Solar Panel Mountings
Solar panels should be mounted securely in position with maximum sun exposure
- Roof mounted solar panels
Avoid installing solar modules where they are shaded for some part of the day. It is worth noting that with even a small portion shaded a solar module's performance will be reduced by so much that it will not be effective for any practical purpose. Tests by Solarbarn have shown that a 20 watt Suntech solar panel placed in direct sunlight produced a current output of 1.1A. it was then partly shaded by placing a sheet of cardboard over just one of the 18 cells. The output current was reduced to 0.1A, less than on-tenth of the module's maximum output.
Try to avoid having panels installed horizontally as this will allow debris and leaves to build up on the cells and render the module ineffective, elevate one end as much as possible to minimise debris buildup. If the solar panel is flush mounted then try to avoid having the panel frame touching the roof. Leave an air gap underneath to assist cooling. Solar panels produce less power on hot days so every bit of cooling helps. Allow at least 2 cm between solar module's frame and the roof.
- Pole mounted solar panels
This is the best way to mount solar panels to ensure it has the correct tilt and orientation. Solar panels should face due north in Australia and tilted about 45 degrees to get as much winter sun as possible Pole mounted solar modules are usually placed some distance from the load so power transmission cables should be protected inside weatherproof cable conduit. Lay them underground or well supported and elevated above traffic height .