Turbocharge your return on investment in energy savings by fine-tuning your solar panel orientation with an East/ West configuration. Suppose, like most people worldwide, a feed-in tariff is virtually obsolete. In that case, higher quantities of power production will not benefit your scenario unless the units (kWhs) are storable or usable.
Solar power generation in any situation is a great thing – marvellous technology guaranteed to produce energy as long as the sun shines. However, what if you are not home or available to consume the electricity? Solar batteries are the perfect solution to this situation. The problem is that most households and businesses operate solar without an energy storage solution. A curious question then arises;
Q: How will a solar energy system save the most money without storage?
A: When the solar panel orientation is explicitly designed to align with your significant consumption habits within sunlight hours.
Ignoring the possibility of a solar tracker, previously, it was considered a solar panel orientation on an aspect angled toward the equator was one of the better aspects for a solar energy system. Still, an exceptional orientation if most of your energy consumption occurs between 10 am and 2 pm daily. However, if your daily situation is working between 9 am – 5 pm, an East and West facing solar panel orientation may save you more money while producing slightly less energy as a whole.
The aim is to ensure you consume as much solar energy production through your day to day habits. If, like most of us, you too operate within the daily grind cycle from sun up to sundown, here is a light-hearted approach towards 21 reasons to choose an East/West solar panel orientation:
The coffee machine gets a workout most mornings.
After all, you’re only human, and coffee (or tea) is a necessity of life to kick off the day. In all seriousness, this morning ritual for many commences by activating an energy-intensive kettle or coffee machine. Although only operating for a short burst, your energy-saving potential can be maximised from the moment the sun rises with an East solar panel orientation.
What’s coffee without a slice of toast?
Can we get a Vegemite on toast? (We hear you, Aussies!). Similarly to coffee machines and kettles, toasters operate in short, energy-intensive bursts. Try not to use either appliance simultaneously, or the solar generation capacity of your system can be quickly exceeded. Get your priorities right. Coffee first, then toast.
An Early bird catches the worm, as they say. Seize the day!
Our lives are becoming more and more electrified in almost every aspect. If you’re an early riser, chances are you’ll tend to use a varied amount of small electrical appliances to kick off your day. Although often using minimal energy consumption, these appliances can harness the sun’s early rain of photons with an Eastern facing solar array.
In winter, a heater is a mandatory appliance at first light.
Funnily enough, towards first light (dawn) is often the coldest part of the day, especially when the skies are absent from cloud cover. Therefore, it’s natural you feel that chill and are tempted to eliminate it at all costs. An Eastern solar array captures the first light of the day when the cold is most unbearable, possing a less severe impact of grid consumption.
Two words – Hair Straightener.
Bald man friends keep scrolling…those with luscious wavy locks seeking that straight look before embracing the day. This one’s for you. To be fair, this also applies to hair dryers. Hair straighteners and hair dryers use energy-sucking heating elements within them. Although an energy burst item, these appliances operate for longer periods than a kettle or toaster. Try to position the operation of these items after the morning brew when the sun has grown in intensity.
Effortless Clean Dishes.
You no longer need to worry about evening dishes (you’re welcome, thank us later, or just subscribe for continued life hacks). Load the dishwasher to the brim in the evening, let them rest. Be sure to add the morning mug from that soul-refreshing coffee and toast plate. Close the dishwasher, press eco wash, head out the door and attack the day like the boss you are. Upon return, effortlessly cleaned dishes powered by the sun are ready to use again. Working smarter, not harder, comes naturally to you.
The Summer sun is scorching.
When it’s hot, it’s often unbearably hot deep into the evening. A western-facing solar array ensures you can power your air conditioner with minimal grid energy consumption to sunset. Then, continued air circulation, flick the AC over to fan mode once the heat of the day has passed for reduced grid consumption. Enjoy summer, stay cooler longer while holding on to your cash.
YOU HAVE SCHOOL-AGED KIDS.
Often arriving home from school mid-afternoon (3 pm), the unsupervised school-age child understands little about energy conservation. A Western solar array minimises the destructive financial impact caused by this energy-hungry species for longer until you regain control of the household (5 pm).
The front of your house faces North or South.
It’s ok to be concerned about the aesthetic appeal of how solar panels appear on your house. In fact, the better solar panel designs look, there’s an increased chance of adoption by the broader community toward clean energy. Harnessing the power of an East/West solar panel orientation in this instance not only retains the original street face appearance of your home but potentially increases your bill reduction success rate through better optimisation.
People are envious of others with lower power bills.
You’ve heard the stories of woe. Someone you know has a solar energy system, and they don’t get the anticipated bill reduction. Chances are they are either; A) Nocturnal and forget to understand that a basic solar photovoltaic system doesn’t work at night, or B) The system is poorly designed to factor their most active energy consumption habits throughout the day. Committed to your daily grind, you understand that East/West is best!
Peak energy consumption of an average home is in the afternoon/ evening.
Analysing historical energy consumption data of average households in diverse global regions identifies the most active times of the day for energy consumption is between the hours of 3 pm-9 pm. Your western facing solar array in this instance provides solar energy to power your life for longer into the evening.
You have a big-screen TV.
Yeah, you do! Besides, who doesn’t love the world delivered to their living room in ultra-high definition? Modern TV’s are actually quite energy efficient compared to alternative household appliances. The issue is that we tend to operate these devices for longer; this period of operation can add up. Furthermore, the hours of operation of a juicy flat screen are often more frequent in the morning and afternoon/evening. An East/West solar panel orientation is looking quite appealing right about now.
Gamers or man-children are more commonly regarded as nocturnal. There’s not too much that can be done to curve this habit. However, we understand that an epic session or a virtual apocalypse can extend to the early hours of the following day and beyond. Powering evermore power-hungry computer equipment from first light makes that experience a little more rewarding.
You have a pool.
An evenly distributed East/West solar panel orientation broadens the solar production window. As pool equipment often operates for a large portion of the day, a broader energy production window ensures power-hungry pool equipment has minimal impact on your utility energy bill.
A winter roast dinner is non-negotiable.
The beauty of a good roast dinner is that you can kick it off during sunlight hours and eat a fraction earlier. Try to utilise as many electrical cooking appliances (staggered operation for the win) as possible to maximise the benefit of a western solar panel orientation deep into the afternoon. Life is for living, and there’s no reason why you should stop enjoying some of the best parts to reduce your power bills.
Weekend breakfasts are a big affair at your house.
Food is life. You’ve put in the hard yards all week, and the weekend is screaming nourishment! Don’t hold back. Use the glorious morning sunshine and an East facing solar panel orientation for cooking up your favourite get up and go breakfast rewards. Although it is 2022, unleash your blender, Nutribullet or Thermomix!
HOSTING EVENTS IS IN YOUR DNA.
All the finest events start early afternoon and carry on through to the evening—power more good times with minimal additional expense with a Western solar panel orientation. Saving money on the associated event costs funds more good times in the future. You do you, own your moment in the sun.
People call you green fingers.
More specifically, bore pump owners who love a lush garden or lawn. Accessing an underground reservoir is an energy-intensive exercise. Bore pump operating hours are more effective towards water conservation in the early morning or late afternoon. A considered East/West solar panel orientation can precisely offset bore pump operating costs and deliver the beautifully balanced ecosystem that is your garden wonderland.
The fridge has a virtual revolving door each afternoon.
A modern household has many obstacles in the quest for reduced energy bills. One of those is managing the integrity of food stocks in controlled environments where vast temperature swings occur due to unexpected interaction (aka your fridge). In a revolving door type scenario, a compressor is forced to be engaged to meet the desired temperature setting. Compressors love to chew through electrons. Feed your Fridges energy-hungry compressor long into the afternoon with a West solar panel orientation.
In summer, sunlight hours are longer.
An east/west solar panel orientation is instrumental in the months of summer, powering your life long into the evening. Use this bonus energy to get more done and maximise your investment while the sun shines. Sleep later.
Yeah, they are cute. But they’re also energy-hungry little monsters unsuspectingly increasing your energy debt. Slight over-exaggeration? Perhaps not. In a modern home environment, pets are an extension of the family that are often the first to rise and require attention. Less likely to be an energy burden in a basic home compared to that small agricultural masterpiece many have forged to escape the rat race. The process of watering and feeding, pet’s consume energy more often in the morning and later parts of the day. Love animals? An East/West solar panel orientation is about to become your new best friend.
TECHNICAL BONUS REASONS.
- Your goal is to oversize the solar inverter as much as possible due to grid limitations.
- East/West solar panel orientations generate a broader power production window.
- The useable kWh is the aim of the game, forget peak power.
The above is a light-hearted observation of a typical 9-5 working family. Early morning and evenings are busy times in such households. East and West facing solar panels ensure an optimised solar panel orientation for these peak times, maximising the ability to convert more energy from the available light.
Don’t worry, an East and West facing solar panel orientation still works brilliantly throughout the period of 10 am-2 pm. Fundamentally though, this favoured concept has the potential to affect one common circumstance more effectively (which we all desire)—enhanced electricity bill reduction through considered optimisation.
An older post of yours, but very thought-provoking.
Hi Dietreich, Finally someone with logic about orientation. 40 years ago, in Canada, I built an earth bearmed house at 45 degrees latitude. South south south!!! NO!!! I put the facade at EES. Now I live at 16 degrees and I will install my solar panels E-W. Just got to figure out the angle yet. All the best.
That is great news, Konrad. All the best optimising the ideal solution for your new installation!