Panel Site Location for Solar Array
How to Select a Good location for your Solar Panels
Before installing a solar panel system, you should consider the following three factors for a good panel site location:
Will your solar system be facing South, West, or East? In Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, the best design is due south and critical if you are heating with electricity. If your roof faces southeast or southwest, you will only lose about 5-10% of south-facing production. However, this is not critical if you are heating your home with gas or propane and not electricity. West is equally as good as South during summer when most are using air conditioning.
The “tilt” of your solar array is the angle between your solar modules and the ground. Solar modules at a zero-degree tilt would be flat, while a ninety-degree module would be straight up and down. Since the sun’s path changes throughout the year, as you can see with the two diagrams, your panels will produce the most electricity when hit directly by the sun’s rays. Our region’s solar panel site location performs best at 50 degrees in the winter and 10 degrees in the summer. So the compromise on a fixed roof is 29-31 degrees.
Shading in the Panel Site Location
Your solar site must be completely free of shade from trees, chimneys, pipes, and surrounding buildings. It is also important to consider the growth of your trees.
The use of microinverters can somewhat mitigate shading issues. However, you may want to consider a ground mount system depending on how great your shading issues are in the panel site location.