What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

While solar power is becoming more and more popular all over the United States, and especially in Florida, many people still have plenty of questions about it. How exactly does solar power work? Can it power my whole home? At Solar Bear Tampa, we are passionate about solar power and love to help people understand how best to build solar power into their home energy plans.

One question that clients often have is “What direction should my solar panels face?” We all know that solar power runs off of energy collected from the sun by solar panels, so it’s a good question to ask. Though it seems the answer should be straightforward, as with most things regarding solar power, the short answer is “it depends.” 

Traditionally, if you live in the Tampa Bay area, which lies in the northern hemisphere, you’ll want your solar panels to face south, and to be angled at approximately 30 to 40 degrees. This is because, for the northern hemisphere of the earth, the sun falls mostly in the southern sky. To effectively power your home, you want to absorb as much sun for as long a duration as possible, which is why you wouldn’t typically want your solar panels facing east or west. 

However, there are a few factors that might affect which direction your solar panels should face to absorb the maximum solar energy. 

If, for instance, your home has a tall line of trees that obscure the southern sky or cast shade from the south more often than not, odds are good that you wouldn’t want to face your solar panels south, because they wouldn’t end up getting as much sun as if they were pointing in a different direction. 

A western-facing solar panel might be a better option for those who only rely on solar power for supplemental home energy, rather than those with solar batteries to charge. A solar panel that faces west will only absorb sun for about half of the day, which could make a difference in your energy bill depending on your home energy plan. 

Meet with our friendly and trusted experts at Solar Bear Tampa today, and we’ll tell you where to install your home’s solar panels based on a home consultation. Call today and make the switch to solar!