Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion Do soalr panels have to be “aimed”? Re: Do soalr panels have to be “aimed”?


My original system was 8-Astropower glass panels on a full tracking Wattsun pole mount to make up for the fact I needed 11 of the same panels if fixed mounted at the average seasonal angle south. I had to buy a Manual Control to defeat the pancaking during a hail storm or heavy snow.

Later I expanded with Unisolar unbreakaable on a seasonal adusting fixed south mount. I found that just using the average was fine, and I was getting 90% power with the sun at a 45* angle to the panels. I have since added 4 more on much cheaper home made mounts out of aluminum L metal, at the fixed average angle.

It is the shiny smooth glass panels that have high reflectivity. When I had to fix mine to send in the sun seeker for repair, they only picked up 10% power at a 45* sun angle from the panel face. I never had to worry about the hail storms with the Unisolar. If I was going to be gone in hail season, I would have to fix the tracking array at a steep angle south, reducing power input while we were away. We also had to do it in snow season so the sun seeker would not get blinded by heavy snow, and THEN we had to leave the inverter on to run the house heater. This was taking a risk on auto shut down if it was very cold and cloudy, and the risk of frozen pipes.

Now there are other rough surface, unbreakable panel companies. Unisolar even has flex panels that have glue backing to go right on metal roofing. Much more wind proof, and you can walk on them. Shiny glass panels really need the tracking. Tornado Alley needs the glue on to a really solid metal roofing system, or something equally strong and unbreakable.

With fixed mounting, you have to figure in off average sun angle losses for the particular panel type.