Optimal tilt of solar panels

November 19 , 2016
Optimal tilt of solar panels

To get the most from solar panels, you need to point them in the direction that captures the most sun, This page is designed to help you find the best placement for your solar panels in your situation. This advice applies to any type of panel that gets energy from the sun; photovoltaic, solar hot water, etc. We assume that the panel is fixed, or has a tilt that can be adjusted seasonally.

Fixed or Adjustable?

It is simplest to mount your solar panels at a fixed tilt and just leave them there. But because the sun is higher in the summer and lower in the winter, you can capture more energy during the whole year by adjusting solar panels according to the season. The following table shows the effect of adjusting the angle, using Tilt Of Solar Panels a system at 40° latitude as an example.

In short, Adjusting Solar Panels twice a year gives you a meaningful boost in energy. Adjusting four times a year produces only a little more,Optimal tilt of solar panels will bring you more energy.

Fixed Tilt

If your solar panels will have a fixed tilt angle, and you want to get the most energy over the whole year

1:If your latitude is below 25°, use the latitude times 0.87.
2:If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, use the latitude, times 0.76, plus 3.1 degrees.

Adjusting the tilt twice a year

If you are going to adjust the tilt of your solar panels twice a year, and you want to get the most energy over the whole year,

Northern hemisphere

Southern hemisphere

Adjust to summer angle on

March 30

September 29

Adjust to winter angle on

September 12

March 14

If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, then the best tilt angle for summer is the latitude, times 0.93, minus 21 degrees. The best tilt angle for winter is the latitude, times 0.875, plus 19.2 degrees.

These calculations are based on an idealized situation. They assume that you have an unobstructed view of the sky, with no trees, hills, clouds, dust, or haze ever blocking the sun.