Solar power has rapidly become more popular throughout the United States, especially in areas like the Southwest that get a lot of sunshine throughout the year. It’s easy to understand why its use is becoming more prevalent. In a time where environmental consciousness is rapidly growing, solar energy is a renewable energy source with minimal environmental impact, especially when compared to traditional fossil fuel sources. Costs are also lower, as there are zero raw fuel costs, an unlimited supply of energy and no issues such as storage, transportation or pollution.
Of course, if you are going to maximize the power you get from a solar panel, you need to make sure it is properly positioned directly at the radiant energy that comes from the sun. The more surface area of the panel that gets direct sunlight, the more power output you’ll get.
Here’s an overview of what you should know about solar panel positioning in Houston, TX.
The term “orientation” with solar panels generally refers to the setting of the azimuth. Solar panels take in more energy if they’re directly facing the sun. When you consider that the majority of the sun’s energy comes in on a straight line, this means you want the panel perpendicular to that line.
This means proper positioning of the panel is facing toward the equator (facing south in the northern hemisphere, or north in the southern hemisphere) to ensure it gets the most sunlight possible throughout the day. While you could just use a compass to find the correct way to point your solar panels, the more accurate method is to position the panels relative to the central solar noon. This is the highest position of the sun when it moves across the sky, and is not necessarily 12:00 noon. Depending on your location, it could be between 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.
It’s also possible to install a tracking device that rotates the panel throughout the day to maintain the perpendicular direction of the panel. However, these devices tend to be quite costly.
Beyond the orientation of the panel, you also need to consider the tilt, which refers to the “zenith” or elevation setting. After you’ve found the proper azimuth position, you need to consider the elevation, which will also help you get the most solar power to your panel. The maximum height achieved by the sun changes slightly every day, ranging from a 62-degree angle around the summer solstice to about a 15-degree angle on the winter solstice.
If you’re creating a fixed installation, you’re going to want to create panels with a centralized tilt of about 38 degrees to fall in between those two examples. There are some solar panel applications that allow you to remotely control the angles at which the panels sit, but these applications tend to be much more expensive and are thus not nearly as common in residential settings.
This is just a short overview of what you need to know about how to position solar panels at your home. To learn more about solar panel positioning in Houston, TX we encourage you to contact the team at Texford Battery Co. today.
Categorised in: Solar Panel Positioning
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