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Solar panel performance

In this article we will discuss the performance of solar panels and analyze the factors that influence the efficiency of the solar panel.

Many people have the misconception that they cannot install solar panels on their roof for various reasons, be it because of the material, its location, the shade or the dimensions of the roof.

Solar panel performance: how much does the orientation and angle of the roof influence?

The truth is that there are many factors that make a roof more or less suitable, but while some qualities of the roof make it unfittable, others have a minimal impact on the investment of a solar photovoltaic panel system.

Today we will review two roof factors that influence solar panel performance: orientation and slope.

Solar panel performance

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Roof orientation.

The orientation of the roof is one of the main factors that determines how much sun your solar panels will see throughout the day.

In the Northern Hemisphere, solar panels are most effective when installed on south-facing rooftops. In the southern hemisphere, therefore oriented to the north. However, even if your roof is not facing directly south, they can produce a lot of electricity. Many people install solar panels on east and west facing rooftops (and save money doing so!)

Tip: Not sure of the direction of your roof? Look up your address on Google Maps. Its grid shows the direction of the south: compare it with the direction of your roof in the satellite images.

Why is roof orientation important?

In general, solar panels facing directly east or west produce 20% less electricity than if they were facing south. This does not mean that you will not save money, but if you intend to cover all your electricity consumption with solar energy, you may have to install a few more panels than you would need with a south-facing system.

Although it is technically possible to install solar panels on the north side of your roof, it is not the best location for solar production (in fact, it is the worst): you will probably have to use a special mount so that the panels oppose the tilt of your roof to generate electricity. This means that they will not be flush with the roof and will produce relatively little electricity. If the only option is a north-facing roof, other installation options are worth considering, such as solar installation on the ground or in a garage.

Can’t install solar panels on your roof? Think community solar power.

The community solar energy allows you to support renewable energy production and save money on your energy bills without installing any equipment on your property.

Roof pitch.

Ideally, a roof-mounted fixed solar power system should have an angle equal to the latitude of where it is installed.

However, tilt angles between 30 and 45 degrees will work well in most situations. Fortunately, the angle of your roof has less of an impact on solar panel output than the direction the roof is facing.

Why are angles important for solar energy production?

Like other factors that affect production, the impact of the small loss in solar productivity related to the pitch of the roof depends on the electricity prices in your local market.

Regardless of where you live or the slope of the roof, solar energy installations provide significant savings.

Optimal electricity production occurs when the solar panels are oriented to the south with an inclination equal to 30 °. However, even if you lower the slope of your roof to 5 °, production only decreases by about 10%.

The bottom line is that even if your solar panels aren’t at the perfect angle, they can still deliver great performance.

Start saving with solar energy.

Remember that you do not need to live in the sunniest part of your country, or have a roof facing directly south to take advantage of solar energy: the most important factor in determining your solar energy savings is how much you pay for electricity.

By using solar energy, the electricity costs of the utility company are reduced or even eliminated, so even if you cannot get the most out of your photovoltaic installation, investing in solar energy can be very profitable. .

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