What Is the Best Angle for Solar Panels?
Though the sun’s movements might seem straightforward—it rises in the east and sets in the west—the path taken by the sun is a bit more complex than that. Due to the earth’s natural tilt and its elliptical orbit around the sun, the sun moves across the sky differently depending on where you live and the time of year.
Yes, the sun’s changing position can impact your solar power generation, which is why it is important to tilt your solar system at an optimal angle, known as solar panel tilt.
What solar panel tilt is best for your solar system? Keep reading to find out!
What Does Solar Panel Angle Mean?
Solar panel angle is another way to describe the vertical tilt of your solar panel system. This angle can affect the amount of solar power that your system generates and is based on two factors, latitude, and the season.
To maximize your solar power production, you should adjust your solar panel title according to these two factors.
What is the Best Solar Tilt for Your Latitude?
The further your home is from the equator, the higher your solar tilt should be. For example, in states such as Arizona and Hawaii that sit at lower latitudes, the sun is higher in the sky. In these lower latitude states, solar panels require a lower tilt to capture direct sunlight.
For states in higher latitudes like Oregon and Montana, the sun is lower in the sky, so solar panels should be installed at a higher tilt to receive maximum sunlight throughout the day.
There is a simple calculation to calculate the best tilt angle for fixed-mount solar systems: Subtract 15 degrees from your latitude during the summer and add 15 degrees to your latitude during winter. Simple!
These angles will give you the best overall solar output over a year if you have a fixed installation on your roof. Adjusting solar panels based on the season is another option, which we explain next!
What is the Best Solar Tilt Based on Season?
The angle of the sun not only changes due to different latitudes but also along with the changing seasons. The sun is lower during winter and higher in the summer.
This means that if you want to ensure that your solar system is receiving the maximum amount of sunlight, its tilt should be adjusted for each season.
For example, in Orlando, Florida the best solar tilt based on the seasons is as follows:
- Winter: 40°
- Spring/Fall: 64°
- Summer: 88°
Of course, adjusting your solar panels a few times a year is not a straightforward task as most solar panels are mounted to your roof at a fixed angle that cannot be adjusted. The only way to adjust solar panels easily is to install a ground-mount system and axis-tracking solar panels.
While this can increase solar output, it can greatly increase your upfront installation costs.
Keep Reading> Does Cooler Weather Affect My Solar Panel System?
How Does the Angle of a Roof Affect Solar Production?
You might be wondering if the pitch of your roof will impact your solar energy production. The good news is that there is little difference between panels installed on a shallow roof compared to one with a steeper pitch.
While solar panels on a shallow roof might capture more sunlight during the summer, solar panels on a steep roof produce more power in the winter—so generally, it balances out across the seasons.
In solar-friendly states like Florida, most homeowners find that solar systems are worth the investment, at whatever angle they are installed at.
Learn More> Sun Number Meaning: What Is it?
Achieve Optimal Solar Production
Florida is one of the best states for solar installations due to our beautiful weather and ample sunlight. If you are ready to install a solar panel system on your home, our team at Solar Bear Orlando will ensure that your panels are optimally tilted to generate the most power from our bright Florida sun year-round.
Ready to get started? Call Solar Bear Orlando for a quote today; 407-904-7585!