Optimum Tilt Angles for Photovoltaic Panels during Winter Months in the Vaal Triangle, South Africa


Optimizing the output power of a photovoltaic panel improves the efficiency of a solar driven energy system. The maximum output power of a photovoltaic panel depends on atmospheric conditions, such as (direct solar radiation, air pollution and cloud movements), load profile and the tilt and orientation angles. This paper describes an experimental analysis of maximizing output power of a photovoltaic panel, based on the use of existing equations of tilt angles derived from mathematical models and simulation packages. Power regulation is achieved by the use of a DC-DC converter, a fixed load resistance and a single photovoltaic panel. A data logger is used to make repeated measurements which ensure reliability of the results. The results of the paper were taken over a four month period from April through July. The photovoltaic panel was set to an orientation angle of 0? with tilt angles of 16?, 26? and 36?. Preliminary results indicate that tilt angles between 26? and 36? provide optimum photovoltaic output power for winter months in South Africa.

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O. Asowata, J. Swart and C. Pienaar, "Optimum Tilt Angles for Photovoltaic Panels during Winter Months in the Vaal Triangle, South Africa," Smart Grid and Renewable Energy, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012, pp. 119-125. doi: 10.4236/sgre.2012.32017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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