What Is the Optimal Angle for Solar Panels in Nevada?

What Is the Optimal Angle for Solar Panels in Nevada?

Are you feeling “angle anxiety” ahead of your solar panel installation? It’s a common feeling for homeowners who are trying to squeeze every last dollar from their solar system.

It might surprise you, but you don’t have to worry about picking the “perfect” solar panel angles for your rooftop array. In fact, there might not be one. Once all the costs are taken into consideration, it’s likely that you’ll position your solar panels at an angle similar to other homeowners in Nevada – somewhere around 36 degrees.

Interested in a residential solar panel installation in Las Vegas?
Bell Solar & Electrical Systems can do it for you!

What Is the Ideal Angle for Solar Panels?

You’ve probably heard that it’s best to position your solar panels such that they’re perpendicular to the sun in order to maximize their efficiency. However, this doesn’t take into account atmospheric conditions that could cause a scattering of light throughout the year. Additionally, the sun angle shifts throughout the day and with each season. In fact, if you really wanted to maximize your solar energy collection, your panels would need to follow it.

Feeling stressed out yet? You’re not alone, but you don’t need to be. The simple fact is that a solar system that can operate with peak efficiency across the year would be too expensive for most homeowners – but it also wouldn’t make much of a difference in terms of power generation. In fact, it’s more important that your solar panels don’t face north, which would position them away from the sun.

Ultimately, your home’s location, the layout of its roof, and your daily energy needs all determine the ideal solar panel angles for your home. But it can be even simpler than that. Much of the continental U.S. lies between the 30th parallel north and the 45th parallel north. Coincidentally, most residential roofs in the U.S. are built with a roof angle between 30-45 degrees, which means that you can probably lie your solar panels on it to achieve near-optimal output.

New call-to-action

 

Best Solar Panel Angles According to Season

If you do need to achieve peak solar outputs throughout the year, you’ll need to know the best solar panel angles for each season. Here’s how you can calculate them:

Spring: Multiply your latitude by 0.98, then subtract 2.3 degrees.

Summer: Multiply your latitude by 0.92, then subtract 24.3 degrees.

Fall: Multiply your latitude by 0.98, then subtract 2.3 degrees.

Winter: Multiple your latitude by 0.89, then add 24 degrees.

What Is the Optimal Angle for Solar Panels in Nevada?

Las Vegas lies at 36.1699° N, which means if you want the sun to hit your solar panels perpendicularly, you’ll want to face them south and angle them at approximately 36 degrees. However, this likely isn’t the only consideration you’ll have in mind when deciding to install solar panels. Your solar panels’ angles should be closer to 21 degrees to reduce your summer electricity bills, given how high cooling costs can be. On the other hand, if you’re primarily concerned about winter heating costs, angle your panels at 51 degrees so they have an easier time absorbing the sun.

You’ll also need to decide if you want your solar panels to be fixed or adjustable. Fixed solar panels can’t be adjusted throughout the year to capture more sunlight. With adjustable panels, you’ll need to go onto your roof several times a year to adjust the angle of your panels or hire an expert to do it for you. However, even if your solar panels perfectly track the sun, they can only generate about 20 percent more than a flat solar panel.

What Is the Optimal Angle for Solar Panels in Nevada?

Las Vegas lies at 36.1699° N, which means if you want the sun to hit your solar panels perpendicularly, you’ll want to face them south and angle them at approximately 36 degrees. However, this likely isn’t the only consideration you’ll have in mind when deciding to install solar panels. You’ll want to tilt them closer to 21 degrees to reduce your summer electricity bills, given how high cooling costs can be. On the other hand, if you’re primarily concerned about winter heating costs, angle your panels at 51 degrees so they have an easier time absorbing the sun.

You’ll also need to decide if you want your solar panels to be fixed or adjustable. Fixed solar panels can’t be adjusted throughout the year to capture more sunlight. However, with adjustable panels, you’ll need to go onto your roof several times a year to adjust the angle of your panels or hire an expert to do it for you. However, as a perfectly calibrated solar panel angle can only generate about 20 percent more than a flat solar panel, you may opt to simply go with the fixed angle.

Best Solar Panel Angles in Nevada According to Season

Spring: 33.2 degrees

Summer: 9 degrees

Fall: 33.2 degrees

Winter: 56.2 degrees

Don’t Worry About Solar Panel Angles – Call Us & Get Answers to Your Questions

Homeowners are often concerned about optimizing their solar panel angles, but they ultimately have a marginal effect on energy generation. It’s more important to look at your potential overall savings when deciding on a residential solar panel installation. Your specific energy needs may mean that you’re better off sacrificing some overall efficiency to maximize energy collection during your peak use hours. However, you can still realize tremendous annual savings with a solar array even if you aren’t able to “perfectly” position them.

New call-to-action

Leave a comment