Which Way Should Your Solar Panels Face In Massachusetts?January 14, 2022
There are many factors to take into account before installing solar panels on your home. These include your personal budget, monthly utility bills, and your home’s structure.
Today, let’s take a closer look at your home’s structure, more specifically, what direction your solar panels should face to gain maximum sun exposure and energy conversion.
In A Perfect World, Solar Panels Should Always Face South
In short, solar panels should face south. By aligning your panels to face south, you have the best chance to ensure that your panels operate at peak efficiency, capturing the most sunlight converting it into sustainable energy for your home.
But, why is this? Well, most of the year, the sun shines directly over the earth’s equator. As the sun moves through its daily cycle, it stays south of us here in Massachusetts (and the entire northern hemisphere). So, we can assume that facing your panels south will expose your solar panels and the cells within to the maximum sunlight possible.
South-Facing Solar Panels Are Better For Net Metering
The state and many local utility companies support net metering in Massachusetts. Essentially, net metering allows solar panel owners to send excess electricity generated by their panels back into the grid, typically in exchange for monthly billing credits.
To take full advantage, south-facing solar panels are best for net metering. This is because the sun gives off most rays from the south during the midday hours. And since midday tends to be when your home is empty (school and work), your solar panels will have a greater chance of generating excess electricity before sending that electricity back into the grid.
However, Direction Isn’t The Factor To Consider
Don’t have a south-facing roof? Not all hope is lost! First of all, north-facing solar panels typically only lose up to 30% of their conversion efficiency. Additionally, many other factors need to be considered by homeowners and solar consultants when deciding if solar panels are a good fit, such as:
- Nearby trees casting shade onto your roof and,
- tall neighboring buildings also casting shade, blocking the sun’s rays,
- other obstructions or hazards, such as power lines, chimneys, etc.,
- the amount of space available on the roof for solar panels,
- the angle of your roof,
- And, your area’s local regulations.
And, Not All Homes Are Built The Same
Remember, while it may seem like solar panel systems are unavailable if your home’s roof isn’t south-facing or aligned properly, this may not be the case. As we have discussed above, there are many factors that go into determining whether or not solar panels are right for your home.
Additionally, the best solar companies typically craft solar panel designs specifically for each customer’s home. Here, at SunPower by BlueSel Home Solar, our solar design engineers do just that. So, if you’re interested in going solar, but not quite sure if your home is set up for solar panels, give our offices a call and we’ll discuss your options.