Home Solar Power: Which Roof Directions Are Best for Solar?

Dec 03 2021
Home Solar Power: Which Roof Directions Are Best for Solar?

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of buzz about what direction solar panels should face. 

Checking if rooftop PV panels align to the correct orientation is very crucial for maximum sun energy utilization. 

Perhaps another piece of information many people are unaware of is the ideal tilt and angle to aim at photovoltaic cells for their energy needs. 

You shouldn't worry, as there is an orientation map designed for you when fixing solar energy systems in the northern hemisphere. 

Innovate Solar is the go-to when it comes to the best installers to show you the best roof direction for solar panels. If you are looking for the right direction to put photovoltaic cells on your house, look here. 

This article has everything you need to know about solar panel orientation. 

Why is it important to correctly place your solar panels?

As solar energy is slowly replacing traditional power in many homes across the planet, it is essential to know the optimal direction for solar panels. 

Most research studies suggest that optimum solar panel orientation can deliver a faster return on investment in PV-powered electricity. 

Industry experts have recently found out that efficiency by direction determines the power you will gain. 

Case in point, PV installed in the right inclination will extract more energy because of longer exposure and focus to the highest intensity of sunlight within the longest duration possible. So when positioning solar panels, you will be guided by the principle of output vs orientation. Ideally, the energy you will receive will depend on how you put solar energy systems. 

In the northern latitudes, achieving the appropriate tilt aids you in getting rid of snow during winter. This recommended measure makes sure that a great deal of snow slides off with little effort because external interference has a higher chance of destroying your photovoltaic cells. 

sun energy panel best direction

What is the best direction for solar panels to face?

One of the most critical questions to ask when putting solar panels on a house is- what direction should solar panels face? In PV units, the best direction is defined by effect outputs. 

This is simply the impact of power installations, or the amount of energy acquired when placed in a certain direction against other orientations. There is no meaningful value when PV power cells are fitted in the wrong direction on the roof. 

It is essential to note that installation direction is not a matter of looking for the best sun energy systems but also how and where the environmentally-friendly technology will be fixed on the roof. Now, what is the correct direction to point solar panels? 

As a rule, sun-powered technologies must point to the south in the northern hemisphere because experts have satisfied this strategy in solar panel orientation efficiency. The rationale of south-directed photovoltaic units is informed by the fact that direct natural light is at the equator in the entire year and improves the chances of North American countries to collect more energy. 

Electric bills are costly to enthusiasts of eco-friendly energy, and therefore, solar panels roof direction to the south against other orientations has been proven to be an economically wise alternative. 

Also, the south orientation can enhance PV battery storage and, consequently, increase the total electricity yield. Never hesitate to put trust in our highly-trained professionals to understand all the best orientations for solar panels. 

What if your roof is not facing the south?

Even though the solar panels’ best direction is the true south, other solar panel facing directions are west, east, and north. 

Your house orientation might be corresponding to the non-south poles. This means that the PV unit's placement direction should level up to the orientation with the finest efficiency or minimum energy losses. 

To statistically back up the benefit of mounting direction, sun power systems placed in an incorrect orientation usually lead to output inefficiencies of 30% or even 60% in extreme scenarios. 

Different directions have varying power losses, and familiarizing yourself with the numbers will leverage better alternatives. 

North-oriented PV panels

In the northern hemisphere, solar-powered units facing the north are the opposite of the sun’s rays. They experience 30% less energy output than most solar panels oriented to a south tilt. 

West-oriented or east-oriented PV panels 

On a similar pitch, sun energy systems facing west or east have only built about 15% less output than south-placed roofs. 

The great news here is that even if your roof is not south-facing, there are still cutting-edge solutions to obtain clean sunlight energy. There is much evidence of homeowners whose roofs face north, west, or east but enjoying affordable electricity rates. 

So what can you do if your solar-powered home is not facing the south side? There are breakthrough hacks for you as explicitly discussed below:

Install as many PV systems depending on your roof surface area

If the sun-based renewable system is facing away from the south, the reduced exposure does not mean that your home will fail to appreciate the comfort of green energy. 

Installing more PV units will adequately serve the gap and compensate for your energy preferences and requirements.  

Ground-fixed solar power technology

If the roof lacks enough space for extra cells, another possibility is to mount the solar systems on the ground cover. 

For those on a budget, this approach is cheaper since it does not need the construction of any roof racks. You can also effortlessly maintain the cells since there is no climbing.  

the best direction for solar panels to face

How to correctly calculate the optimal angle for solar panels?

Another significant yet easily forgotten factor is the optimal orientation angle. 

The tilt angle is a twin complement to the best direction for solar panels to face. In essence, selecting the accurate angle and south tilt is akin to optimizing solar panel orientation for the most efficiency. 

But how do you know the perfect angle? Here is the answer. 

Adjusting to the precise direction angle is based on latitude because the wide practice has overly dictated that the top-performing sun-powered cells must be titled to an angle identical to the real house latitude. 

If your physical location is at 32 degrees latitude, then your PV equipment must be harmonized at a 32 degrees angle tilt.

Solar panel direction map

the preferred direction for solar panels in the United States of America

The US solar panel direction map is a detailed synthesis of the best direction to face solar panels. 

In the map above, it is clear that a south direction is the best. The ideal solar panel direction in the United States is determined by the movement of the sun across the year. 

During the summer, the sun is overhead at the equator, and hence, people in the north of the equator should utilize this advantage and harness the abundant freely-given sunlight by positioning solar panels towards the south. 

What are solar panel tracking systems, and how can they help?

Every homeowner wants their PV units to trap sunlight and produce great amounts of electricity, but sun-powered systems' direction and angle are not the only hacks to improve the photovoltaic cell’s effectiveness. 

This is where sun panel tracking systems come in handy because they have proven to help you supplement output by guaranteeing perpendicular exposure to natural light even in winter or fall. 

Fascinatingly, by rotating photovoltaic cells to follow the sun’s journey from sunrise to sunset, surveys have found that trackers give over 67% efficiency compared to 40% efficiency when using fixed PV panels without trackers. 

You have found out that sun energy tracking systems are your best companion, but how do you know the best choice for your house? You can consider single-axis or dual-axis gadgetry. 

Specifically, the single-axis will ordinarily move between the south and north, whereas the dual-axis tend to move from the north-south to the east-west axis. 

Start saving with Innovate Solar

You are now familiar with solar panels direction and angle, but in the solar panel marketplace, we also provide you with a solar systems calculator to help you decide budget estimations for ample electricity production. Innovate Solar has smoothed the long process to find the most affordable cost of solar panels for homes in Florida.  

Most homeowners still ask this question “do solar panels pay for themselves”? Yes! Recent data shows that, on average, a 5kW PV system costs $10,212 after national tax incentives, and the positive impact is electricity bill savings of up to $130-150 per month. 

To start benefiting from our solar energy partnership, all you need to do is register with us online, and after regulatory vetting, we begin to pair you up with the right leads. 

Final word

With the hovering climate change situation, solar energy demand is steadily increasing. Most solar companies advise installing PV units due to the lasting benefits of green electricity. 

Innovate Solar partners with other renewable energy companies ensure that setting up your sustainable sun energy systems is possible in America at an affordable cost.

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