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Old 03-30-2015, 02:27 PM   #1
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Solar panel angle?

what degree or angle should I set my solar panels to obtain the maximum amps? Also is the angle the same year round?
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #2
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The optimum orientation changes as the sun's path across the size changes, and is location-dependent. There are hundreds of websites that tell you how to do it for your specific scenario.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:44 PM   #3
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the best degree is the sun ray hitting your panel at a right angle, theoretically. to make it perfect, you would need a sun tracking mechanism, which is not a small task.

i mounted mine flat, knowing i won't get an optimized result. i added more panels to offset the lost, a small amount of extra cost yielding a great amount of output.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:48 PM   #4
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Ours on our TREK and on our Itasca are mounted flat for clearance reasons and serve there purpose quite nicely.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlaffourtit View Post
what degree or angle should I set my solar panels to obtain the maximum amps? Also is the angle the same year round?
Plug in the date and location and this web site will give you the angle degree you are looking for....
Calculation of sun’s position in the sky for each location on the earth at any time of day [en]
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:16 PM   #6
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thanks everyone
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:37 AM   #7
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Smile Portable Solar

CountryFit hit the nail on the head: you get the most power from a solar panel when it is perpendicular to the rays of the sun. For this reason, I elected to use portable panels. I started off about a year ago with a GoPower 120W portable, which has a built in controller and provides a nice charging boost when boondocking. But recently, I added a new TM-2030 meter and an SC-2030 solar controller (I now bypass the small GoPower controller) along with two Renogy 100W panels that I hinged together into a second "portable."

In the morning they are pointed east and during the day I move them every couple of hours around to the south and then west, keeping them approximately perpendicular to the sun in azimuth. I also made them with adjustable props so I can tilt them to approximate perpendicularity in elevation. The angle of incidence makes quite a difference in the electrical output of your panels.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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A good rule of thumb is:

degrees latitude + 15 degrees
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:01 AM   #9
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Not only the tilt, but the proper orientation of the coach as well. Too limiting, IMHO. My panels are laid flat, plus ample capacity, plus I have a couple made portable that I can set out as needed.

PVWatts is a software tool that will allow you to model differing setups and scenarios. You might find it interesting to play with it.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:50 PM   #10
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is pvwatts downloadable or it a store brought program?
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