Solar Panels in a New Direction

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NewDirection

A recent study conducted by the Pecan Street Research Institute in Texas, discovered that rooftop solar panels produced almost 50% more electricity during peak demand hours (3pm-7pm) compared to panels facing south.

The point of the research was to evaluate the energy production of solar panels oriented in different directions. Over 50 homes were analyzed and because of the lack of implementation of solar panels, the demand for this kind of research has been very low.

When the data was simplified, it showed that for a 5.5 kW system, the panels turned to the west generated almost 50% more electricity during peak demand hours than the panels facing south. This meant more *Green Electricity* for homes that faced their panels west compared to the ones facing south.

This interesting study could help make solar panels more effective because most homes in the US currently have south facing panels. Another research that the Institute is planning on is to question how the pitch of the roof correlates with the rate of electricity generation for homes. Maybe it will turn out that a flat rooftop generates more electricity than a pitch rooftop. This would be an interesting find.

Some questions that might not have come up at the time are:

  • Will damage to the panels be greater if they are facing west?
  • What is the efficiency of dynamic panels, which follow the sun?

 

Extra Extra! – Read More About it:

Pecan Street Research Institute

SolarCity & The Push for Solar Power – DociReport

A Greener World – DociReport

Smart Grid – DociReport

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