To gain optimum performance from solar panels; it’s all about location ..and orientation ..and tilt angle (plus a few other factors).
A new University of Queensland study has declared the perfect angle and orientation for solar panels in Brisbane that will provide optimum power generation.
“We have found Brisbane panels should be angled at 26 degrees, facing true north,” says UQ Global Change Institute researcher, Professor Tapan Kumar Saha.
The results came after a study at the University’s Solar Research centre at St Lucia, where researchers tested varying tilts and orientations of solar panels spread across three buildings over the course of a year.
The University of Queensland is home to one of Australia’s biggest rooftop solar arrays. Covering an area the size of one-and-a-half football fields, the 1.22-megawatt system utilises 5004 solar panels.
The array generates emissions-free electricity for UQ’s St Lucia campus, delivering savings of approximately $6 million over the next 15 years and offsetting 1750 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, equivalent to taking 335 cars off the road.
According to Professor Saha, Australian research into ideal rooftop solar exposure is lagging behind the rest of the world, and the data collected by the UQ study is vital as more Queenslanders make the switch to solar power systems.
“There has been much effort put into determining optimal solar panel positioning in Asia, Canada and Europe, but until now there has been little done to determine these factors in Australia’s sunshine state of Queensland.”
The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute addresses challenges facing humanity in a changing environment, including transitioning economies from fossil fuels to renewable energy systems, sustainable housing and food security.
While the average home may not offer a perfect orientation or roof angle to get the absolute best from a solar panel, a competent solar installer will make the most of whatever situation is presented to maximize electricity production. Beyond tilt and orientation; it’s also the little things that can make a substantial difference to how a system performs.