When is The Best Time to Use Solar Electricity?

Updated: December 1, 2023

Understanding when is the best time to use solar electricity, and how to make the most out of your solar panel system, is important if you want to lower your electricity bill and reduce the carbon footprint of your household.

Solar panels are most efficient when the sun hits them directly instead of at an angle as it rise and falls. That would be between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm each day.

The first step towards energy freedom is relying less on electricity imported from the grid and using clean and free solar energy.

The middle of the day, between 9 am and 3 pm, is the best time to use solar-generated electricity because the sun is strongest then. This, of course, can vary depending on the orientation and tilt of your solar panels. Also, the area you live in and the time of the year is essential.

Solar orientation and solar energy-producing

In Australia, north-facing panels usually provide the most energy output because Australia is in the southern hemisphere and experiences a sun that is mostly directed from the north.

  • North-facing panels reach their peak from 9 am to 2 pm,
  • West-facing panels reach their peak from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Best months of the year for solar production

Solar panels produce the most energy during periods when the days are longer and the sun is therefore available for longer. Those are therefore the best months for solar production because the solar system usually triples in its production. The best months are therefore ranging from October to April in the Southern Hemisphere.

Is too much sun a bad thing?

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels don’t need the heat from the sun.

They don’t have insulation and therefore lack protection from excess heat absorption.

This is usually detrimental to their functionality and that’s why they can work optimally during the cold season.

Do solar panels work best in summer?

Indeed, solar panels work most efficiently during summer, but it’s not because of the extent of the heat during that season. It’s usually because the sun shines for longer, and brighter and hits your solar panels on the best angle for max absorption.

What is the best orientation for maximum efficiency?

Some of the factors that affect the efficiency of solar energy production are beyond your control, but you can choose the most ideal orientation to maximize output.
You should have your panels facing north. This will allow the longest axis to be facing east and west. Don’t just have the profile facing “the sun” where it sits now as that will change during the year.

Pitch is also important. The optimum range is 20 – 30 degrees for optimum power generation, but you could go down to 10 degrease without losing much efficiency in power output.

A minimum of 10 degrees is recommended so the panels are self-cleaning when leaves fall and when it rains.

Ben McInerney head shotAuthor: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowner.

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