When solar panels are installed in your home, one of the most important things to consider is the location of your solar panel. Solar panels are usually installed on the roof of your home in a fixed position and generally face south, as this tends to be the direction that will receive most of the sunshine. So where to install solar panels?
More electricity is generated by solar panels that receive more sunlight, although there is a difference between true south and magnetic south. Solar panels need to be facing the direction of the true south, which can be determined via a compass. However, this is not an exact science as the fluid metal outer core of the earth pulls the compass needle slightly away from true south.
If it is not possible for the solar panels to be facing in a southerly direction, perhaps because your home's roof actually faces west or east, then using additional solar panels can help generate more power. There is also the option of mounting the panels on a rack facing in a southerly direction, although this is likely to be more expensive.
In direct sunlight
Solar panels that are installed where there is little to no shade and are in full sun will be the best performing. Shading can seriously affect the production of power so solar panels should be installed as far away from any shade as possible.
On the ground
One of the best places to install a panel is the rooftop, where most solar panels are installed. However, depending on placement and orientation opportunities there are also other positions that are able to offer the benefits of maximum sunlight.
Although the logical place to install solar panels is the top of a building as it is likely to have wide spatial areas and is out of the way, the reality is that exposure can be greatly impacted by shade from the likes of trees or other high structures. Some roofs may also be oddly shaped, made from clay or in need of repair, making them problematic for solar panel installation.
In these instances, the solution may be to install solar panels on the ground. Providing the space is there, ground mounted panels even allow for the manual adjustment of solar panels to ensure the most solar power can be received in different seasons.
There are a number of other factors that may need to be considered when deciding where best to have your solar panels installed. These include the building design and materials of the property. Metal roofing would make installation impossible because of the interference it would cause with the power output from the solar panels.
The orientation between prevailing winds could also have an impact on the energy level that the array can actually absorb.
Considering the best place to put solar panels is vital in order to make the most of their benefits.