Hi I'm Amy at the altE Store. I wanted to
give you a quick demo of what happens when you point the solar panels at different angles
from the sun. So what I've got here is one solar panel, it's a 5W 12V panel., and I'm
measuring the amps, so how much current is flowing through the panel. So I'm at .47 amps,
and I'm pointing right at the sun. I'm at a pretty steep angle because it's November
and the sun is fairly low. So I'm really pointing right at it. So you can actually see from
my meter that I'm reading 864 watts per square meter. That's very close to the 1000 watts
per square meter that is Standard Test Conditions.
So I've got pretty good sun, and I'm facing
right at it. It is quarter past 2 in the afternoon so I'm facing a bit south west, so that I'm
facing directly at it. I've got 19.3 volts, and .47 amps. So, what happens if I go slightly
away from the sun? So you can see from my meter here I'm at 227
degrees southwest. I'm going to start heading a little bit more west. And my current is
at .42, my sun intensity has dropped down to 698W/sqmeter. I'm not at 247 degrees. So
I'm going to go a little bit more.
My intensity of the sun has now dropped down to 416, I'm
at 263 degrees, and my current has dropped down to .28. Now this is pretty dramatic.
If I go just a little bit more, I'm down to 193 Watts per square meter. I was way up in
the 800's when I was facing you guys. Now I'm down under 200. I'm at 286 degrees. My
current is .05, so I've pretty much shut off the panels. Now here's an interesting thing.
If I switch over and show volts, I'm still at 17.2V. It really didn't affect my voltage
very much, but it killed my current. And since watts equals volts times amps, if you cut
the amps, you're going to be just killing your wattage output. So, just really a demonstration
of why it's so important to point the panels at the sun. Now I'm back to the sun, 844 watts
per square meter, and I'm at 19.4V, and .46 amps. Now, I know, the sun moves across the
sky throughout the day, so this is why in the northern hemisphere, you want to point
your panels south, because what that's going to do, is that's going to have the most amount
of time with the sun pointing right at the panels.
Now if you are in the southern hemisphere,
hi my southern hemisphere viewers, you're going to pointing it north. You want to point
it towards the equator, because that's direction the sun'd going to be going. You want to point
it south, now that's true south, not magnetic south. You want to point right at the equator,
so that the panels are facing the sun as long as possible. Alright, so I've just stressed
point at the equator, point at the equator, point at the equator.
But what if you can't? Well, if you've got the ability to do half
of your array to the east, and half of your array to the west, then you can have an east/west
system, where in the morning your east panels will get most of the sun, and because they
are going to be pointing right with the sun in the morning, and the western array will
be able to get the power in the afternoon. So that will give you a better situation than
having them all facing the wrong direction throughout the whole day. Now you want to
make sure that you have them wired up separately. You don't want to wire your east panels and
your west panels together, you want them to operate independent of each other. Alright? So, I'm Amy at the altE Store. I hope you
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