North, East, West facing Solar Panels
Last Post 21 Mar 2010 02:30 AM by avid0g. 9 Replies.
Printer Friendly
Sort:
PrevPrev NextNext
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages
TechGromitUser is Offline
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Send Private Message
Posts:634

--
14 Jul 2008 12:13 PM
I've always read that solar panels should be facing South, (North in the southern Hemisphere). Even better, solar panels that track the sun can get between 10% to 40% better efficiency, even the angle is important, the right angle on a fixed solar panel can get another 4% effciency. But not all of us have the land or the ideally facing structure to take full advantage of the optimal conditions. Sure you can angle the panels toward the sun on mounts, but frankly I'm sure everyone would agree it looks like crap on your house. So the question needs to be asked, if your facing your panels North, East or West how much of the ideal effciency are you losing? I'm sure the answer would be vary on the direction the panel is facing, the angle its at and even your location in the northern hemipshere, but does anyone know a ball park figure of how much your sacrificing when not going with the Dr. Pepper crowd of facing your panels south? 

 
BrockUser is Offline
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Send Private Message
Posts:599
Avatar

--
15 Jul 2008 02:08 AM
When we got our panels I had them aimed due west, since our house had and east west pitch. After about a month I did the tilt to get them to south west and saw about 30% increase. I could have really over tilted them due south, but we lived behind a ridge to our south east so we never saw sun until 10:30 am mid summer. If I had to guess I would say for 90* off or east or west you would loose about 40% compared to due south.

Also you want them to tilt to your latitude in summer and your latitude plus 15 in winter. Most people just split it and mount them your latitude +7.

You can also maximum point power track (MPPT) them as well witch usually gets you another 20%-30% for a fixed array, although this is for battery systems, grid tied inverters already have MPPT built in.

I have heard the if you take the cost of trackers for solar panels and use that same money by adding another panels or three you end up with the same power and a LOT more reliability, but if you are tight on space it is likely worth it.
Green Bay, WI. - 4 ton horizontal, 16k gallon indoor pool, 1.8kw solar PV setup, 3400 sq ft
TechGromitUser is Offline
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Send Private Message
Posts:634

--
15 Jul 2008 08:35 AM
Posted By Brock on 07/15/2008 2:08 AM
I have heard the if you take the cost of trackers for solar panels and use that same money by adding another panels or three you end up with the same power and a LOT more reliability, but if you are tight on space it is likely worth it.

With one tracker per panel, I would agree with you but,

http://www.solarhome.org/ProductImages/zomeworks/L_461.gif

Something like this where it holds 10 to 16 panels on one mount would be ecomonically feasible.
BrockUser is Offline
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Send Private Message
Posts:599
Avatar

--
15 Jul 2008 12:49 PM
I don't know those are still pretty pricy. I am in no way against trackers, I just like things with fewer moving parts ;)
Green Bay, WI. - 4 ton horizontal, 16k gallon indoor pool, 1.8kw solar PV setup, 3400 sq ft
dextercath96User is Offline
New Member
New Member
Send Private Message
Posts:1

--
06 Feb 2010 05:37 AM
Anywhere faces of the panels, they are still working. The solar panels are good everywhere. Because solar panel can produce energy everywhere as long as there is a solar energy that produce by the sun. 
arkieoscarUser is Offline
New Member
New Member
Send Private Message
Posts:57

--
21 Feb 2010 08:20 AM
You can easily test dexter's statement by getting a little, cheap panel and cheap multi meter. Connect the meter to the panel and see what the difference in voltage or amperage is when you turn the panel away from direct sunlight. With PV costs as they are, it doesn't make much sense to install them without direct sunlight on them. There is very good reason you don't see any facing north or in the shade.
ComoUser is Offline
Basic Member
Basic Member
Send Private Message
Posts:128

--
21 Feb 2010 02:11 PM
Why bother unless you are off grid?
Bill NeukranzUser is Offline
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Send Private Message
Posts:1015

--
04 Mar 2010 01:14 PM
If your panels faced due West, you'd lose about 16%, as compared to panels facing due South. If your panels face due North, you'd lose about 39%, and for due East you'd lose about 18%.

See http://www.pvwatts.org for a calculator to play 'what if.'

Best regards,

Bill
Energy reduction & monitoring
American Energy Efficiencies, Inc - Dallas, TX (www.americaneei.com)
Example monitoring system: www.welserver.com/WEL0043
Dana1User is Offline
Senior Member
Senior Member
Send Private Message
Posts:5235

--
04 Mar 2010 01:35 PM
It's more complex than the simple solar geometry issues- local and regional seasonal weather patterns affect annual output significantly and need to be considered.  The best work I've seen on the subject (with useful recommendations & maps for the lower 48 of the US) lives here.
avid0gUser is Offline
New Member
New Member
Send Private Message
Posts:4

--
21 Mar 2010 02:30 AM
If the community didn't like my crappy looking south-facing panels, I think I would prefer to add a hip or dormer to the roof just to get south facing slopes for the panels. I have also noticed here in snow country that the vacuum insulated tubes do not self-clear unless mounted nearly vertical and Above the accumulated snow on the roof. That also may not look so nice, but it works. In fact, you may want to look into installing panels on the south Wall of your house.
You are not authorized to post a reply.

Active Forums 4.1
Membership Membership: Latest New User Latest: dalenpalmer New Today New Today: 1 New Yesterday New Yesterday: 1 User Count Overall: 28046
People Online People Online: Visitors Visitors: 62 Members Members: 16 Total Total: 78

GreenBuildingTalk

Welcome to GreenBuildingTalk, the largest, most active forum on green building. While you can browse the site as a guest, you need to register in order to post.

Register Member Login Forum Home

Search Directory

Professionals Products

Get Free Quotes

Tell us about your building project and get free quotes from green building professionals. It's fast & easy! Click here to get your free quote.

Site Sponsors

For Advertising Info:
Call 866-316-5300 or 312-223-1600

Professionals Serving Your Area:

Newsletter

Read the latest GBT Newsletter!

Copyright 2011 by BuildCentral, Inc.   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement  Free Quotes  Professional Directory  Advertising Programs