To extract the most energy possible from a solar photovoltaic power system, each panel should ideally track the sun during the day. Unfortunately, the majority of tiny solar power systems use fixed panels since doing so is frequently prohibitively expensive. The direction in which the panels should be installed is then a question.

What angle should I tilt my Solar Panel?

Solar panels should face directly into the sun to produce the most energy. To maximize the output of your array, read this article to learn how to determine the ideal tilt and azimuth angles.

  • Elevation Angle: Your panels’ vertical tilt.
  • The horizontal orientation of your panels with respect to the equator is known as their azimuth angle

Direct exposure to the sun is how solar panels perform at their optimum. But because the sun moves across the sky throughout the day, it makes that work more difficult. As the seasons change, so does the angle of the sky.

Angles of tilt and azimuth are measured with respect to the equator. While some individuals prefer to be hands-on with their system and make adjustments to maximize output, others prefer to set it at one angle and forget it.

Optimal Azimuth Angle for Solar Panels

Your solar panels should be oriented toward the equator for best effects. Face south if you reside in the Northern Hemisphere. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, face them north. You should specifically direct your panels away from the magnetic south reading on your compass and toward true north.

When they discover that their compass isn’t entirely accurate, many people are shocked. The compass needle is pulled away from true north or true south as a result of magnetic forces in the Earth’s core. The reading on the compass may be up to 25° off, depending on where you are.

Northern Hemisphere:
  • Rotate your panels eastward if the magnetic inclination is east (positive).
  • Rotate your solar panels west if your magnetic inclination is west (negative).
South Hemisphere:
  • Rotate your solar panels west if your magnetic inclination is east (positive).
  • Rotate your solar panels east if your magnetic inclination is west (negative).

For example You have a magnetic declination of approximately 11° east if you reside in San Diego, California. Start by locating the magnetic south because San Diego lies in the Northern Hemisphere, then move 11 degrees to the east.

Finding the optimal tilt for the Solar Panels

Here, you have two choices: choose one Angle and leave it alone, or change the tilt sometimes during the year to enhance seasonal productivity. Set your panels’ tilt angles to match your latitude if you never want to bother with adjustments.

For the purpose of this example, let’s use the latitude of 32.7157°N to refer to San Diego. If you left your panels at a setting of about 33 degrees, you’d be fine.

  • Tilt your panels to match your latitude for year-round production efficiency.
  • By tilting your panels at your latitude minus 10-15°, you can lean toward more production in the summer.
  • Tilt your panels at your latitude + 10-15° to lean toward more electricity production in the winter.

Seasoned Adjustments to Optimal Tilt Angle

Here is the recommended schedule for adjusting your solar panels’ angle if you can do so a couple of times annually:

  • Turn the panels toward your latitude in the spring.
  • In the summer, tilt the panels down 15° from your latitude.
  • Turn the panels to face your latitude in the fall.
  • In winter, adjust the panels by 15° to your latitude.


Although these are broad recommendations, you might achieve greater outcomes by tailoring your adjustment schedule to your area. You can learn more by visiting, an outdated but still very useful resource that describes (in great depth) how to tilt your panels to maximize their output.