Tilt angle and Azimuth for Solar Installation

July 9, 2018

Industrial Mechanical

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Neglect these two, and your PV Panels will under perform making you worry what has gone wrong! It’s a question of optimization. What is the Tilt Angle and Azimuth of a solar panel installation?

Tilt Angle
The Tilt Angle is the angle that forms between the horizontal and the long axis of the PV Module. (In other words it tells you how much the panel should be tilted to derive the best incidence of solar energy). It is therefore the latitude at a particular location where you want the panel installed. An increase in the Tilt In the winter and a decrease in the summer will optimize the power out put of a PV Panel Installation.
Due to obvious reasons the Two Axes Tracking type PV installations do not need this consideration as they independently position themselves to optimize the power out put.

Azimuth
Without exception all fixed axes PV panel installations in the Northern Hemisphere should face the South for optimum performance.
For fixed axis Solar panel array, the azimuth is the angle the panels make with the true North, when measured in a clockwise direction. For a single rotating axis type module or array it is the angle made by the angle of track to the true North measured in the same manner. As said before the two rotating axis type does not require any special attention in this regard.
If you are in the Northern Hemisphere this angle is 1800, which makes the panel to face the South. For the installations in the Southern Hemisphere this will be 0 0   making the panels face the North.

Special precautions that should be observed when installing solar Panels
Observe these precautions and you will avoid quite a few pit falls.

  • Avoid Shading from trees and buildings nearby.
  • Ensure Optimum sunlight incidence on panels.
  •  Ensure the supporting structures are strong enough to withstand the load of snow, wind and maintenance functions.
  •  Use quality Supports and fixings avoiding bimetallic action.
  • Minimize the distance to your DC to AC inverter installation.
  • Minimize clutter and ensure adequate wind play around the array. (Also for maintenance)
  • In a grid tied installations ensure the closest available location of the inverter to the incomer mains.

The foregoing only outlines some Solar Panel Installation basics of for the new enthusiasts and as relevant for the mechanical aspects of the installation and design. Equally relevant electrical power management side has not been discussed in this discourse, but will soon follow. See you there!