Tilt your solar panels in winter for best results

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Tilt your solar panels? If you’re a “summer only” RVer leaving your solar panels flat on the roof makes good sense. But for those who boondock in the winter, tilting your solar panels can really make a difference. Why? Solar panels are most efficient when the sun falls on them at a 90-degree angle. Since the sun’s relative position in the sky drops in winter, getting full output requires compensating the angle of the panel.

Here’s a chart that helps you figure out the tilt angle for your panel. You’ll note that major cities on opposite sides of the country are listed, showing an approximate latitude for them. Find your location on a parallel between these cities, then use the associated angle to set your tilt.


Tilt your solar panels in winter for best results

Planning on wintering farther north than these latitudes? Skip the tilt chart, and instead consult the yellow pages under the heading “psychoanalysts.” —Russ and Tiña De Maris

##RVDT1178

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Don

Not sure where you got your “winter” solar tilt chart but from comparing it to many other reputable solar tilt charts yours is off, especially in the snowbird states. Tucson or Yuma at 32 degrees should be at least 47 degrees not 39 degrees.

Michael

A problem with tilting solar panels is that you have to position your rig so that the tilt direction is correct. Probably not always easy in all camping situations.

Tommy Molnar

“Planning on wintering farther north than these latitudes? Skip the tilt chart, and instead consult the yellow pages under the heading “psychoanalysts.” Best advice in the whole article!