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What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular. However, there are a few key questions many people have before going solar. One of these is “what direction should solar panels face?”

In this guide, we share all the information you should know about solar panel angling and which direction provides the best results. If you are considering residential solar panels in Arizona, Solar Solution AZ can equip your home for solar success. Call us at (520) 858-0220 to learn more about going solar in Arizona.

What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

Solar experts agree that the optimal direction for solar panel installation is a south-facing area. Panels in a true-south direction are in the ideal angle to catch the sun’s rays and maximize your power output. However, securing your panels to face southwest or southeast can result in an impressive 92% achievable output. 

Though not ideal, east- and west-facing panels can still collect 85% of the achievable output. Panels facing north can only achieve 70% of total output. 

The way you store and use solar energy is important for determining what direction solar panels should face. South-facing panels are ideal on homes that use net metering and solar battery storage. 

South- or southwest-facing panels are best for homeowners who use Time of Use, or TOU, utility billing. TOU rates typically peak later in the day when south- or southwest-facing panels receive direct sunlight. However, this approach leaves you with less solar power during other times of the day.

Where Not to Install Solar Panels

Regardless of which direction your home faces, certain houses are not suitable for solar panels. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s guide to going solar, if your home is in a mostly shady spot under tree cover, installing solar panels may not be an ideal energy solution. Cut sun-blocking trees if possible to enhance your home’s solar potential. 

It’s also important to note the age and slope of your roof. Older, weathered roofs likely need replacing before installing solar panels.

Panels perform best on roofs with a 15- to 40-degree slope, so consider the angle of your roof as part of your decision to go solar. Consult with a solar installation expert who can inspect your roof’s angle. They can craft the best approach for switching to solar energy. 

Other Solar Solutions

Don’t fret if your roof doesn’t face the optimal direction for south-facing solar panels. You can still reap the rewards of solar energy.

Install more panels on your roof, even if they aren’t south-facing. Additional panels can compensate for less sunlight while also keeping your installation budget reasonable.

A ground-mounted solar system allows you to adjust the position toward the sun and provides easier maintenance than rooftop panels. However, this option tends to be more expensive and takes up space on your property. 

Trusted Solar Panel Experts and Installers

This guide gives you the answer to “what direction should solar panels face?” If you’re ready to go solar, turn to Solar Solution AZ to install a solar panel system for your home. Call (520) 858-0220 to schedule a consultation. 


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