Saturday, 8 September 2018

Why do solar panels face south?

Related image
pic credits:modernfarmer
The sun moves in the sky from east to west each day, but it isn't straight overhead unless you are on the equator. It has a southern offset, especially in the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky.
It turns out that the best fixed position for solar panels is pointed south, and tilted approximately the degrees of latitude of the location. If you can move them a few times per year, they will be a few percent more efficient if they are a little more horizontal in the summer and a little more vertical in the winter. But always south facing.
Think about a building: The north side is always in the shade. The east and west sides get direct sun for a few hours each day, but are also shaded much of the day. The south side is the one in the sun for the largest part of the day.
Of course, the original question and this answer are specific to the Northern hemisphere. Solar panels should face north in the Southern hemisphere.


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