Why is Azimuth important for solar?

Azimuth is an important subject if you're in the solar industry. Yet, if you're like me when I just started in solar, it may be a whole new word for you — perhaps never heard before. Azimuth as defined, has really nothing at all to do with solar, but can really affect your solar design if not taken into consideration.

In layman's terms , azimuth is the horizontal position of an object perpendicular to the sun. Scientifically speaking, the solar azimuth angle is the intersection of the solar rays measured in a horizontal extension from due south (true south) for the northern hemisphere or due north for the southern hemisphere; westward is designated as positive.

Here in the US as the northern hemisphere, the sun is always south. Therefore, the modules on an array should be optimally directed to the south in order to get the most out of the sun’s energy.

As a rule of thumb, the north facing roof is not suitable for installing solar panels in North America, whereas the east and west facing roofs could be acceptable. Usually, west facing roofs are more advantageous than east facing roofs, since the solar radiation is more powerful in the afternoon. Here in North America, solar system designers tend to use an array azimuth of zero or facing the equator; nevertheless, we should not forget the important concept of magnetic declination.

There's really not much more you need to know about azimuth. Just remember...in the US, design south facing solar arrays first, east or west second and avoid north installations for the most part, keeping shade, tilt and surface capacity in the mix.

Happy solar designs!

MANOLO BARDEGUEZ - Welcome to my Blog. I hope the articles on this site inspire you and I encourage you to discover the benefits of going solar for yourself by clicking Go Solar. By clicking Join you can also learn how you can join our movement to connect the world to sustainable technologies and get paid handsomely by the fastest growing solar company in America. If you have any questions, contact me directly at ManoloBard@SunbrightNet.com or call me by clicking the phone icon above.

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