One of the key things to consider when planning to install a solar PV system for your home is the placement of the panels. Just as selecting the right solar panel is important, so is the position and placement on your roof. Due to the nature of the suns’ movement throughout the day, there are certain orientations that will allow your panels to generate more energy.
In Australia, having north-facing panels is the most ideal direction for maximum sun exposure. This is due to the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, allowing for north facing panels to gain consistent sunshine throughout the day. Unfortunately, north isn’t always an option to all homeowners, but fear not.
If the possibility is there, you can have your panels face in between north and east (north-east) or north and west (north-west), which will only generate ~5% less than panels facing due north.
However, if this still isn’t an option, the next best solution for solar production are the east and west orientations.
East and west facing panels both generate around 11% less electricity than north-facing panels, however these can still generate an adequate amount of electricity, and if utilised correctly can still produce very significant savings for your home.
East-facing panels produce more electricity in the morning than in the afternoon. For those with east-facing panels, scheduling your largest appliances, such as your washing machine and dishwasher to come on in the first half of the day is going to deliver the best savings. Peak power production for the east orientation is usually between 10:00am – 12:00pm.
West-facing panels are the exact opposite – power capacity is higher during the afternoon, when the sun sets and lesser in the mornings, with peak power production to start at around 2:00pm. Notably, west will be more favorable for those who use more electricity later in the day and afternoon. This could mean setting your aircon to come on in the afternoon before you get home from work or school and setting it to your preferred temperature before the sun goes down.
Ideally, you want to split the panels evenly across the east and west faces for even distribution of sun throughout the day.
Both the east and west orientation have their own benefits for every type of homeowner. However, there are other factors to take into consideration when choosing the right solar-panel position for your home.
A tree (or any form of structure that may cast a shadow) next to your roof can have a big impact on a solar panels’ generation capacity. Be sure to survey your land area and choose the side that is not obstructed by shade.
If both sides of your roof are shaded, the best thing to do is look at your roof angles. The key is to choose the side that leans more horizontally as it will get more sun exposure for power generation.
Your energy consultant will be able to suggest the most efficient roof placement position for your system, helping you to maximise your solar production. By noting where your solar panels are placed on your roof, you can adjust your energy consumption habits and maximise your savings.
If you’d like to receive a free, no obligation quote, simply contact us today.