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You are here: Home » News » Technical » Flat Plate Solar Collection Efficiency


Flat Plate Solar Collection Efficiency

Views:4     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2018-11-26      Origin:Site

The positioning of your solar panels determines the power output. The angle of the sun in comparison to the angle of the solar panel will determine the maximum power density. The tilt angle has the biggest influence on the efficiency of the solar panel. When the angle of the sun is reaching the solar panel perpendicular, it provides the maximum output of energy.

Flat Plate Solar Collection Efficiency

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A flat solar panel will generate the most electricity when the solar radiation hits it directly – i.e. the sun’s rays are touching the panel perpendicularly (i.e. at a 90-degree angle).

Since the angle of the sun may be altered as the earth rotates or as we move our solar panel, the efficiency of the flat solar panel will then be based on the latitude position with the reference point being the equator. The further south from the equator, the steeper the solar panel angle needs to be held.

The time of the year also plays an important role in the efficiency of flat solar panels. In summer, when the sun is higher in the sky thus making the angle of the solar panel to the sun lower, there is definitely a higher efficiency of the solar panels when compare to the Winter which is the direct opposite. During this time, the sun is lower in the sky, making the angle to the sun steeper. 

Many solar panels are installed flat on the roof of the house. And this solar panel are often flat with a zero angle on the panels, the output performance on this type of solar array drops significantly, another factor that make this type of solar panel less efficient is that flat solar panel are much harder to keep clean due to limited water runoff, there is high tendency that the roof will retain more water. 

In a test conducted to verify the efficiency of a flat solar panels relatively to the panels placed at 45-degree angle showed that the panel angled at 45 degrees produced nearly 38% more efficiency when compared to the panel that is lying flat. So, what does all this show? With panels installed flat on the roof, you can expect to see a reduction of overall efficiency of the solar panels over the course of the year as the sun constantly change position. To compensate for this drop-in efficiency, if you have the space available on your roof, you can fill the roof with as much flat panels as you can fit up there, depending on your budget and energy needs.

The main point of this post is to reveal to you that solar panels installed flat on a house will never achieve their 100% efficiency and that 500watts you had installed could be giving you an efficiency as low as 250watts or less, meaning that your batteries will take longer than normal time before it is fully charged. If you have the space available, you can fill your roof with as much flat solar panels as you can fit up there and what the budget will allow for. 

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