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Scott Davis

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Reply with quote  #1 

There is plenty of sun in the summer, it shines a lot longer and our demand for heat is much less. With that in mind, especially with the goal of doing some space heating, optimize your panels for winter when you really need the heat. Generally, the closer to south the better and a vertical or near vertical orientation for the low winter sun works best. If your panels are aimed for where the sun is between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM you'll be nearly perfect. Angles of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM are fine too, only losing about 10% of the 12:00 PM orientation. If you are striving for perfection, here are some tools that will help:

http://solardat.uoregon.edu/SunChartProgram.php

http://www.builditsolar.com/Tools/RadOnCol/radoncol.htm

That said, there are a wide range of orientations and tilt angles that will work well.


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Scott Davis

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When deciding on collector orientation, if the only criteria is sun angle, of course, perfectly south is best. But, in our real world, in addition to sun angle, there are several other considerations that will go into your decision on how best to orient your panel.

- Odds are, your most southerly wall or roof is not perfectly south, but the very worst case is that your wall is within 45 degrees of south and it's likely much closer to south than that. Using a house wall (or building the collector just in front of your wall) offers several advantages, including nice aesthetics, insulation from the house itself and a really short run to your house.

- You might have shade from a nearby tree or structure in the morning or afternoon, so it makes sense to orient your collector to favor the morning or evening sun as appropriate. That was my case here.

So, how narrow a target do we have before taking a significant performance hit?

The great news is that we have 30 degree window (15 degrees east or west of south) in which we are within 98% or better of optimum performance! In fact, expand that window to 60 degrees and we are still within 90% or better of optimum!

When I was analyzing collector placement for my 24' X 8' pex collector I used Gary's calculator to determine the results due south (12:00 PM solar noon), 15 degrees off (11:00 AM / 1:00 PM solar) and 30 degrees off (10:00 AM / 2:00 PM solar). This assumes a 60 degree tilt angle to maximize the winter sun.

The target is wide. Don't worry if your collector isn't perfectly south. Any aim capable of hitting the broad side of a barn will serve you well!


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Elizabeth

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi,
While planning new pv system you can use also tools like an app: http://easysolar.co/which is a great help with designing, calculating and controlling the efficiency of pv systems even along with financial analysis on your smart phone.
It will also show you shadowing simulation, and verify irradiation.
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Elizabeth
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #4 
The requirements for PV and thermal are different. For PV it may be best to set the panels for maximum year-round production. For thermal, it may be best to set them for WINTER production.

And then there are the architectural and environmental considerations.

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sheilagonzalez

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Reply with quote  #5 
To take full advantage of residential solar panels, you need to level these in the path of which captures by far the most sun. Although there are a number regarding variables with figuring out the most effective path. This site is built to be useful for finding the most effective location for the residential solar panels within your circumstances.
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