ADJUSTING THE ANGLE of small-scale PV
installations can improve its energy yield
by up to 25 k W per square meter.
Strategically adjusting the angles of your solar panels four to five times a year
could boost their energy output and help
maximize the value of small-scale PV investments, according to new research from
Binghamton University-State of New York.
The angles and number of intervals
depend on the geographic location of
the panels, the researchers explain. Most
solar panel owners adjust panels quarterly,
regardless of the sun’s position.
“Adjustments do not coincide with sea-
sonal changes,” explains Morteza Sarailoo,
a co-author of the paper. “Our new study
shows that four adjustments at optimally
divided intervals can provide around 25 k W
per square meter more power than adjust-
ing the tilt angle four times a year based on
Some smaller PV systems use an auto-
mated tracking system that constantly
Tweak Solar Panel Angles to Harvest More Energy
HOW OPTIMIZING ADJUSTMENT INTERVALS IMPROVES POWER PRODUCTION
adjusts panel angles, but this feature can
drive up the price of an installation process
that’s already expensive.
However, adjusting the panels manually
eliminates the extra cost and yields better
results when the adjustment intervals are
optimized for local conditions, the researchers say.
“We were surprised to conclude that
such a small number of intervals can result
in such high performance,” says co-author
“The need for only four to five adjustments shows that not only is manual adjustment practically possible, but also economical,” adds co-author Shahrokh Akhlaghi.
The research was based on data from
the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
regarding nine locations in the U.S. The
findings were presented at the Power and
Energy Conference in Illinois (PECI).
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