Location! Location! Location! The Best Spot to Install Solar Panels

solar panel on tiled roof

When it comes to solar panels, placement is very important. As you are investing in the fulfilment of producing your own power, saving money, and reducing your carbon footprint, your solar panels should be placed where you achieve the maximum benefits.

North Facing Roof

In Australia, a north facing roof will be the most effective for producing solar energy year round. As a north-facing home will get the most sun during the day, this is the perfect location for those who will be at home all day and looking to use energy as it is being produced. 

East Facing Roof

For an east facing roof there will be around 12% less energy produced when compared to a north facing roof. An east facing roof will receive the most of the morning sun however, so this is a consideration if you have trees or larger buildings surrounding your solar panel position. 

windmills, solar panels, sunflowers

South Facing Roof

A south facing roof will receive the lowest solar energy. Some homes will even report almost 30% less solar energy production for a south facing roof especially during the winter months. When considering placing your solar panels on a south facing roof, you could consider instead placing your solar panels on the ground where they will receive more sunlight. For looking to boost your solar energy production, you can consider a solar battery to install in your home. This will help store more of the energy that you make during the day for cloudy days or when the sun is out of range of your solar panels. 

West Facing Roof

A west facing roof in Australia will produce more sun energy in the afternoon than in the morning. Unlike a north facing roof, this position won’t achieve the highest energy production. For most homes, they will find a west facing roof will receive the most sun during the early to mid afternoon. 

Flat Roof or Ground Mounting

For both commercial and residential solar panels, they most often seen mounted on rooftops but – depending on the opportunities for orientation and placement – other positions can also provide optimal benefits of maximum sunlight; including on exterior corridors, above parking stations, on the ground, close to walls, on rainwater tanks, and free-stand mounted in paddocks. Solar panels can also be used to heat swimming pools, schools, and nursing homes.

While the top of any building seems logically the best place to install solar panels (because it’s out of the way and can have wide spatial areas), shade from nearby trees or other tall structures can greatly affect your maximum exposure. As with oddly shaped roofs, sometimes ground mounting is the better option.

Not all roofs are ideally suited for solar installation, and those made from clay tiles, those that will need repairs or replacement within 25 years (the normal guarantee period for solar panels), or any that have received excessive snow during the winter months are not perfect. If you have the space, ground mounted panels also allow you to manually adjust your solar panels, in order to receive maximum solar power seasonally.

Orientation and Tilt in Australia

The worst facing for Brisbane houses with an average roof slope of 20 degrees is a south facing roof, especially during the winter. As the direction of the sun changes during the year, you will find that south facing homes during the winter months will produce significantly less solar energy. 

When the sun strikes solar panels at a perpendicular 90Ëš angle, the maximum amount of energy will be produced. In Australia, the perfect orientation for your solar panels is true north, as they will be facing the direction from which the sun presents to us in the Southern Hemisphere. Having your panels facing true north also minimises the impact on efficiency during the winter months. North Westerly and North Easterly facing panels will operate at around 90Ëš, while East or West facing panels will only operate at up to 85Ëš of its rated output. The optimum tilt angle for your panels should be your latitude minus 10Ëš, and can be easily calculated by a solar panel specialist.

Whether you want to install solar panels Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Wide Bay, or on the Gold Coast wide, you can mount your solar panels just about anywhere that gets the maximum energy from the sun, to fulfil your energy usage. A licensed solar panel expert will take everything into consideration – including your space, aspect, and energy usage – before discussing the best options with you to ensure a smooth running system.Hush Energy’s solar experts are dedicated to finding the absolute best position for your solar system, so give us a call today for a quote.

Installing Your Solar Panel System

Once you have decided on the perfect location, tilt and orientation for your solar panels, you can consider improving your system to get the most out of the solar energy that you produce. We install both Enphase Energy and SolarEdge energy solutions for your home or business. While a traditional inverter will be more affected by shading and underperformance, these systems use the latest technology to optimise each solar panel individually. Contact us if you want to discuss how you can improve your energy production. 

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