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A Demand Based Optimum Solar Panel Orientation

[+] Author Affiliations
Mohammad H. Naraghi

Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY

Paper No. IMECE2010-37918, pp. 1055-1063; 9 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The clear sky and monthly clearness index models are used to evaluate the hourly and monthly insolation on unit area of a tilted surface for the entire year. The hourly power consumption of a typical municipality (for this case New York City) for typical summer and winter days are used to determine the tilt and azimuth angles of a solar panel such that the solar energy reached the panel best match the energy consumption pattern. For the example case considered, in this work New York City, the electric power consumption peaks during summers at afternoon hours, due to increase in building cooling loads. It is found that orienting the solar panel at a westward azimuth angle with a tilt angle that results in maximum annual insolation is the best orientation of the solar panel for responding to both the peak energy demand and having reasonably high overall annual power generation. Although the model is used to optimize the solar panel orientation for New York City, it can however, be used for any building at any location as long as the needed solar data and power consumption pattern are known.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Solar energy



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