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Solar Questions: Why are some solar panels tilted up off the roof?

Q: I was driving around and saw a solar system where the panels were tilted up off the roof. Why would someone do that instead of put them flat to the roof like they normally are?

A: That raised up racking is called reverse tilt. Why would you need this? If part of your solar array needs to go on a Northern slope of your roof, reverse tilt allows us to raise the panels back towards the South, which increases production dramatically over a flush mount on the North.

Reverse Tilt Racking on a north slope.

The story of two mounting styles.

A lifetime output on a home with both North and South flush mounted panels. See the production difference for the North facing panels?

North flush mount versus South flush mount

This house has flush mounted 330 watt LG panels on both the North and the South. We could not do reverse tilt on this install because the North slope of the house faces the street. The owner was not okay with how that looked, so we needed to add a few more modules to the design to make the production come out to 100% offset. Check out the lifetime power outputs to see how flush mount on the North compares to flush mount on the South. You can see a 20% difference in overall production.

North reverse tilt mount versus South flush mount

Comparing the lifetime output on North Reverse Tilt Mounting versus South Flush Mounted solar panels

This house in Spring Valley has reverse tilted 330 watt LG modules on the North and flush mount 330 watt LG modules on the South. Check out the lifetime power outputs to see how the two compare. The reverse tilt modules slightly outperform the flush mounted ones! Why? The raised up racking allows for more ventilation around the panels and inverters which leads to better production.

Before you ask, this type of racking is certified for up to 125 mph winds. The roof attachments are closer together than those for a flush mount. It is a safe and effective way to maximize your investment in solar if your have a north facing roof. 

Both of these systems have been on for a full year, so you can easily see the benefits of reverse tilt mounting. If you are ready for a quote on solar or have a solar question we should answer, reach out by phone at 702-614-4900 or just click here. 

How come we can see panel level production on all of our 35,000 modules? It’s the awesome Enphase micro inverters we use. Check out why they are superior to old fashioned string inverters here.

 

 

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