As an energy source that is sustainable, solar energy has become popular in recent years, and this article explores some facts about solar power Melbourne. When you drive through Melbourne suburbs, it is easy to spot 10 to 20 houses or buildings along Springvale road, Doncaster road and Dandenong road that features solar panels on the rooftop. But then, how much do you exactly know about this sustainable source?
Something You Better Know
The solar power exposure varies each day, depending on the season and weather. Generally, around the globe, the daily solar exposure ranges from 1 to 35 MJ m-2. Solar exposure reaches its maximum during summer daytime when the sky is clear, while it reaches its minimum during cloudy days in winter.
Total solar energy arriving at the surface of the Earth consists of two components, namely direct solar energy and diffuse solar energy. Direct solar energy is brought by the Sun’s beam, and it measures the energy falling onto the surface of the Earth. On the other hand, diffuse solar energy measures the amount of energy being taken away from the Sun’s beam as a result of atmosphere attenuating. The diffused energy is finally redirected and scattered toward the Earth’s surface.
How Much Power Could Solar Panel Generate for Melbournian
In Melbourne this year, the highest daily solar exposure was in January, with 29.9 MJ m-2 (equivalent to 8.3 kWh m-2), whereas the lowest daily solar energy was detected in June, with 5.2 MJ m-2 (equivalent to 1.4 kWh m-2). In the past five years, the annual daily mean solar power in Melbourne fluctuated from 14.4 to 15.1 MJ m-2 (equivalent to 4.0 to 4.2 kWh m-2). This means even though solar potential sometimes is high and sometimes is low during the year, the average solar power could be generated per day is about 4.0 to 4.2 kWh m-2.
Best Angle for Solar Panels
To maximize the solar power generation efficiency, solar panels need to be positioned perpendicular to the Sun’s direct beam. Particularly in Melbourne, placing solar panels on north-facing rooftops with 37.8 degrees pitch would allow optimal energy to be generated. Obviously, it would be ideal if your rooftop has exactly 37.8 degrees pitch, but if it does not or if your rooftop is flat, you could install a mounting device to reach the optimal degree. Another advantage of this mounting device is that it also allows dust being washed away by rainwater. It is essential to keep the solar panel free of dust as dust could prevent the solar radiation from directly contacting the panel surface and hence reduce the electricity generation capacity.
For more information, please visit:
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Australian Solar Radiation Data Handbook
Daily Global Solar Exposure
Optimum Angle For Solar Panels