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Solar Panels – South, East, West or North roof?

Many people believe that solar panels can only be positioned facing south. This isn’t true.

Which direction is best?

South facing at an angle of 35degrees will maximise the output from a solar panel and give all year round best performance.
If the system is to optimised for winter performance then a steeper angle of upto 75 degrees will improve performance. This is because the sun is lower in the sky during winter.

What if I don’t have a south facing roof?

If your roof faces roughly south, anywhere between South West to South East at between 30-40 degree will reduce output by a maximum of 10%.

My roof faces East-West?

A 35 degree roof that faces east or west can be utilises but with a couple of system modifications. This type of roof will normally have a reduced output of about 20%, with this knowledge we can oversize the panels to compensate for this reduction in performance.

If roof space is lmited then panels can be fitted on both the east and west roofs. This needs a more sophisticaled pumping station but can have an output similar to a south facing roof without a massive increase in installation cost.

Intelligent Energy Solutions is a leading UK provider of solar panels and heat pumps.

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