Solar Collector Installation
Before installing a solar water heating system, the direction, angle and location of the solar collector on the house must be determined. The most fundamental requirement is exposing the solar collector to the most sunlight possible each day and throughout the year. The following information is a basic guide.
Solar collectors should face as close as possible to the equator, which is the direction of the midday sun. Based on needing to face the equator, this means that in the northern hemisphere the collector should face south, in the southern hemisphere the collector should face north.
It may not always be possible to mount the collector due north/south, and so 15o east or west is acceptable and will not reduce collector output too much. Facing the collector more easterly will increase morning sunlight exposure, westerly will increase afternoon sunlight exposure. Pointing further away from the equator direction will reduce daily output and so a larger solar system may be required. This should be considered by the system designer or installer when sizing the system.The diagram above shows the approximate losses in output for solar collectors when installed at angles off equator pointing.
The solar collector position greatly depends on the design of the building. While adhering to the goal of facing the equator, there are many options for the collector location, as shown in the diagram below.
The collectors can be roof mounted, wall mounted or even ground mounted as shown in the diagram above.
Key considerations for position are:
Check out the video below to see an installation in action.