New research: Facing solar panels north is not always the best option

Installing solar panels facing north is not always the best option, new research shows, and positioning them to face east or west could save $500 upon installation.

A cheaper, less powerful solar array can have the same impact on a home’s power consumption as a more powerful one facing north, according to research by Kirrilie Rowe, a UniSA PhD candidate in the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living Node of Excellence.

There are two reasons: peak usage times for electricity, and the amount of solar arrays trying to feed power into the grid during the middle of the day, which limits the amount of money home owners make for exporting power.

“There’s quite a lot of solar power entering the grid during the middle of the day,” Ms Rowe said. “That’s not when people use most of their power.

“It peaks in the morning and dips in the middle of the day and peaks again in the afternoon.

“The tariff is decreasing for this reason, because the wider network doesn’t want the power.”

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