8 Reasons to Install an Adjustable Solar Panel Mount
Are your solar panels mounted in a fixed position? Are you currently installing solar panels and want to get the most power output from them?
If so, then you should considered installing an adjustable solar panel mount, so you can change the solar panel angle throughout the year, or even throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.
Adjusting the angle of your solar panels is the best way to gain more power without spending extra money on expensive solar panels! Keep reading to find out the top 8 reasons why you should install an adjustable mount today.
1. Save Money
Saving money is our number one reason to install an adjustable solar mount. Instead of buying more solar panels, an adjustable mount will allow you to change the angle of the solar panel throughout the year and increase the total amp hours in a given day.
A 100 watt solar panel costs around $150 online, while an adjustable mount can be purchased for around $50. In the long run, adjusting the solar panel angle with the changing seasons, will save money and can pay for the mount in less than a year due to the increased power output.
2. Minimize Effects of Harsh Weather
Severe weather can be hard on solar panels, especially snow, hail and strong winds. With an adjustable solar panel mount, it is easy to lower the panel flat against the surface it is mounted. This helps minimize the wind load and prevents damage. When a solar panel is laid flat, it is also easier to cover and protect by a sturdy object.
3. Increase Solar Panel Power Output
Solar panel current output is dictated by the “cosine effect”. That is, the amount of current from a solar panel depends on the sun angle.
When the sun is perpendicular to the panel, a 0 degree sun angle, the panel will produce the most power. The cosine of 0 degrees is 1, meaning full output.
Any angle greater than 0 degrees will decrease the current output. By adjusting the solar panel angle and achieving a sun angle as close to zero, will produce the most amount of power.
Say you need to charge you batteries in the afternoon. Adjusting the mount so the solar panels are perpendicular to the sun, will ensure your batteries are charged for nighttime operation.
4. Reduce View Obstructions
Let’s face it, solar panel are not the most beautiful thing to look at. With an adjustable solar panel mount, it is possible to lay the panels flat and eliminate the view obstruction. Maybe you are parked in Yosemite Valley or another wilderness area, being able to get the solar panels out of sight can be a great thing.
With adjustable solar panel mounts you will be able to raise them in the morning to charge batteries and lay them flat in the evening when you want to sit outside and enjoy the view.
5. Increase Transportability
If your solar panels are mounted on an RV or other vehicle at a fixed angle greater than flat against the roof, this can greatly decrease gas mileage. You may not even realize how much this is affecting gas mileage.
A minor reduction in gas millage of 0.5 MPG due to solar panels over 10,000 miles a year can cost over a hundred dollar a year in additional gasoline, much less than purchasing an adjustable solar panel mount.
The best thing to do before driving, is to lay the panels flat against the roof of the vehicle. This improves gas mileage and helps reduce the chances of damaging the solar panel.
6. Maximize Power Output for a Fixed Surface Area
Most of the time solar panels are installed in area with a fixed amount of surface area. Be it the roof of a RV, travel trailer, shed, etc… In these cases only so many solar panels can fit in the given area. Your only option to increase power output will be to install an adjustable mount. By adjusting the solar panel angles, you will be able to optimize your area usage and maximize the power output.
7. Park in the Shade
Solar panels mounted in a fixed position of the roof of a car are usually difficult to remove to place in the sun. Because of this, most people have to part in the sun, which can drive air conditional usage.
Most solar panel tilt mounts are easy to remove from the roof of a vehicle and with an extension cable can be moved into the sun. This allows the vehicle to part in the shade with the solar panels located out in the sun, decreasing air conditioner usage.
8. Don’t Buy Mounting Hardware Twice
There is a motto, “Buy once, cry once”. Spending the money to buy an adjustable mount upfront instead of upgrading later will save you money in the long run. You will likely want to upgrade to an adjustable mount within the first year, so save your money and start with a high quality adjustable mount from the get go.