Which way should solar panels face?
Living in most places in Australia means an ample supply of sunshine during the summer, and for the northern half of the country in winter as well. While we boast about our seemingly non-stop rays all year round you can't just whack solar panels on the roof and wait for the free power to roll in. There is an optimum position for the panels to ensure your solar PV system is making the most of the available sunlight, every day of the year.
The perfect solar panel position
The ideal position for solar panels is on a north facing roof without shade from trees, other buildings, or large obstructions.
However, not all homes are designed with north facing roofs. Adjustments will need to be made by your solar installer to adapt the solar panel position to maximise the solar gain, whatever the roof style.
A north-east facing roof will still generate a substantial amount of power particularly during the morning and in the middle of the day. This arrangement could be ideal for homes which use most of their power during the morning and day, such as for air conditioning or heating.
A north-west facing array will generate the most power throughout the middle of the day and the afternoon. Great when the bulk of your electricity usage is later in the day.
With a potential reduction in solar gains at less than 4%, a north-west or a north-east aspect is a very viable choice.
There are other options
Don't assume if your home only has an east or west facing roof that you're unable to take advantage of the amazing benefits of solar power. Solar systems facing east or west will still be around 82 to 88% effective, meaning your household can still significantly reduce it's power costs with the right system.
Speak to the experts
When investing in a solar power system for your home it pays to consult a trusted solar installation company for a custom system design to ensure you're getting the most effective solar setup for your home and needs.