What effect does tilt angle & azimuth have on solar panels? | Australia

Welcome to Gardel Electrical 
Solar Myth Buster's Part Six.  Did you know that the orientation of 
your Solar panels can have a big impact   on the energy output and your energy bills.
There are two elements to the orientation of   a panel that have the most impact 
on this: Tilt Angle and Azimuth.  While you as a business owner or homeowner 
probably won't have too much control   of the orientation of the panels on your 
property due to the existing roof angle,   it's still important to have a basic 
understanding of how it all works.   That way you'll be able to spot a bad 
design that could cost you in the long run.  Azimuth is the direction that the 
modules are facing which is measured   in a clockwise direction from North.
Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere   and for us the sun is in the Northern sky.
It rises in the East and sets in the West  and is higher in the sky in 
Summer and lower in Winter.  Positioning panels North towards the 
sun's irradiance will generate the   greatest amount of electricity.
But as the sun moves in the sky,   it's all about positioning the panels to 
produce the most electricity when you need it.  For instance, if you work the afternoon 
shift every day you would not want to   install too many panels on the Western side 
of your roof as you will not be home in the   afternoon to make the most of that energy.
So in this instance we would try and install as   many panels facing east as possible because that's 
when you'll be home to use the energy generated.  Self-consumption is key to getting the 
best savings from your Solar System.  So we always recommend working 
with your solar installer   to design a layout that suits 
your consumption habits.  According to the guidelines on the Clean Energy 
Council's website, the azimuth doesn't have   too much impact on energy production in 
Summer but it has a big impact in Winter.  The Tilt Angle of the system is the angle that 
it sits on the roof or racking it's attached   to.

PV Modules should ideally be tilted at an 
angle that is equal to the site's latitude.   But they will often be 
installed flush to the roof.  This isn't always ideal but it will 
be the most practical and affordable.  If a roof is flat, a tilt frame might be 
used to get the angle closer to the latitude.   It is also best to have some tilt so 
the panels self clean when it rains.  Good luck with your solar plans. If you have 
any questions or want to have a chat about your   design, give us a buzz on 1300 GARDEL.
Happy days!.

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