Solar energy is a plentiful resource that’s free, easy to install, and helps the environment. So when people decide to switch to clean energy, figuring out how to calculate solar panel tilt often vexes them.

But figuring out how to get the right tilt of your solar panels is paramount to getting the most out of your solar panels. So here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about calculating the degree of inclination.

How to Calculate Solar Panel Tilt

Solar panel tilt is vital in optimizing electricity production for a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Correctly positioning these angles maximizes the amount of available light throughout the year.

To calculate your optimal solar panel tilt angle, you’ll need these two pieces of information: the latitude of the installation address and the date you wish to calculate the angle. Once you have these two data points, use the equation Tilt Angle = Latitude +/- 15. For example, if the location’s latitude is 30°N, and you want to calculate the optimal angle for June 21, the equation would be 30 +/- 15 = 45°.

It is the optimal angle for the panels in the summer. To calculate for other seasons, use the 15° deviations for the appropriate months: September, December, March, and June.

Always remember that the tilt should always be at or sloping towards the equator- never upwards! With the proper tilt angle, your solar power system should be able to generate excellent results.

Essential Tools Needed for Tilt Calculations

Determining the tilt angle of a solar panel is an essential part of any solar system design. To do this, you will need a few basic tools. 


To accurately calculate the solar panel tilt, a clinometer is a standard instrument used in solar orientation. It is a simple device that uses a magnet and a needle to measure angles accurately. Once the clinometer is set to a horizontal position, you can use it to measure the tilt of the solar panel optimization to maximize the potential of solar energy. 

Angle Finder

Calculating the solar panel tilt is an essential step in increasing the efficiency of a solar panel system. Angle finder can help you determine the optimal tilt angle for your solar panel system.

It involves first measuring the latitude at which your solar panel is located. With this measurement, you can deduct the sun’s angle from an angle finder chart.

According to the chart, the latitude should be used to project the sun’s arc for your season. It determines the optimal angle your solar panel placement should have to maximize efficiency. 


To calculate the tilt of a solar panel, one should use a protractor. The installation latitude can be found online, on a map, or with a specialty navigator device. From there, one should set the protractor so that the zero mark is lined up with the location’s latitude.

The protractor should then be held parallel to the ground, and the sun’s angle can be read at the point the sun is directly overhead. This angle read from the protractor will then be the angle of the solar panel tilt.

Estimating Tilt Angle Based on Location

To calculate the optimal tilt angle for a solar panel based on location, the first step is to identify the location’s latitude and longitude. Once that is known, the variance of the sun’s angle throughout the year can be used to determine the ideal tilt angle for the region.

Tilt angles tend to be close to the location’s latitude but can vary by up to twenty degrees. If the latitude is 30 degrees north, an angle of around 30 degrees should work well.

As the latitude increases, the ideal angle tends to increase to get the most out of the price of solar panels. At times of the year when there is more direct sunlight, an angle of up to 45 or even 60 degrees may be ideal. After calculating the tilt angle, the panel can be set on the correct tilt to get the most out of the sun’s energy.

Comparing Flat Mount vs Tilt Mount Solar System Angles

When calculating the optimal tilt for a solar panel for maximal power production, there are two mounting options: a flat mount and a tilt mount.

Tilt Mount

Calculating the optimal solar panel tilt using a tilt mount is relatively simple. Firstly, choose a direction, such as true south, that can be used to orient the tilt angle of the panel.

Secondly, use a solar angle calculator to determine the tilt angle at the location of the panel. This angle can be determined by entering the system’s latitude, the season, and the type of solar panel that will be used.

Finally, align the tilt mount so that when the panel is attached it will match the desired tilt angle that was calculated. The adjustable mount settings provide the freedom to fine-tune the tilt angle slightly for any remaining seasonal shifts. Calculating the accurate tilt angle for a solar panel ensures maximum performance throughout the year.

Flat Mount

To calculate the tilt of your solar panel with a flat mount, you’ll need to account for the angle of your local latitude, the average solar panel angle of the sun throughout the year, and the surface on which your panel is mounted.

First, research the site’s latitude and use an online calculator to determine the optimal tilt angle—taking into account the average angle of the sun in your area, the angle of inclination, and other factors.

Then, using a level and an adjustable mount, adjust the angle, so it is as close as possible to the calculated angle. Finally, use a wrench to secure the support and ensure it is firmly connected to the surface. 

Calculate the Solar Panel Tilt The Right Way

Calculating solar panel tilt is vital to ensure you get the most out of your solar panel energy. With the correct tilt, you can ensure your panel is exposed to the sun, giving you the best energy production.

Calculate your solar panel tilt today to get the most out of your solar panels!

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