We came across an interesting topic regarding all those solar panels that are going rooftop. Of particular note, authors with treehugger.com posted that the optimum position for rooftop solar panels (on residential installations as well as fixed-panels on solar farms) should be on west-facing rooftops. Why? Simply put, the highest use (peak hours) is during the afternoon when air-conditioners and heavy appliance use occurs. Now, what the author addressed is true, it is only higher during summer months. However, during the remaining 9 months of the year, the sun typically sets closer to 5 in the afternoon, when is when most folks are getting off work. So, a west-facing panel is going to miss out on its peak-use window as noted by treehugger.com’s writers. They also stated that yes, there should be an allotment of panels on south-facing rooftops, but that it should not dominate the percentage of a residence’s solar system (that sounds kinda strange to us, too; but it is the correct terminology.)
So, what exactly should we do as homeowners when it comes to setting up our solar panels on our rooftops? If it is a fixed array, then it may behoof you to set them predominantly to the south so as to accommodate for those fall, winter and spring months. They will juice up fine when faced toward the south, but we don’t want to discount the rest of the year for the sake of getting a little more power out of them during the summer. If you are using a rechargeable battery system to store your energy (those of us who know it is okay to be off-grid), then keep it south. Remember, it’s okay. 🙂
Case in point would be the solar street lights from SolTek Renewables. Their panels face south (for locations in the northern hemisphere) because the peak sun is always at “high noon” and all that energy is being stored in 12 Volt lead acid batteries (to supply energy to the LED lights at night). For those who are looking to get off-grid, keep your panels south. You produce the energy, you keep it, you use it. Simple.
As for those who choose to get off-grid on the smaller scale, solar garden lights are a viable and practical solution. The range of styles, designs and light output spans the gamut from solar flower lights to high-output solar spot lights.
Always remember, you have the choice to go off-grid. Little by little we will. So, why not start right now? Take the power back!
Cheers from Your Solar Link.