http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.co ... direction/Conventional wisdom says that if you put solar panels on your roof in the Northern Hemisphere, you should point them within 30 degrees of true south to generate the most energy in the course of a year. But a new study by Pecan Street Research Institute, an Austin, Texas-based research and development organization, suggests that most people may do better at covering their own electrical use and reducing stress on utility grids during summertime peak demand periods if they aim the panels westward instead.
So, facing the panels south maximizes overall efficiency, but does so at a time when you're not using it and the electric company doesn't need it.
Facing the panels west reduces overall efficiency, but maximizes it at a time when demand is highest.
But power companies demand you face them south!
No, it will not prompt them to rethink their opposition. Does McCracken actually think that solar panel installers know something the power companies, who have to host this program, don't?While solar panel installers have known that west-facing panels may be more effective for a while, utility companies still cling to the south-is-best rule-of-thumb, and refuse to give rebates to homeowners unless their panels are facing south, McCracken said. He’s hoping that the study will prompt them to rethink their opposition to west-facing panels.
McCracken has all the facts he needs to make the connection but can't quite put 2 and 2 together. He does get close to the answer:
But Mr. McCracken, the energy being dumped into the grid with west-facing panels is less, not greater, than the energy being dumped with south facing panels. What does the power company understand that you don't?“They’re not structured to handle high levels of electricity being sent back to the grid,” he said. “If they have to do that, it becomes a challenge to maintain electric reliability in an area.”