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solar panels orientation
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 28, 2018 09:59AM
supposed one wanted to install solar panels on a house, I would imagine the ideal orientation would be facing south or south/west, since electricity demand is higher in the later afternoon when everyone is home running their ACs. Looking at this house, I see very limited space for solar panels, What do you think? Both screenshots taken with North at the top. This is in central NJ btw.



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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 28, 2018 10:00AM
.....gay or straight.....in this day and age.....just let them be themselves........true to themselves.......



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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: billb
Date: May 28, 2018 10:11AM
You don't orient panels for demand, you orient panels for maximum production.

On that house you'd be limited for the 2 west/southwest facing roof slopes on the house and the south facing space on the garage or a rack in the back yard.

There's actually quite a bit of space there .



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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 28, 2018 11:09AM
The garage would be perfect, but I'd chop down that tree.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: michaelb
Date: May 28, 2018 12:00PM
I installed solar on my two barns that have roofs that face southwest. I do have some shading from a beautiful tree I don't want to cut. Your roofs look good. Really the main the Q is how much do you want to spend and what payoff are you hoping for (the cost of power and any state based feed in tariff are going to make those numbers work or not work). At this point the panels are cheap and so a significant part of the cost are the fixed costs like labor and install. Plus the cost of the inverter. Even if the panels aren't at the perfect orientation, so slightly east or slightly west, they will still produce. If power costs more in the evening, then the west panels would be worth more. I have no way of measuring this, but I think it is sunnier in the morning, since the air is clear, plus panels work better when they are cold, so I wish I had 4 that faced southeast and would kick on earlier in the morning when it is cold and clear. Having panels east and west facing balances or spreads out the power curve and can also possibly reduce peak power at the inverter, reducing clipping.

I assume you would only look at systems with micro inverters or optimizers. So either gives you the option to orient panels in different ways since they each work independently. So if you got a quote, your installers could look at each option and give you variations (but they may not be super helpful or open about discussing why each option makes sense or doesn't make sense).
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 28, 2018 12:09PM
You might get a better return by investing in a community/co-op system.

Many utilities are migrating to time of day billing. This mostly matches your ideas but you really need to make sure your assumptions about the future are correct. You also need to verify HOA rules don't preclude panels visible from the street.



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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: bfd
Date: May 28, 2018 12:22PM
If your ordinances allow zero-tilt, you can cover both sides. But you don't really want to do that. Figure out the annual use and then shoot for 50-70% solar replacement. Around the far southwest corner, TOU hits us with the highest rates between 4PM and 9PM. Get a battery to store the excess energy during the day and then use that cheap electricity during peak price period.

One caveat, it likely won't work with AC - too big a draw - but it would offset the rest of the electricity use.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 28, 2018 01:14PM
Get a quote from a professional?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 28, 2018 01:36PM
Quote
jdc
Get a quote from a professional?

not yet, we are looking for a house, that is one of them.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 28, 2018 01:37PM
Quote
jdc
Get a quote from a professional?

Whoa, pretty low blow.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 28, 2018 01:40PM
Quote
jdc
Get a quote from a professional?

and here I was naively thinking MRF folks are experts in everything.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: michaelb
Date: May 28, 2018 01:50PM
You would want to put in your info and location in here and this can calculate your expected production. This tool is what pros will use, they just have devices and apps that run the numbers directly.

[pvwatts.nrel.gov]

There are some assumptions that can be tricky, like shading, but this will give you a ball park. If you know the cost of power and the value of any subsidy, you can run the numbers. Generally getting a quote near or below $3 per KW installed would be great (but these prices vary depending on area).

Google or maybe someone else has a tool that actually pulls up the satellite image of the roof and then pushes the estimated numbers into PVwatts.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: Bixby
Date: May 28, 2018 02:08PM
Assume you've used this tool?
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 28, 2018 03:04PM
Is it $3/KW or $3/W?
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: billb
Date: May 28, 2018 03:27PM
$/watt physical system watts



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: michaelb
Date: May 28, 2018 07:46PM
billb is right, it is $3 per installed watt, so if you install a 5000 w (or 5 kw) system for $15,000 that is $3 per watt. That price is before any tax credit or subsidy. Prices in some parts may be closer to $4 and some places are in the 2s.
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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 28, 2018 08:49PM
Quote
Bixby
Assume you've used this tool?

Thanks, that is useful

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Re: solar panels orientation
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 29, 2018 09:43AM
.....don't forget that it is now......LGBT.....Q.....



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