Finding Optimal Angles for Solar Panels in Portland, OR

solar panel system angled at 46 degrees pointing south

Finding Optimal Angles for Solar Panels in Portland, OR

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    What is the Best Angle for Solar in Portland?

    Your solar panels will need to capture the most amount of sunlight to generate the maximum amount of solar energy. To produce more power you will need to orient your solar panels in the correct direction and determine the optimal angle. According to EnergySage, the best angle for solar panels in Portland, Oregon is 46 degrees.

    Both the optimal angle and orientation depend on your location on the planet. For example, for people living in the northern hemisphere, you will install your solar panels facing the southern sky and opposite direction for the southern hemisphere. This is because you want to angle your solar panels toward the equator because that is the path the sun follows.

    What Direction Is The Best?

    The best angle may also depend on how much solar power you want to produce and when. For example, to get the best performance out of your solar panels you would face them due south at the optimum angle so that the panel is receiving as much sunlight as possible at this time. You can achieve this by installing an automated mechanical solar tracker.

    solar panel system angled at 46 degrees pointing south

    Flat Versus Angle Solar Panels

    This topic has been researched thoroughly in the solar industry and it boils down to the economics of both. Yes, you are able to generate more power when you have an automated mechanical solar tracker, but you will also pay a higher upfront cost because of needed materials and will need to maintain your system thoroughly for the 25 years the system is warrantied.

    So how much efficiency do I lose if I chose flat solar panels? Research suggests that with an automated solar tracker, you will gain only 0.6 kilowatts (600 watts) while paying for a more expensive and more laborious solar panel system. It is sometimes possible to generate more power when you install flat solar panels for less the price of an automated solar tracker. The only drawback is you will need more available space.

    Automated Solar Tracking Versus Flat Solar Panels

    You can benefit from more solar power if you have the ability to automatically adjust your solar panels on a minute-by-minute basis. These systems are called automated mechanical solar trackers and while they can maximize your solar production they are unfortunately not very economical.

    We recommended non-automated or flat roof panels because they have a better rate of return on your investment and 25-year zero maintenance compared to a mechanical tracker with moving parts.

    solar panel tracking system

    Find Out Your Optimal Solar Angles

    When you get a quote at Sunbridge, we’ll provide you a solar analysis that shows you the most optimal system for your home or business. Not all roofs are the same, that is why all our reports are custom made. Get your report today!

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    Adam Walters

    Adam Walters

    Adam has over 8 years of experience working directly with Portland-area solar installers and supporting companies. Over his years, he has worn many hats and gained a holistic understanding of local PNW solar markets.

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