why more solar panels should be facing west, not south
It captures the most solar energy in a day, which is good for the homeowner, but in a few hours, it does not help the whole utility and grid much.
Installed to absorb sunlight from the West in the afternoon, panel production will decline, but it will decline when electricity is more valuable.
But the idea is hard to grasp.
A new study of 110,000 California rooftop solar system houses confirms that most solar panels point south because most owners pay in kilowatts. -
Hours of panel production.
Pointing them to the South can maximize production, but production peaks at noon, not later in the afternoon, which is more helpful.
Later in the afternoon, homeowners are more likely to watch TV, turn on lights or wash dishes.
At peak demand, electricity prices are higher.
\"Advantages of the South-
The panel may reflect a serious dislocation between energy supply and demand, \"said study authors Barry Fisher and Ben Harak.
They work for Opower, which provides software that power companies can use to manage their relationships with customers.
Houses with solar energy systems consume less than half of their utilities. -
Research has found that electricity is transmitted like ordinary houses.
But it starts at 4 p. m. m.
Throughout the night, they consumed more and increased the peak demand for the system, which was about 5 pence. m.
Pointing the panel West means an hour from 5 p. m. m.
They produced 55% of the peak output. So a 10-
The kilowatt system can produce five. 5 kilowatts.
But point them south to maximize total output. When the grid needs them most, they produce only 15% or 1% of the peak value. 5 kilowatts.
Why don\'t everyone point the panel to the West?
Some homeowners have panels facing south because that\'s the direction of the roof.
The owners of some solar panels pay for time. -of-
Energy analysts say that utilities compensate for the usage rate as a percentage of the price of the wholesale grid, and many distribution grid users are unable to take advantage of the higher power value during peak hours because their electricity prices are fixed.
Therefore, the payment system creates incentives for homeowners to do wrong.
The California Energy Commission recently announced a new device with a bonus of up to $500, pointing west.
Complete a new solar device every three months.
Two minutes, according to the author\'s analysis.
Solar panels don\'t have to point in only one direction.
A homeowner can buy a device called a tracker that can rotate them in a day like a sunflower, so they always face the sun.
Tracker can increase panel output by 45%.
But adding trackers can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it\'s a cheaper way to get the same power. -
Hours may be just to buy a few extra panels.
Houses equipped with solar panels are not necessarily efficient.
In the absence of sunlight, they use more electricity than houses without solar panels.
This may be because larger users tend to install panels first.
There may be another reason: people who own electric cars also tend to install solar panels, which consume more electricity.
But from an environmental point of view, it is still better to use energy as electricity rather than gasoline.