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.
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
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