How to determine the best solar panel orientation for your property

Posted on 11 July 2018

How to determine the best solar panel orientation for your property

When designing your solar power system, there are several factors that will impact on how much power you can produce. Put simply, the more sunlight your panels receive the more power you will produce and the less you will have to pay for. The positioning (orientation) of the panels is by far the most important consideration.

For Australian installations, the ideal orientation is true-north facing, with the panels receiving full sun from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. mid-winter. Ideal conditions are not always achievable, however, so a choice must be made as to the best possible alternative. This is where it becomes a little scientific.


If you don’t have any north-facing roof space available, but you do have two sides that face east and west, you will need to decide which side would receive the most sunlight.

The path of the sun affects the length of daylight received along a given latitude during each season. This is a major factor in the performance of solar power systems, so location-specific knowledge of sun path and climate conditions specific to your area is required.


Another consideration is shading, which can also affect the productivity of your system. Shade from clouds or from nearby trees or buildings can significantly impact on solar energy generation. In some areas, there is a greater tendency for mornings to be overcast while in other areas it might be afternoons.

You can refer to the Bureau of Meteorology or the National Solar Radiation Database to get climate information relevant to solar energy production in your area. See below for links to the respective websites.


After determining the best orientation for your installation, the next thing to consider is the angle (tilt) of the panels. A scientific formula can be used in working out the best angle for your panels and making seasonal adjustments can further optimise production. You can get comprehensive information on how the optimal tilt is calculated here.

In Summary

As you can see, there are many variables and science far too complex to cover fully in such a short article. We want you to get the best solar panels orientation possible for your property. At Solar Power Direct, we have a team of experts that can apply the science for you and discuss your options for getting the best results. We offer you an obligation-free site visit and consultation.

Solar Power Direct is owned by Paul Maiolo, an Accredited Master Electrician. Paul heads up a crew of qualified electricians who have experience in over 3,000 Solar System installations since 2011.

Solar Power Direct use only products that have a solid reputation for long-term reliability giving peace of mind for our customers. We also offer a Solar Repair and Maintenance service to all South Australian homeowners, irrespective of the original installer.

For more information, contact Solar Power Direct and one of our professional team will help you.

Solar Power Direct is a proud member of the Smart Energy Council, working towards a safe climate and a strong renewable economy.