solar

Hi all Is there a optimum angle for solar panels facing the sun just about finished the frame and legs.Thanks to all
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Reply By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 17:21

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 17:21
The general standard for fixed panels is the angle of your latitude
AnswerID: 415367

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:23

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:23
It's a temporary (camping) system, or a fixed installation?

If it's a temporary setup, aim to maximise the shadow cast by the panel. Rotate around a vertical axis so that the panel is facing directly at the sun, then tilt it back from vertical until you get the maximum length of shadow.

If it's a permanent installation, the optimum angle from the vertical is your latitude, and the orientation around the vertical axis should be set to face the sun at local solar noon. (The time of local solar noon is pretty close to half way between the times of sunup and sundown. It is longitude dependent.)

Because the energy capture is related to the sine curve, which remains pretty close to maximum over a fair angular range, it isn't necessary to be highly accurate.


HTH

John
J and V
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Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 09:55

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 09:55
Hiya John
Would it not be the to 'minimize' the shadow cast by the panel.??
eg. If the shadow cast is the same area of the panel- then the panel would be facing directly at the sun ??

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 11:29

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 11:29
Signman,

Look a it this way - we are aiming to get maximum sun capture. The shadow results from the panel intercepting the sunshine. So for maximum capture we need maximum shadow! The angle from the vertical will depend on latitude, time of day, and time of year. In Australia, anywhere south of the tropics the maximum shadow will always be larger than the panel size!

Cheers

John
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:30

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:30
Ron,
The angle where the panel is most *efficient* varies during the year, so if you only want one (1) angle then it's just so easy to asscertain it by putting the panel at about 90° to the sun, at midday, then with the aid of a solar regulator check the current supplied by the panel as you move it up and down.
If your solar reg does not have the facility then use a multimeter.

As a quick method without any instruments at all, face the panel direct to the sun @ midday, then lower it a few degrees, you should have it suitable for early morning and also late afternoon with a bit less for midday solar collection, but the early and late times are more important anyway, so never mind loosing a miniscule amount when you will more than make up for it in the other times of the day.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 415394

Reply By: R&J Batteries - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 22:20

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 22:20
If they are moveable/portable type - perpendicular to the sun.

If they are fixed, your latitude gives you an average yield. However, as you need the most power generation during winter, the angle should be more like 60 degrees.

NASA have a great website for figuring it out here (if you want to get scientific!);

http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/sse/sse.cgi?+s01#s01

Hope that helps, Dave
AnswerID: 415431

Reply By: Allan B, Sunshine Coast, - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 22:55

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 22:55
Ron, you can see from the above that the legs need to be adjustable to suit changing latitude and season.

Cheers
Allan

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