To get the maximum from solar panels, point them in the direction that captures the most sun.In this article will give you an idea on how to orient your panels to get the maximum output.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, you would point your panels due south. But if you live in the southern hemisphere, your panels should be pointed north.
Therefore, an ideal solar angle is never fixed as the sun moves across the sky and will be low or high depending on the time of the day and the season.
True south is not the same as magnetic south. If you are using a compass to orient your panels, you need to correct for the difference, which varies from place to place (because the earth has the fluid outer core made of iron and nickel, which pulls the needle of your compass slightly away from the true south. The “pull,” or magnetic declination, will vary in direction and strength depending on your location)
Another simple method to find your solar angle is to look at your house on Google Earth; after centering the image on your home, you can view the north-south grid lines Google provides. In the View menu, select “Grid”.
(True south is not the same as magnetic south but still facing them magnetic south is almost just as good. At least you’re not facing them north and getting basically zero energy).
Adjustable/fixed tilt methods to find your solar angle
In the winter months, when there’s less sun, take your latitude, multiply it by 0.9, and then add 29 degrees.
For example: if your latitude is 50 degrees, the angle you want to tilt your panels in the winter is: (50 * 0.9) + 29 = 74 degrees.
This is about 10 degrees steeper than the “quick and easy” way! It’s also more effective because you want your panels to be directly facing the sun at mid-day during those short winter days.
Take your latitude, multiply it by 0.9, and subtract 23.5 degrees.
For example: if your latitude is 50 degrees, your panels should be tilted at: (50 * 0.9) – 23.5 = 21.5 degrees.
For spring and fall
Take your latitude and subtract 2.5 degrees.
For example: if your latitude is 50 degrees, the best tilt for your panels in the spring & fall is: 50 – 2.5 = 47.5 degrees.
Single-axis solar angle trackers as the name imply rotate on one axis moving back and forth in a single direction. Different types of single-axis trackers include horizontal, vertical, tilted, and polar aligned.
Dual-axis trackers continually face the sun as they can move in two different directions. Because these trackers follow the sun vertically and horizontally they help obtain maximum solar energy generation.
Using solar trackers track the best solar angle to increase electricity production by as much as 40% in some regions, compared with modules at a fixed angle. In every solar application, the conversion efficiency gets improved when the panels are continually adjusted to the optimum solar angle as the sun traverses the sky. Here improved efficiency means improved yield, use of trackers can make quite a difference to the income from a large plant. Now most of the utility-scale solar installations mounted on tracking systems
There are, however, some disadvantages of solar trackers. Adding a solar tracker means adding more equipment, moving parts, and gears that will require regular maintenance and repair. Also, if the solar tracker system breaks down when the solar panels are at an extreme angle, the loss of production until the system is functional again. A solar tracker more prone to be damaged in a storm than the actual panels.
A fixed-solar system that will last 30 years usually comes with a 25-year power performance guarantee. But a solar-tracked system comes only with a 5 to 10-year warranty.