The amount of sunlight going to a solar panel will determine how much of that potential energy is absorbed. The efficiency of the entire solar system can be compromised by a little bit of shade on one solar panel since it can slow the efficiency of all connected panels. The best possible site is a roof with very little to no shade at all.
While it might seem that the hotter the area, the better the efficiency, that’s not true. Solar panels don’t necessarily like heat, which is why they are installed to allow a few inches of room between the roof and the panel – it allows for airflow that helps cool them down.
A roof with south slope is the best for efficiency; however, others can work well. Though a direct east or west orientation will produce about 20 percent less power than a true south facing, even that can be improved with the right tilt of the panels.
The angle at which the sunlight hits the panel can drive efficiency up or down. When the sun hits the panels at a shallow angle, the light reflects away, which means the panels cannot collect as much as they would if facing the sun directly. Some roofs have a pitch that means the sun never quite hits the panels directly; this can be corrected by installing the panels in such a way that compensates for the tilt of the roof. This requires a strong site survey and excellent design to achieve maximum panel efficiency.
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