One of the first things to consider when installing a solar power system in Nigeria is the direction to be faced by the solar panels. This aspect of solar panel installation is quite important because it can make or mar your solar power system.
If your panels face the wrong direction, they would do a poor job at capturing solar energy, leaving you with poorly charged batteries and, ultimately, an unsatisfactory experience.
Now, which direction should solar panels face in Nigeria?
Solar panels in Nigeria should face the SOUTH direction. So just download a compass app and figure out which direction is South. That’s where your solar panels should face.
If you want a detailed explanation of the brief answer above, then read on to learn more.
Why Solar Panels Should Face the South in Nigeria
It is common knowledge that the sun rises from the East and sets in the West. If your solar panels face the East, they would only capture solar energy from the time of sunrise until the time when the sun reaches its zenith (around midday). On the other hand, if your solar panels face the West, they would only capture solar energy from when the sun passes its meridian (after midday) until the time of sunset. Neither option is cool. What you sure want is to have your panels capturing solar energy right from the time of sunrise to the time of sunset.
For maximal harvesting of solar energy, your solar panels must face a midpoint between the East and the West. This mid-point is determined by your geographical location relative to the equator. For locations in the northern hemisphere, solar panels should face the south, and for locations in the southern hemisphere, panels should face the North.
Because Nigeria lies in the Northern Hemisphere, solar panels installed in the country would capture maximum solar energy when made to face the South. This way, solar panels would remain exposed to the sun’s rays from the time of sunrise to the time of sunset.
What about inclination?
Nigeria is just slightly above the equator. This explains why minimal inclination (vertical tilt) is all you need when installing solar panels in Nigeria. According to experts, the sweet spot for solar panel inclination in Nigeria is between 6 and 30 degrees from the horizontal. The higher you go beyond this range, the less effective your panels would be in harvesting solar energy. Setting your solar panels dead flat isn’t a good idea, either.
When it comes to getting maximal solar energy to your panels, your best bet is to install them on a heliostat, which moves with the sun. With that, no sun rays would elude your panels.