Don’t have a north-facing roof, do not panic?
Or, maybe you have a flat roof on your house, warehouse or workshop?
An east-west solar panel configuration might be an effective solution for your home or business. Installing solar panels on an east and west-facing roof or a flat roof could save you money and increase efficiency.
East-west solar PV module orientations deliver energy over a longer period each day. This is in contrast to the sharp peak in power generated by north-facing solar PV installations — a large proportion of which will be fed back into the grid (in the case of residential solar PV systems). This was certainly a benefit back when people had a high feed-in tariff, although now the best benefits are based on self-consumption.
East-west solar PV systems produce energy in the morning, using east-facing panels, and later in the day, using west-facing panels, creating a flatter energy production curve.
What Does This Mean For You?
As a homeowner, this means you can install a solar PV system on your roof and enjoy the solar savings — even if your roof isn’t facing north.
Plus, you can match your solar energy use to your lifestyle, especially if you work away from home during the day. This means less energy going back into the grid and more savings for you. Win-Win really!
Whether you are looking for commercial solar panels or a residential solar PV solution, an east-west configuration could be the ideal energy solution for you.
How Can An East-West Solar PV System Match Your Lifestyle?
If you’re at work all day, then it makes sense to install east and west-facing solar panels.
This is because east-facing panels will generate power for you to use in the morning. While you are at work, there won’t be a sharp peak in power generated (which will be returned to the grid). And, when you return home in the afternoon, you can use the power generated by the west-facing panels.
The basic idea is that you are using the power when your solar PV system generates it. This is cheaper than purchasing power from your energy company. Also, when you provide excess power to the grid, you only receive minimal tariffs from your energy provider. In Victoria the average rate is now 6.7cents. (March 2022).
If you’re at home during the day, an east-west solar PV system can still work with your lifestyle. Set appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines to run in the morning, and set your air conditioning to turn on after 2 PM. Another great option is a North/West split. When you talk to one of our solar specialists they will assess your usage in more detail, assess your roof line and discuss panel placement for the best return on investment.
Save More With An East-West Solar PV Solar Installation
With north-facing solar panels, power generated will have a higher daytime peak than for east-west solar panels. This is similar to the peak in UV and temperature in the middle of the day. This means north-facing panels will need an inverter that can cope with high levels of power generated.
East-west panels produce a similar overall power output, but it’s generated and delivered over a longer time frame. Rather than peaking during the day, the bulk is generated earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon. This means that east-west solar PV installations don’t have to cope with higher power generation and may result in your inverter lasting longer.
Image Source: ADVANTAGES OF EAST-WEST SYSTEMS // Author: Fronius International
Find Out If An East-West Solar PV Systems Is Right For Your Home by having one of team do a full analysis for you.
Installing East-West Solar PV Systems On A Flat Roof
The best solar panel orientation in Central Victoria is north, east or west-facing, and combinations of these are common, such as north-east, North-west or East-west.
To maximise morning and afternoon energy generation on a flat roof, opt for an east-west solar PV solar installation. They make efficient use of roof space, with panels arranged close to each other and slightly tilted in each E/W direction (we recommend a 10° tilt).
Not only is this an efficient use of space, but modules don’t cast a shadow onto each other.
Compared to a north-facing solar PV installation, you can fit more panels on the roof, plus you have the advantage of morning and afternoon power generation.
This is precisely why more businesses are opting for an east-west solar panel configuration for their commercial building — more panels can be installed on the roof!
As we discussed earlier, the east-west configuration also puts less load on your inverter. Additionally, it increases its efficiency and life span and reduces wear and tear on parts and the inverter itself.
As a result, businesses can keep running costs down but also boost the power generation of their solar PV system.
If you have any further questions about east-west facing solar PV systems, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Solar 1 Electrical on 1300 451 316.