is 34 degrees, the optimal tilt angle for your solar panels during the winter is 34 + 15 = 49 degrees. The optimal tilt angle throughout the summer will be 34 – 15 = 19°.
Second Calculation Method
This modification to the standard procedure yields superior outcomes. This approach calculates the optimal tilt angle for solar panels in the winter by multiplying the latitude by 0.90 and then adding 29°.
Guide On: How To Clean Solar Panels? 6 Best Ways
With a latitude of 34 degrees, the tilt angle will be (34 * 0.9) + 29 = 59.6 degrees. This angle is 10 degrees steeper than the standard approach, but it is highly effective for capturing the midday light, which is the hottest during the winter’s short days.
For the summer, the tilt angle is determined by multiplying the latitude by 0.91 and subtracting 23.5 degrees. In the above illustration, this angle would be (34 * 0.9) – 23.5 = 7.1 degrees.
For optimal tilt angles during spring and fall, the latitude is subtracted by 2.5°.
What Factors Affect Your Optimal Solar Panel Angle?
Numerous factors will affect the appropriate tilt of your solar panels. Consider the following factors when establishing the optimal tilt for your solar array:
Most solar arrays are built at an angle that optimizes sunlight exposure for the given location. For most U.S. property owners, the optimal angle for solar panel installation (on a south-facing roof) is close to or equal to the latitude of your residence, between 30 and 45 degrees.
Existing Roof Structure
It would be ideal if everyone had a roof with the same angle as their latitude, but every property is different, and there is no uniform plan for solar panel placement.
Time Of Year
Solar panels function well over the winter. However, you will normally observe a decline in total energy production during extremely harsh winters due to snowfall lowering the panels’ power output.
During the winter in the northern hemisphere, the sun is low on the horizon. Thus, one strategy to combat winter production drops is to set your solar panels at a steeper angle than your latitude—60 degrees is ideal.
Solar Panel Angle VS Solar Panel Orientation: What’s The Difference?
- The inclination of your roof has less of an effect on solar panel performance than the orientation of your solar energy system. Solar panels are tilted 30 degrees to the south producing the most electricity.
- Orientation refers to the direction that solar panels face. This is equally as critical as the tilt angle of the solar panel and should be optimized for maximum energy production.
- The general principle for solar panel installation in the northern hemisphere is that solar panels must face true south (and in the southern, true north). This is typically the optimal orientation, as solar panels receive direct sunlight throughout the day.
Which Matters More: Solar Panel Orientation Or Angle?
The orientation of your roof is one of the key determinants of how much sunlight your solar panels receive throughout the day. True south and true north face the axis of the Earth rather than the magnetic poles.
For individuals living north of the Equator, the optimal orientation for solar panels is south, whereas those living in the southern hemisphere would install solar panels on rooftops facing north.
The angle of your solar panels is the vertical tilt of your solar system. For instance, if your solar panels are perpendicular to the ground, they would have a 90-degree tilt.
To increase the efficiency of solar energy collection, solar panels should be positioned to face the sun as directly as feasible.
Therefore, the optimal angle for your solar panels is the one that permits them to receive the most direct, perpendicular light.
1. Is it worth tilting your solar panels?
Yes, tilting your solar panels to absorb electricity more efficiently is worthwhile.
2. What is the best direction for solar panels?
This is typically the optimal orientation, as solar panels receive direct sunlight throughout the day.
3. Can solar panels be laid flat?
Yes, solar panels can be installed on homes and businesses’ flat roofs.