Solar Panel Orientation East/West

Solar Panel Orientation East/West

If the roof of your property is facing east/west then don’t worry it does not mean you cannot have solar panels. The system will still produce a good amount of electricity or hot water but you may have to think about the way you are going to set-up this type of system.

As you can see below there is a house that has solar panels on it that faces east/west. I have seen systems fitted like this and there is nothing to say it cannot be or should not be done this way, in some cases there may be no way round it.

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There has be research and documentation to show that splitting the system down is the way to go, especially if you are using electricity/hot water in the morning and later in the evening. In a 4kW system that had 16 panels this would mean putting 8 panels on one side of the roof and 8 panels on the other side (8 East/8 West). If it was a hot water system consisting of two panels we would put one on each roof.

This means that the system at any part of the day will be benefiting from direct sun light (if it is a clear day) as the sun travels around the building one side will always be getting direct irradiation from the sun. research has been conducted which shows that there is actually only a small reduction in overall power generation from East and West facing arrays. Power generation (depending upon roof incline) can be only 14% less per year, see the diagram below.

One thing to remember though in a situation like this with Solar photovoltaic s is to go for an inverter or inverters that will make use of this split in system. As you may know from reading the solar panel buyers guide is that there is a relationship between panels where they can effect each others performance. If a few solar panels are in a string together and one is shaded it will be producing less and this can effect the other panels.

When setting out a system like this you would really want to look at inverter types, if you use a single inverter it will probably best to have a duel inverter so it can process two string independently.

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