Azimuth Angle
Azimuth Angle
Azimuth angle (ß)and tilt angle (α).

In order to most effectively use Solar Radiation, a PV Module or Collector of a photovoltaic system and Solar Heating System, respectively, is aligned to absorb or collect as much of the radiation as possible. The radiation's angle of incidence, the tilt angle of the module or collector, and the azimuth angle all play roles in achieving the greatest possible power production.

The azimuth angle ((ß) in the picture at right) specifies how many degrees the surface of the module or collector diverges from the exact south-facing direction. The tilt angle (α) specifies the divergence from the horizontal.

Experiments show that photovoltaic systems operate most effectively with an azimuth angle of about 0° and a tilt angle of about 30° . Of course small variances in these values are not at all problematic: with the system oriented towards the south-east or south-west, about 95 % of the highest possible amount of light can still be absorbed. Large systems with arrays are fitted with electric motors which track the sun in order to optimise output.

See also: Tracking Systems

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