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Which Way Should Solar Panels Face?

It has been felt by the majority of people involved in the solar panel industry that solar panels should be installed facing south as they catch more of the sunlight. It is interesting therefore that, apparently, a solar panel technology expert who is a professor from Loughborough University has expressed an opinion that greater benefit could emanate from solar panels if they were able to be positioned facing east and west alternately.

Are east – west facing solar panels more beneficial than south facing ones? – Image credit: Elliott Brown.

Apparently, positioning the solar panels in such a way would even out the daily distribution of power that presently peaks around mid-day when a lot of people are at work and many are not able to use the power generated which ends up in the National Grid. He is not for one minute suggesting that those homeowners with solar panels already fitted should make any changes to the direction in which they are facing.

Apparently, the Solar Trade Association has said that there is little difference between the amount of electricity generated between south facing and east-west facing solar panels. It is interesting that, in Germany, they are said to be now installing solar panels in the way the professor at Loughborough University has suggested.

The positioning of solar panels on a roof has no doubt tended to be, in part, based upon the direction either roof surface is facing and placing them on the side of the roof felt to gain maximum exposure to sunlight.

However, presumably the fitting process could be adapted if it was felt the above suggestion was a good one?

As always, we would very much welcome the thoughts of our readers about the above. The solar panel industry will no doubt continue to evolve in the coming years and this may be just one way that it can change but only if it is felt to be in the best interest of the consumer.

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