Best Position for Solar Panels UK

With the summer months fast approaching and 0% VAT on green energy being introduced, many people across the UK are considering installing solar panel systems in their homes.

Solar panels can be a great way to reduce electricity bills and generate renewable energy, but before proceeding it is important to understand the best position for solar panels in the UK.

Not only is the correct direction important, but the angle on which they sit could make or break the efficiency of the system. Find out all this and more below.

What direction should solar panels face?

When installing solar panels, you should always consider the sun’s movements to ensure you get the most from your solar PV system. This can be pretty simple, as no matter where you live, the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.

With the UK being in the northern hemisphere, the sun is placed above the equator meaning that south-facing panels are the most effective. Solar panels facing this direction will receive the sun all day long, giving them the maximum time to convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity.

But what if you have no south-facing roof? Don’t fret, west-west roofs can still be an effective option with good access to the sun during morning and afternoon.

East-facing roofs will also work, although they will be the least effective due to their more limited access to the sun’s rays throughout the day. Some homes with east and west-facing roofs may install panels on both sides to ensure maximum efficiency.

It’s also important to consider any obstructions that may shadow your solar panels, such as trees or tall buildings. If there are any potential shadowers, you should try and make adjustments to ensure that your solar panels are in the best position for sunlight to reach them.

Best roof angle for solar panels

While there’s not much debate surrounding which direction is the best position for solar panels, it gets a bit more complicated when we start to think about the best angles.

If the UK was directly on the equator, then having a horizontal panel at 90 degrees would be ideal, but that isn’t the case.

As we are in the northern hemisphere, homes in the UK should have their solar panels tilted vertically between 30 and 45 degrees to ensure their systems are pointing directly at the sun in the middle of the day during summer.

However, this angle will greatly depend almost entirely on where your home is in the UK and the angle of your roof. If your property has a flat roof, you can still achieve the optimum angle by using a mounting system.

Luckily, you can calculate the optimum angle for solar panels through the Energy Saving Trust’s solar energy calculator.

Why is it so important to get the right angle for your solar panels?

There are many benefits to placing your solar panels between 30 to 45 degrees, such as:

  • Making the panels much more effective.
  • More savings on your energy bills.
  • Increase the amount of sunlight to convert into energy during the mornings and evenings.
  • Self-cleaning method, as any rain will wash away debris.

Can solar energy be stored?

Solar panel systems can often create too much energy, more than what is necessary to power the home. Therefore, this extra energy can be stored in a solar battery and used during times when there’s low sunlight such as at night or on cloudy days.

By upgrading your solar PV system to have a solar battery, you’ll have the ability to constantly keep your home powered, rather than losing surplus energy to the National Grid.

By knowing the best position for solar panels in the UK, homeowners can get the most out of their solar panel installation, saving money on their energy bills and being kinder to the environment.

How to Get Free Solar Panels in the UK

Are you thinking about upgrading your home with solar panels?

Did you know that thousands of households across the UK could be eligible for free solar panels through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme?

Through the ECO4 Scheme you could see your home upgraded with free insulation or solar panels.

To find out more about the ECO scheme and your eligibility for it, complete our free online eligibility checker.

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