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Put a Smile on Your Face by Pointing Your Solar Panels in the Right Direction

The amount of energy generated by your solar panels has a lot to do with the amount of sunlight falling on them. That is why the direction which the solar panels faces matters a lot. This is one of the reasons why solar panels perform well in sunnier areas than areas which are mostly cloudy. Homeowners with less shade on their roofs enjoy improved energy production from their solar energy systems. Research outcomes from various studies have shown that south is the best direction to face solar panels for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Internalizing this rationale, when solar panels are facing to the east, they will only receive sunlight during the morning hours but remain on the shade during the most part of the day. On the other hand, when the solar panels are facing to the west, they will receive sunlight during the latter hours of the day and receive nothing during the morning hours. Hence, when the solar panels are facing to the south, they will receive sunlight during the morning hours and during the latter hours of the day.

The fact that solar panels are mostly faced in the south within the Northern Hemisphere, it doesn’t mean that the solar panels have to be faced in the southern direction everywhere. The tilt of your solar panels will also depend on your latitude. Nevertheless, the two most ideal directions to face your solar panels are south and north. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, it is already determined that your solar panels should face to the south since the sun is always in the southern direction from you, which means that solar panels can receive the sunlight directly. There are also some studies which have shown that there is a difference between regular south and the true south. Some professionals have argued that the solar panels should face the “true south” and not the regular south. To make you understand this, the compass usually displays the magnetic south and not the true south. Basically, the compass usually points to the south pole of the earth’s geomagnetic field. This is the right general southern direction but not always the exact south. The solar panels should therefore face the true south from the geographical point of view instead of relying on the direction displayed by the compass.

You might be asking what will happen if your roof does not face to the south. If your roof faces east-west rather than south-north, you have a few options to consider. You may choose to compensate the direction by increasing the solar collector area. The solar collector area may be increased by adding more solar panels to your solar energy system. In this case, the increased number of solar panels will produce more energy to meet the load requirement but it will mean an increased budget. Another option would be to use solar panels with larger collector area. If these two options are not financially favorable for you, you can decide on installing the solar panels elsewhere other than your roof. This could be in your yard or any other area which will be less inconveniencing to you. All in all, you don’t have to worry about anything, your solar system designer will advise you on the best location for your energy system.

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