What Is the Best Solar Panel Angle and Orientation?

Solar panels’ output and performance depend on the tilt angle. This article covers standard roof tilts and factors affecting efficiency. The angle of solar installation is crucial for optimal energy production. Consider geographic location, season, and roof structure for the best tilt and orientation.

What is Solar Panel Angle?

Tilt angle is how much your solar array tilts from the ground to face the sun. Adjusting this angle ensures maximum sunlight and electricity generation. The ideal angle changes with your location’s latitude and the time of year. Optimizing the tilt angle boosts the efficiency and output of your solar panel system.

Determining Optimum Solar Panel Angle by Zip Code

To find the best angle for your solar panels, search for your home’s latitude on Google. The ideal angle is close to your latitude. In summer, subtract 15 degrees. In winter, add 15 degrees.

Solar Panel Angle and the Impact of Seasons

The angle of your solar panels depends on your location and the seasons. In summer, the sun is higher in the sky. In winter, it is lower. Adjust the tilt of your panels each season. This maximizes energy production and optimizes year-round output.

What is Solar Panel Orientation?

Solar Panel Orientation

Solar panel orientation is the direction the solar panel faces: north, south, east, or west. Panels should align with true direction, not magnetic poles. True north aligns with Earth’s actual axis. East or west-facing panels produce 20% less energy. The best orientation north of the equator is true south. This maximises sun exposure and electricity production.

Why Does Solar Panel Angle Matter?

The tilt of the panels is crucial for maximizing energy generation. In winter in the northern hemisphere, the sun is low on the horizon. Tilting the panels to face the lower sun captures more sunlight and produces more solar power. Adjusting the tilt angle ensures efficient solar energy harnessing year-round.

Factors Affecting the Optimum Solar Panel Angle

Since solar panel angles are the vertical tilt of your solar system, various factors ensure you have the optimal angle for your solar panels.

Roof Tilt

Every roof is different; consider its tilt before installing solar panels. A steep roof may not suit traditional racking. You might need to lay the panels flat. Low-angle roofs can be tricky and might need special solar racking. Flush-mounting on a low-angle roof generates less electricity and reduces savings.


To maximize solar savings, angle your panels to optimize sunlight exposure. Match the tilt to your home’s latitude, usually between 30 and 45 degrees. This ensures peak performance year-round.

Time of Year/Season

The time of year affects solar panel performance due to the sun’s position. In winter, the sun is lower on the horizon in the northern hemisphere, making it harder for panels to capture sunlight and generate energy.

How to Calculate Solar Panel Tilt Angle?

Calculation Method One

The optimum tilt angle changes with the season by adjusting 15 degrees from your latitude.

  • Winter: Add 15 degrees to your latitude. For a latitude of 34°, the optimal tilt angle is 49° (34 + 15).
  • Summer: Subtract 15 degrees from your latitude. For a latitude of 34°, the optimal tilt angle is 19° (34 – 15).

Calculation Method Two

This method improves results by considering solar intensity variations throughout the year.

  • Winter: Multiply the latitude by 0.9 and add 29° for the optimal tilt angle. For a latitude of 34°, the angle is 59.6°. It’s about 10° steeper than the general method but captures the midday sun during short winter days.
  • Summer: Multiply the latitude by 0.9 and subtract 23.5°. For a latitude of 34°, the angle is 7.1°.
  • Spring and Fall: Subtract 2.5° from the latitude. For a latitude of 34°, the angle is 31.5°.

Which Is More Important: Angle or Orientation?

Orientation and angle are crucial for optimal solar panel performance. To maximise sunlight, panels should face true south in the northern hemisphere. Proper orientation is vital; without it, even the best angle won’t deliver maximum energy.

Adjust the tilt angle seasonally to boost energy output. Orientation ensures steady energy, while angle fine-tunes it. Balance both for the best results.


What angle is best for solar panels?

The best angle for solar panels depends on your home’s location and the time of year. Match the angle to your home’s latitude, usually between 30 and 45 degrees. Adjust the tilt seasonally for optimal energy production. In winter, add 15 degrees to your latitude. In summer, subtract 15 degrees. For better results, multiply your latitude by 0.9 and add 29 degrees in winter or subtract 23.5 degrees in summer. South-facing panels tilted between 15 and 40 degrees work for most homes.

Should solar panels be flat or angled?

Solar panels work best when angled. Angled panels capture more sunlight throughout the day and across seasons. A slight tilt helps remove dust, leaves, and snow. This prevents blockage and maintains efficiency. A 15 to 40-degree angle is optimal for south-facing panels, ideally matching your latitude. While flat panels may perform better in some cases, angled panels are easier to maintain and better for most homes.

Is it worth tilting your solar panels?

Tilting your solar panels maximizes energy production and efficiency. Proper tilting captures more sunlight throughout the day and seasons, boosting electricity generation. Tilted panels shed dust, leaves, and snow more effectively. The best tilt angle varies by location and season, but south-facing panels between 15 and 40 degrees usually perform well. Even if your roof angle isn’t perfect, most setups will generate enough energy to justify the costs.

    Get In Touch