Orientation & Positioning of Solar Modules

Orientation & Positioning of Solar Modules

Importance of right Orientation & Positioning of Solar Modules

Solar power has several advantages such as zero raw fuel costs, unlimited supply and no environmental issues in the generation of electricity. It is available everywhere and almost year long too in most parts of India. In order to fetch the most of a solar array, it has to be placed or “orientated” directly at the suns radiant energy because the more surface area exposed to direct sunlight, the more output the photovoltaic panel will produce. While the photovoltaic solar module may be perfectly aligned to receive the suns energy, it is a stationary object in most installations. With regards to a solar panel, the sun however is not in a stationary position and is constantly moving in the sky relative to the earth from morning through night making the correct orientation of the photo-voltaic modules challenging.

Here is a simple example for your understanding of the concept, when the sun is lower in the sky during the winter months the solar panels orientation needs to be more vertical as the solar radiation passes through more atmosphere to reach the solar panel and therefore its intensity is reduced by the scattering and absorption effect of atmosphere and clouds. In the summer months however the sun is higher in the sky so it has to travel less distance to reach earth’s surface, hence, solar panel orientation is more horizontal.

Solar PV modules work best when their absorbing surface is perpendicular to the suns rays. The position of the sun in the sky can be plotted using two angles, azimuth and zenith and the angle of the solar panel orientation relies upon these two values. However, the elevation of the sun at midday is different between the summer solstice and the winter solstice representing the longest and shortest days of the year because the suns path forms an arc across the sky representing either spring or autumn.

So the sun moves across the sky (solar azimuth) as well as the sun also moves up and down (solar zenith) throughout the year making it difficult to provide a fixed solar panel orientation. Therefore, for maximum conversion of sunlight into solar electricity, solar panels need to be mounted at an angle for them to point directly at the sun. Depending upon how the panel is mounted, it may be kept at a permanent angle, or adjusted throughout the year to take full advantage of the suns solar energy.

Solar modules that face the Sun at all times of the year yield maximum energy output. Our engineers at SolarMaxx carefully achieve this by facing the modules towards the South in the northern hemisphere. The best way to capture maximum amount of the solar energy is to track the Sun’s path through the sky for the entire day and also from one season to another using solar tracking systems. This dual axis tracking is getting popular as solar plants are getting larger now.

Our EPC team at SolarMaxx will help successfully handle your utility to innovative solar plant installations with ease.

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