# Optimum photovoltaic panel inclination

• A87
In summary, the optimum inclination for photovoltaic panels is dependent on the latitude of the location. For areas closer to the equator, a lower inclination angle (around 15-20 degrees) is recommended, while for areas farther from the equator, a higher angle (around 30-40 degrees) is more suitable. This is because the panels need to be aligned with the sun's path to maximize the amount of solar energy they can capture. Additionally, factors such as weather patterns and shading must also be considered when determining the ideal panel inclination. Overall, finding the right inclination can greatly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of a solar energy system.
A87
Hi

Does anyone know any good reading sources that help with the following calculations:

1) find the optimum photovoltaic inclination from the horizontal
2) find the radiation for this pv panel when you know what the global, direct and diffuse radiation is

Thanks

A87 said:
Hi

Does anyone know any good reading sources that help with the following calculations:

1) find the optimum photovoltaic inclination from the horizontal
2) find the radiation for this pv panel when you know what the global, direct and diffuse radiation is

Thanks

.

Thanks

What I meant to ask was are the calculations the same when you are installing in the southern hemisphere and thus the panels face north.

Apologies for the confusion

In order to determine the optimal inclination for PV panels, probably the easiest way to determine it is to use PV Watts tool which can be found at the following link: <http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/calculators/PVWATTS/version1/>. An easy rule of thumb is to incline the PV panels to match the latitude of the location where PV will be installed.

For example, in NJ, the ideal inclination is 40.7 degrees, equivalent to the latitude. It should not matter whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere as far as inclination is concerned so long as PV panels are facing the right orientation.

To calculate the production of a solar system, you can use the following formula:

(AC Rating of the system x Hours of Peak Sunlight x Design Factor x 365) / 1000.

For example, 399.5kwDC system with 342.394kwAC will be calculated as follows:

(342,393.60 x 4.3 x 85% x 365) / 1000 = 456,779 kwh.

Yes tilt at latitude if the panel inclination angle must be fixed, *and* if the desired goal is specifically to maximize average yearly energy collection. However, if the goal is to maximize the minimum power output, which may be the case for a remote sensor powered by PV and the like, then the angle should be much higher to optimize collection for the winter sun (and also to aide in shedding snow or debris cover) at the cost of lost but unnecessary energy in the summer.

Here for example is a PV powered stoplight (supposedly required only in the day) in Houston, Tx, latitude ~30N. I'd guess this panel is mounted 50-60 deg.

If the panel angle can change, then through out the year the angle should be:

[PLAIN]http://www.pvresources.com/images/location/tiltangle.png

2) See NREL's monthly/yearly data http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/pubs/redbook/" : fixed plate tilted at latitude - 6.5 kWh/M^2/day annual average, minimum 5.9, maximum 6.7. Two axis tracker - 8.9 kWh/M^2/day annual average (370W/M^2 daily average power).

Note that if you have known shading figures (i.e. trees or other obstruction) for your location, for most existing panel designs shading won't translate linearly to reduced electric power output. That is, because of the way in which most all cell designs are wired together, a shading of (say) 25% of a panel's area might cause a reduction in electrical power output in 50% of the PV cells on the panel.

Last edited by a moderator:
This firm claims to have found a way to limit the losses due to shading by changing the way the cells are wired together. Might a few years before coming to market.
http://mobile.technologyreview.com/energy/37481/

## What is the optimum photovoltaic panel inclination?

The optimum photovoltaic panel inclination is the angle at which the panel is oriented towards the sun to maximize its energy output. It varies depending on the geographical location and time of year.

## How is the optimum photovoltaic panel inclination determined?

The optimum photovoltaic panel inclination is determined by using solar charts and equations that take into consideration factors such as latitude, tilt angle, and sun path. It can also be calculated using online tools or software.

## Why is the optimum photovoltaic panel inclination important?

The optimum photovoltaic panel inclination is important because it can significantly impact the energy output of the panel. If the panel is not angled correctly, it will not receive the maximum amount of sunlight and therefore, will not produce as much energy.

## What is the ideal tilt angle for photovoltaic panels?

The ideal tilt angle for photovoltaic panels varies depending on the location. For example, in the northern hemisphere, the ideal tilt angle is typically between 30-40 degrees, while in the southern hemisphere it is between 20-30 degrees.

## Can the optimum photovoltaic panel inclination be adjusted?

Yes, the optimum photovoltaic panel inclination can be adjusted. Many solar panel systems have adjustable mounts that allow for changes in the panel's angle throughout the year to optimize energy production. Additionally, some systems use tracking technology to adjust the panel's orientation throughout the day to follow the sun's movement.

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