DUAL ORIENTATION vs SINGLE ORIENTATION
Most Indian solar installations utilize a single (South facing) orientation of the PV modules, without analysis of the specifics or alternative options. A great alternative solution for mounting solar modules is a Dual (East-West facing) orientation of the PV system. The following analysis details the benefits of single and dual orientation PV systems.
Single Orientation (South)
- Sun can be tracked to its maximum limit
- Can extract maximum energy
- Major downside with a Single orientation is it that requires a larger area due to inter-row spacing.
- Possible losses due to shading from row of modules in front
- Favorable for places with high energy demand
Dual Orientation (East-West)
- Preferred method for optimization of available space
- Maximizing the number of PV modules by 20-50% on same area (in comparison to south facing orientation)
- No major shading threats
- Less wind load due to aerodynamic shape of system.
- Mismatching losses can be avoided by keeping the same inclination of modules within one string
- Single inverter with a dual MPP tracker to reduce the system size and the number of inverters, thereby reducing total cost
Benefits of Dual Orientation (E-W)
- Over 20-50% more installed capacity in the given area: 1 kWp power on 7.5-8.5 sqm roof
- Higher yield per sqm of installed area due to the minimizing shading distances
- Even distribution of power generation throughout the day
- Higher power generation during peak demand hours (morning and evening), leading to savings with respect to ‘Time of Use’ tariff system
- Reduction of wind load due to aerodynamic shape of the system