Solar Panel Angle Calculator

Typical Cost of a Remodeling Project
Low
$3,780
Average
$8,900
High
$14,300
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Solar Panel Angle Calculator estimates the best solar panels angle (tilt) for your zip code, based on Latitude and Sun Hours.

Simply enter you zip code, and you will get the best angle for your solar panels, your latitude, ideal roof pitch and estimated production for a 10KW solar panel system.

Calculate Best Solar Angle & Roof Pitch


Ideal Solar Panels Angle
Your Latitude
Ideal Summer / Winter Angle
Ideal Roof Pitch

There is a notion that the ideal roof slope or solar panels angle is your Latitude.

However, the reality is different.

Because the sun’s angle changes depending on the time of year, the ideal Year-Round angle is usually 5-7 degrees less than the Latitude angle, in terms of Solar PV production. This is mainly due to a large drop in winter production for a steep solar angle.

Why Tilt of Your Solar Panels is Important?

Best Solar Panels Angle

If the angle of your solar panels is too far off from the ideal tilt, you can see a massive loss of power production. Below is approximate loss of production for every 5 degrees of deviation from the “norm”. Not that for the first 15° the loss is not significant. However it starts to “grow” very fast, the further away you are from ideal tilt. Basically the loss is NOT linear, but exponential

Estimated Generation & Losses of a 10 KW Solar PV Sytemt in Virginia, based on Deviation from Ideal Angle

Deviation (°)10 KW ProductionLoss (kWh)Loss (%)
16,884 kWh 52 kWh 0.31%
10°16,695 kWh 241 kWh 1.42%
15°16,399 kWh 537 kWh 3.17%
20°15,960 kWh 976 kWh 5.76%
25°15,398 kWh 1,538 kWh 9.08%
30°14,699 kWh 2,237 kWh 13.21%
35°13,948 kWh 2,988 kWh 17.64%
40°13,122 kWh 3,814 kWh 22.52%
45°11,789 kWh 5,147 kWh 30.39%

Basically, if your ideal angle is 30° and your panels are installed flat (30° deviation), you will be losing around 13.21% of production due to angle of the sun and your panels.

In terms of actual production, if a 10kW solar PV system in VA, is estimated to produce 16,936 kWhs (under ideal conditions, and no other losses).

With a tilt deviation, it would produce 16,934 kWhs, resulting in a loss of 2,237 kWhs of the annual production.

Loss percentages will vary ever so slightly, in different areas of US, but in general, these numbers are a good enough measure to calculate tilt losses.

From these numbers, we can conclude that installing solar panes on the northern-facing side of the roof, will result in tremendous production losses. We strongly recommend that homeowners refrain from doing so, in pursuit of “installed KWs”. In the end, your cost per watt on norther-facing roof slopes will often be double that of a south-facing roof slope!

Best Angle For Solar Panels Angle In Los Angeles, CA

CA Solar Panels

Los Angeles, CA latitude is 34.0549°

Best Solar Panles Angle: 28.76°
Ideal Roof Pitch for Solar: 7/12
Sun Hours / Day: 5.38
10 kW Solar Production: 16,888 - 17,673 kWh

California is a pretty sunny place with 5.38 hour of sunlight per day! Estimated electricity output of a 10 KW soalr PV system in Los Angeles is 17,281 kWhs per year.

With average electric rate in CA being $0.2862/kWh, if you use ALL of your solar electricity, that would result is savings of around $5,058/year!

Best Use of Solar Electricity in CA:

With cost of gasoline in CA around $4.41786, charging your Tesla (or other EV) is extremely cost efficicent!

Same goes for heating and cooling your home with a Heat Pump! You would be saving around $1,481 on cooling, and $529 on heating your home each year!

LA Ideal Solar Panels Angle by Month:

MonthAnglePitch
January38.8°10/12
February33.8°8/12
March28.8°7/12
April23.8°5/12
May18.8°4/12
June13.8°3/12
July18.8°4/12
August23.8°5/12
September28.8°7/12
October33.8°8/12
November38.8°10/12
December43.8°12/12

While solar is great in California, how well does it work in the Northern states? Let’s take a look at the New York area (metro New York city, Long Island, and Westchester County)!

Best Solar Panels Angle For New York, NY

NY Solar Panels

New York, NY latitude is 34.0549°

Best Solar Panles Angle: 31.84°
Ideal Roof Pitch for Solar: 7/12
Sun Hours / Day: 3.79
10 kW Solar Production: 11,897 - 12,450 kWh

New York is a pretty sunny place with 3.79 hour of sunlight per day! Estimated electricity output of a 10 KW soalr PV system in New York is 12,173 kWhs per year.

With average electric rate in NY being $0.2462/kWh, if you use ALL of your solar electricity, that would result is savings of around $3,065/year!

Best Use of Solar Electricity in NY:

With cost of gasoline in NY around $3.75579, charging your Tesla (or other EV) is extremely cost efficicent!

Same goes for heating and cooling your home with a Heat Pump! You would be saving around $731 on cooling, and $2,325 on heating your home each year!

New York Ideal Solar Panels Angle by Month:

MonthAnglePitch
January41.8°11/12
February36.8°9/12
March31.8°7/12
April26.8°6/12
May21.8°5/12
June16.8°4/12
July21.8°5/12
August26.8°6/12
September31.8°7/12
October36.8°9/12
November41.8°11/12
December46.8°13/12


About Leo Bender

Leo has been a contractor since 2003, specializing in: roofing, siding, general contracting (GC) and residential remodeling. Leo is also a Certified HVAC, Oil & Gas Heating Technician/Installer. In addition to roofing and remodeling, Leo is passionate about Solar, green building and energy conservation, so a lot of my time and energy goes to installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems.


See more about Remodeling Calculator team here


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