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Photovoltaic modules: what is their optimal angle of inclination and positioning?

In photovoltaic installations, the orientation of the panels towards the sun is very important. We advise you on how to optimally choose the angle of inclination and the positioning of the photovoltaic modules so that they are as efficient as possible in generating electricity.

Photovoltaic modules: what is their optimal angle of inclination and positioning?

If we want to use a photovoltaic installation in our home, we must carefully analyze its location, preferably long before the purchase and installation. The orientation of the photovoltaic panels and the angle of incidence have a great impact on their efficiency. The better the location, orientation and tilt angle of the solar panels, the higher their efficiency and therefore the greater the benefits of saving electricity costs.

Orientation of photovoltaic panels and their efficiency.

The installation of photovoltaic panels should start by choosing a specific place for them. It seems obvious, but many people forget it and then are disappointed; First, the photovoltaic installation must be located in a place without shade. Such a location will allow as much sunlight as possible to reach the photovoltaic modules.

Another important issue in the context of the location of the panels is the specific location of their location. Photovoltaic modules can be installed:

  • on the roof or on the facade,
  • on the floor.

The two places where to locate solar panels have their advantages and disadvantages

  • The location of the solar panels on the roof means  that they are taller and therefore there is less risk of shade. However, sometimes the geographical location of the roof and the roof slope are not favorable for the efficiency of the solar panel. In some cases, mounting the bracket installation can be too expensive.
  • On the other hand, the  location of the panels on the ground surface  allows a precise and optimal arrangement of both the orientation in relation to the geographical directions, as well as the selection of the appropriate angle of inclination of the panels. In addition, when we have a large area without urbanization and without shading, we can put more panels, which will translate into greater savings in energy costs. Placing photovoltaic modules on the ground, if they allow the acquisition of energy greater than 50 kW, requires a building permit. In addition, the location of the panels on the ground is more susceptible to shade.

The best orientation of PV modules with respect to geographical directions in the case of Poland (as well as in other European countries and all locations north of the equator) is oriented south. This allows obtaining the greatest amount of energy in our latitudes. Satisfactory high efficiency of photovoltaic panels can also be achieved if they are oriented (depending on the orientation of the roof) in the south-east or south-west directions.

What angle of inclination of photovoltaic panels in Poland is the best?

To obtain the most energy possible from photovoltaic modules, their active surface must be in front of the sun for as long as possible during the day. Therefore, the arrangement of photovoltaic panels is not only the choice of location and orientation in relation to geographical directions, but also the adjustment of the angle of their inclination. In Poland, depending on the latitudes, the highest efficiency can be achieved:

  • in the case of the southern part of the country on a slope of 25-40 degrees,
  • for the northern regions – 30-50 degrees.

However, if the roof slope is higher or lower, a support structure must be used. At this point, it should be noted that in a situation where the slope of the roof is in the range of 15 to 60 degrees, and at the same time its deviation from the south is 45 degrees or more, the cost of construction of the Support installation can turn out to be much higher than the expected gain from solar energy.

Tilt angle and seasons: solar panels tilt in summer and winter

In the latitudes of Poland, the amount of solar radiation in summer is much higher than in winter. To maintain an optimal supply of sunlight to your PV installations throughout the year, it is best to have them tilted 30 degrees. However, when we want to use the panels only in the summer season (for example, in the plot garden), the panels can be tilted at an angle of 10-15 degrees to the south.

This allows for the highest energy yield this season. An interesting solution is photovoltaic installations, which are equipped with a special actuator that controls the angle of inclination of the panels. It can be programmed so that the installation produces as much electricity as possible. However, this is an expensive and failure-prone solution.

In order to optimally select and plan a photovoltaic installation in your home, you need to choose a suitable place without shade, which can be a roof or well-located land in an open space. It is also important that the PV modules face south, possibly southeast or southwest. The angle of inclination of the photovoltaic panels must also be selected based on the latitude.