The location of your Solar Panels is important. Having them close to your well is ideal as there will be less voltage loss as the electricity travels from the panels to the RPS Optimizer. You’ll also want to avoid areas of shade from nearby trees or buildings. The ideal orientation is facing directly south without shade for the entirety of the day. With that said, we have plenty of customers that have solar panels setup between gaps in trees and get enough water for their remote cabins.
Solar Panels are most efficient when facing as close to perpendicular to the sun as possible. As the sun travels at different angles during the day and through the year, it is impossible to keep panels perfectly perpendicular all the time without sophisticated dual axis tracking devices. The RPS optimized is designed to make the most out of the sunlight it gets using MPPT but it still helps to get the angle of your panels right for your latitude. Some recommend adjusting the angle of the panels a 2 to 4 times a year, it gets you a few percentage points in yearly efficiency. We recommend keeping a fixed angle or adjusting twice a year (March 30 and September 12th) Tilt angles for both are included below.
|Latitude||Fixed Tilt Angle||Summer / Winter|
|25° (Key West)||22°||2° / 41°|
|30° (Houston)||26°||7° / 46°|
|35° (Albuquerque)||30°||12° / 50°|
|40° (Denver)||34°||16° / 54°|
|45° (Minneapolis)||37°||21° / 59°|
|50° (Winnipeg)||41°||26° / 63°|
If you’ve got questions about any of the options below, call our team at 888-637-4493.
Solar Panel Dimensions
|Mounting Holes||Four 0.35in Diameter Holes along vertical sides of aluminum frame (see diagram) bolts/washers can be used to attach to metal, plywood, pipe or 2x4s.|
Easy to install. Just anchor down a 2″ Schedule 40 Steel Pipe vertically and our newest RPS Top-of-pole Mount fastens to the top. Allows you to adjust the tilt angle of the panels to get maximum pumping power year-round.
$149 for 2 Panels
|Wall Mount||This installation can easily accomplished with wood, pipes or using the RPS Tilt Mounts. It does require a building or branchless tree that is oriented with a south face. There are holes in the panels’ frames that match up with any RPS mounts, but if you’re using wood or your own metal, additional holes can also be carefully drilled in the frames, with nuts/bolts to fasten tight.
$49 per panel
|Angled Roof Mount||Similar to the wall mount and also requiring a south-facing rooftop. This installation can easily accomplished with wood or using the RPS Tilt Mounts. As with anything mounted on your roof, make sure to ground the panels well and attach in a secure and watertight manner.
$49 per panel
|Flat Roof/Surface Mount||
||Have a south-facing rooftop that is close to the proper tilt for your latitude? (see table above) With inexpensive L or Z brackets, panels can be fastened flat to the surface of the roof. As with anything mounted on your roof, make sure to ground the panels well and attach in a secure and watertight manner.
Z Brackets (shown at left): $13 per panel
|Ground Mount||Ground mounting is the easiest installation. We often recommend doing this until you decide how you want to do your final mounting. As long as the panels are in the sun, your pump will pump. You can use anything you’d like to prop the solar panels up or use the RPS Adjustable Tilt Mounts to attach to a wood or concrete footing. Be sure to ground the frame of the panels with a grounding rod. We do not recommend this if you have cattle or lots of animals around that could knock panels over.
$49 per panel
|DIY Wood or Pipe Mounting||Use wood or weld pipes for a pole mount. Pole mounting is best when elevating your panels is important for their safety. Most popular with livestock installations. Use wood and L/Z brackets ($12 each per panel) Bonus points if you can adjust the tilt based on season (recommended for higher Latitudes)
Cost of lumber and metal hardware.
|4 Panel Pole Mount||This is a rendering of a popular mount for 4 panels. We have a few other favorite installation photos so feel free to ask us. Most customers dig post holes and bed their 4 inch metal post into cement for added stability. This is especially important when mounting 4 panels on a single post.
$285 for 4 panels
|Four Post Frame (for large arrays)||When there are 8 or more panels to mount, our customers often build frames to hold the panels. Four posts get bedded in cement and horizontal supports are created with more pipe. Panels mount to these supports with special hardware. Ask us about these if you’re interested in something like this.|
Feel free to call and chat about any of the mounting options you see above. Every site is different and there is always a technique that will fit your site and budget. Our team would love to help. 888-637-4493