We should start this article by saying unless you have shading issues, you will always get more out of your system having your panels installed in a north facing direction, as this is where useful sunlight is most intense.
However, as not all houses have north facing roof space, and as it becomes more economical to have larger solar systems, we need to explore what options are available.
Using the PV Watts Calculator for a 5kW North Facing system, we find the average output in suburban Newcastle NSW would be around 7,400kWh/year. With an assumed 30% consumption figure and an average FiT(Feed in Tariff) of 11.1c/kWh, this equates to an estimated saving of $1,300/year.
Using the same method for an Easterly facing 5kW System, PV Watts suggests an annual output of 6,600kWh, and Westerly facing output of 6200kWh/year. Assuming the usage and FiT conditions remain the same, these two systems provide us with estimated savings in the order of $1,150/year & $1,100/year respectively.
One thing to consider when deciding between East and West facing solar systems is “When will I be able to use the most of my solar?” For most people, the answer to this question is when you’ll be home, and this is usually late afternoon when we get home from work. For this reason, we would suggest the West facing system as there is potential for you to consume more of your generated solar and, at the same time, increase your savings.
In conclusion, each system should be custom designed to suit the customer’s usage and property. At Solar Power Australia we aim to provide you with the system that best suits you, because we know, not one system suits everybody.