As Australia has a higher solar radiation density than all other continents, solar power systems in Australia produce more power than anywhere else in the world. The optimum placement for solar panels on Australian homes is a north-facing roof pitched at an angle of 20-30 degrees, however, lower or higher pitched roofs can be used to great effect, as can east or west-facing panels, though these typically generate 15-17% less than panels which face north.
Eastern panels generate power early in the day as the sun rises overhead, with the north and western panels generating more of the power as the sun heads westward and the day draws to an end. You might like to consider placing a section of panels on the western aspect to improve production in the afternoon and early evening when more household appliances and digital devices are in use. Despite lower production rates, this option offers financial advantages as you’re using the power you’re producing, thus reducing the amount of grid electricity drawn.
Solar panels produce energy from sunlight, not heat, with hotter days producing more sunshine for the panels to convert into electricity. Something that many homeowners may not realise, is that heat actually has a negative effect on solar panels. What’s more, as solar panels are tested in conditions that are unable to be replicated even in countries like Australia, these panels will never actually perform at their peak power output and will reach around 85% of their peak power output in the middle of a perfect summer’s day.
For this reason, estimated energy yields are given in kWh (units) per day, because this is how you buy electricity from your energy retailer, and if you’re eligible, it’s also how you sell them your excess power. To make the most informed decisions about your system’s performance, focus on the energy (kWh) yield.