It has always been thought that solar panels should be mounted to a southerly aspect, and that this would maximise the production of electricity. Of course this is true in most cases, but what is important to consider is peak time higher tariffs and our electricity usage. Is a westerly aspect for solar panels desirable?
The answer is:
It depends on whether we are talking about the solar panel owner or the utility company the power goes to. Since solar panels have been installed it has always been thought that solar panels should be mounted to a southerly aspect, and that this would maximise the production of electricity. Of course this is true in most cases, but what is important to consider is that the peak requirements of energy companies and the grid, can be earlier and later in the day which would mean both east and west mounted solar panels would provide power when the grid required it more. On the basis that the power is more needed for the grid at these times of day, energy from West and East mounted solar panels could demand a premium price from utility companies to offset the slight reduction in energy production.
A survey of houses in the UK has shown that the idea is slow to catch on, because the majority of solar panel owners were keen to maximise their power generation by having a southerly aspect as there were currently no incentives to do otherwise. However, as more and more solar panels are installed on our rooftops the incentive from power companies is likely to come, as it will mean they can plan more easily the solar panels supply to the grid.
It is well known that late afternoon/early evening power demand begins to peak and it is at this time that energy prices are the highest. Having so many solar panels facing south will cause a severe mismatch to power required at certain times of day. It’s not so hard to work out that the higher prices charged for peak power would enable a sensible change to the strategy of putting panels mainly on south facing roofs.
It’s an easy change in policy to make, and particularly useful as not all houses have south facing roofs. Utility companies’ frustrations in dealing with huge peaks in solar panel supply would be resolved and in general we would have a more reliable renewable energy resource.
Looks like it makes sense for both solar panel owners and utility companies to make more use of the varying geographical aspects of our home, business and agricultural roofs.
If you are interested in solar and would like a FREE appraisal visit http://www.environmentalenergies.co.uk/get-in-touch>Contact Environmental Energies.