Collector Orientation Due south is the
optimal orientation, but modifiers can be used if the array is facing to the East or West
of due south. The examples here are for pool heating panels as the angle of incidence is
not as critical as the glass covered solar water heating panels which reflect incoming
energy as the angle increases. These modifiers are used for the Central Florida area and
may be different for other areas of the country or different climatic circumstances.
The number one rule is to
never design or install a solar system that faces in any portion of the 180 degree arc of
the compass that faces north. When you need it the most it won't work. Needless to say
installing solar panels in the shade of a tree or building will also not be functional.
For pool heating panels any
mounting area within a 45 degree arc from due south is acceptable. After that multipliers
should be used to increase the collector area as performance decreases due to an
orientation away from south. DHW (Domestic Hot Water) panels should be
placed as close to due south as possible because of the reflective nature of the glass
used to glase or cover the absorber surface. This cover is used to create higher
temperatures in the panel for production of household water in the 120-160 Deg. range
Sun Angle Charts
divided into 3 zones based on average
outside air temperatures and the angle of
the sun's radiation at different times of
Mounting Methods The mounting systems required to
withstand the high winds encountered in Florida and other parts of the world demand
specific attention to hardware and sealants.
The most common type of panel installation
uses mounting hardware through which the braided nylon strapping passes securing the
system firmly to the roof while forming a compression seal preventing moisture from
penetrating the roofing surface.
Different techniques and sealants are applied to
asphalt/fiberglass shingle, tile, built-up, wood shake, and the new heat sealed rubber
membrane roofing systems. Any contractor experienced and licensed in the trade should have
a list of customers for whom this work has been performed successfully, and also be versed
in the different hardware, sealants and methods to be used.