What Is The Best Angle For Solar Panels In Australia?

What Is The Best Angle For Solar Panels In Australia?

You’ve likely noticed your electricity bills climb up over the years, leading you to look into solar panels. But, since the upfront cost also makes solar a hefty investment, you understandably want to get the most of your money, too. Hence, why you’re asking:

What is the best angle for solar panels in Australia?

The general rule is that the ideal angle for solar panels is equal to the latitude angle of the install location. As always, however, it’s not always that simple, nor is it always possible.

This is where we come in. Below is a list of topics this article covers. Feel free to tap on any of the bullets to skip sections. Otherwise, let’s get to it!

The best angle for solar panels in Australia

Solar panels generate their maximum amount of power when they’re directly perpendicular to the sun. This means that the best solar panel angle is one that positions them 90° to the sun’s rays.

Ultimately, this usually makes the best angle for solar panels equal to the latitude angle of your property location. Needless to say, there will be differences from city to city but, for your reference, here’s a list of rounded up latitude angles for every Australian state:

  • New South Wales (NSW): 32°
  • Northern Territory (NT): 20°
  • Queensland (QLD): 21°
  • South Australia (SA): 30°
  • Tasmania (TAS): 42°
  • Victoria (VIC): 37°
Best Angle For Solar Panels In Australia
An infographic illustrating the optimal solar panel tilt in Australia.

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These optimal angles change if you’re trying to maximize power during the summer or winter months.

If you’re after the highest power output all throughout your solar panels’ life then, yes, the optimal solar panel angle is roughly equal to that of your property’s latitude angle.

However, the sun’s position in the sky changes during the summer and winter months. So, if you’re looking to maximize solar panel efficiency during either of these seasons, the optimal angle for solar panels changes as well.

  • For the winter months, the ideal angle is generally 15° higher than the latitude angle. This is to compensate for the sun lingering lower in the sky.
  • For summer, the optimum solar panel angle becomes 3-6° lower than the latitude angle to compensate for the sun being higher in the sky.

What if my roof’s pitch isn’t the same as my property’s latitude angle?

Well, first thing you should do is to stop worrying so much — and I say that from the bottom of my heart.

Because, really, not having the optimal angle for solar panels barely affects your system’s maximum efficiency. If your roof’s pitch is off by 10°-15°, your output loss will only be roughly 1-1.5%.

Meaning, instead of operating at 100% of its rated efficiency, your system will be running at 98.5-99%. That’s not bad. At all.

What if my roof is dead flat?

Admittedly, a flat roof isn’t an ideal place to install solar panels but it’s not impossible either.

A flat roof pitch means less solar exposure which means lower solar power output. But the silver lining here is that there are several mounts that allow you to install solar panels at a certain tilt angle.

These tilt mounts allow for more versatile installations where you can control the orientation of your solar panels. The tilt also helps rainwater slide off the panels, thereby keeping it clean.

This brings us to the next question.

Are tilt mounts worth the money?

Well, yes and no (but, really, it’s a yes). Let me unpack that for you.

On one hand, tilt mounts cost extra. They’re not all that expensive but, yes, it’s more money out of your pocket. The upside, however, is that you’ll undoubtedly be able to generate more solar power over the lifespan of your solar panels.

On the other hand, you could opt to install solar panels flat. You could save a bit of money in the short-term this way.

This is essentially the classic case of spend more now to save more later vs. spend less now but save less overall.

Ah, the million-dollar (or perhaps a few hundred-dollar) question. Is it worth spending extra on those tilt mounts?

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Conclusion: Use your roof’s natural pitch

Except, of course, if you have a flat roof. In that case, consider tilt mounts so you get more for your money.

In any other case, however, your roof’s pitch should be perfectly fine to use even if it’s not the optimal angle. There are other, more drastic “mistakes” about buying solar panels that you can make, after all.

For one, the power loss is more than likely going to be minimal which means you will still end up saving a lot of money. And, if you’re so worried, you could always opt for better quality solar panels with better efficiencies and power outputs.

In the end, though, the choice will always be yours. To help give you choices, we have a network of pre-vetted solar installers at your disposal. When you need it, we can get you 3 FREE quotes from them right away.