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Thread: Solar Panel Angles - Does it Make a Difference?

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    Solar Panel Angles - Does it Make a Difference?

    I've been running my panels on the ground for the last several seasons, and they seem to do just fine. However, I'm now getting my new system ready, which will be "permanent." I'm wondering if I need to worry about the angle that the panel is installed?

    Is it okay to just leave them on the ground, or should I frame them up so they sit at a certain angle? Does it make a big enough difference to worry about it? I have free materials (left over trusses) to get them to 40-50 degrees (relative to the ground,) so that's not a big deal, but if I put them on the ground, it would be easier to mount them with racks around them and with plastic covers (limit wind).

    ALSO - is there an "optimum" facing direction? I mean, are these things like setting up DSS satellite systems where I can maximize the exposure? I've seen a "follow the sun" system, but that seems like overkill. Or, is Southwest Adequate enough? It stays light here until 10:30pm (of course, low solar heating that late), but we get full (burn your face off) Western sun even as late as 7pm.

    Thanks in advance!
    Richard
    Temecula, CA
    28,000 Gal. In-Ground plaster and tile, Total Control AutoPilot with SC-60 SWG and PH control, Pentair EasyTouch 8, EasyTouch Wireless Remote, Intelliflo VS+SVRS pump, Intellibrite lighting, Pentair Quad 100, Solar heating, Pentair Mastertemp 400 Gas Heater, The Pool Cleaner 4x, Aquabot Turbo T2 Robotic Cleaner, Water feature spillover from SPA.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Angles - Does it Make a Difference?

    The angle and orientation makes a difference but don't worry too much about getting it perfect. Aiming them toward the noon sun is the preferred set up if you don't have a tracking rack system.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Angles - Does it Make a Difference?

    On the ground has some advantages, simplicity being a big one, and works fairly well. Making a rack to aim the panels more towards the sun will get you more heat, but it isn't a huge difference.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Solar Panel Angles - Does it Make a Difference?

    Great thanks! I will stick with the ground mount, but I'll probably work on framing them out to see if I can raise the ambient temp.
    Richard
    Temecula, CA
    28,000 Gal. In-Ground plaster and tile, Total Control AutoPilot with SC-60 SWG and PH control, Pentair EasyTouch 8, EasyTouch Wireless Remote, Intelliflo VS+SVRS pump, Intellibrite lighting, Pentair Quad 100, Solar heating, Pentair Mastertemp 400 Gas Heater, The Pool Cleaner 4x, Aquabot Turbo T2 Robotic Cleaner, Water feature spillover from SPA.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Solar Panel Angles - Does it Make a Difference?

    It depends on what time of the year you want the greatest collection. In my case, in Dallas Texas area, I would go for the greatest collection in mid April to mid May and mid Sept to mid Oct to extend the season. My angle would be roughly 35 to 40 degrees. (I'm eyeballing this) The mid day sun from southwest would hit the flat surface of the collectors at about a 90 degree angle. If I wanted it in summer flat on the ground would work best, but in this part of country virtually no heat is needed if the pool gets sun most of the day. Unless the pool gets a lot of shade, solar panels, in summer, here, are best used for night time cooling.

    We just cut down a tree that shaded part of the pool for many hours a day. My pool temp is now what it normally takes well into June or by end of June to achieve. It is currently 84 and will be 86 by the end of this sunny day. There will be about 2 degrees loss, over night, with air temps in 70's, without a solar cover.

    There are all kinds of charts for aiming PV (electric generating panels) panels, for any location, all over the Internet, that would give a good idea.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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