Annual Optimal Orientation of Fixed Tilt Solar Collectors

  • When mounting a fixed tilt solar collector, it is critical to understand the optimal orientation of the solar collector.
  • Choose a location to view a sensitivity plot displaying incident solar radiation vs collector orientation.
  • Alternatively, the maps below present annual optimal solar collector altitude and azimuth angles, and average incident radiation on a surface oriented at the optimal tilt.
  • Contrary to the typical rule of thumb, a south facing latitude tilted collector is not the optimal orientation of a fixed tilt solar collector. Additional maps below compare the the optimal values to this rule of thumb.
  • All results on this page are presented for incident solar radiation on a tilted surface. They do not include component or system inefficiencies of any kind. In order to account for inefficiencies in solar thermal collector, it is recommneded to utilize the Solar Collector Power Output tool, which is available for a number of popular fixed tilt solar thermal collectors.
  • For further details on the procedure utilized to develope these figures, please refer to the paper, Determination of Annual Optimal Altitude and Azimuth Angles of Fixed Tilt Solar Collectors in the Continental United States using the National Solar Radiation Database, published in the Proceedings of the American Solar Energy Society's Solar 2011 Conference

©2007 - Andy Schroder