How to correctly measure for solar angles for DiY design and build

JohnLM

Solar Enthusiast
I was wondering, how do you calculate the angles for rigging up a solar panel for the maximum sun coverage?

I have seen numbers like 20 to 45 degrees but I don't know if those are correct angle numbers. What I'd like to do is rig some wood or metal poles and draw the angle degrees on them and I would lay a panel on it at those angles. So, lets say that the first 6 inch is 30 degrees, then 8 inches is 40 degrees. Crude but workable DiY design. And it does not have to be perfect. TIA.
 

JohnLM

Solar Enthusiast
Thank you, guys, thus far. bookmarked for the angle lookup. Still searching, however, because I also would like to build a user-friendly app. I just need to find a database of this info to plug into a custom db I might build for the app.
 

jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
Thank you, guys, thus far. bookmarked for the angle lookup. Still searching, however, because I also would like to build a user-friendly app. I just need to find a database of this info to plug into a custom db I might build for the app.
You don't need an app. There are already dozens of them.

There is only one way to get a perfect angle but it comes at a cost, the dual-axis tracker.

The least costly method is;
optimal angle is whatever your latitude is.

If possible adjust the angle two or three times a year to perpendicular at solar noon.

A single-axis slewing panel will follow the sun, sunrise to sunset at whatever angle your latitude is.

If you want to help fight "The Duck Curve" put your panels on west-facing roofs.

There is always a compromise. If money is no obstacle, dual-axis wins the production output every time.
 
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