Solar light positioning for Melbourne

As you move further away from the equator the sun too will change the angle to you, as such you will need to adjust the tilt on the solar panel to match the sun’s angle. The information in this article applies for Melbourne Australia, you will need to contact us for updated information about other locations around Australia. 

Solar light position

Position true north

The solar panel should face True North (0° Azimuth deg. from N).

Tilt 52°

For maximum performance in winter, the solar panel should tilt 52° towards North. 

Free of overshadowing

The solar panel should be free of objects such as buildings and trees that will create overshadowing. If any part of the solar panel is in shade the voltage will drop considerably and the battery will not get a good charge.

Minimum overshadowing requirements

Overshadowing Requirements

The pie chart shows the area that needs to be free of obstacles that will create shadows on the solar panel. 

In summary,135° of the north need to be in direct sunlight.


How do I calculate overshadowing?

How to calculate overshadowing

Using the table below calculate the distance and height at various azimuth

1. The height between the top of the solar light and the top of the object

2. The distance between the solar light to the object

3. At various azimuth multiply the height by the shadow length (Multiplier)

4 If the shadow length is less then the distance, there will be no shadow on the solar light

Height x Shadow Length < Distance
Azimuth (Deg. from N)Shadow length (Multiplier)

What will happen if I incorrectly position the solar lights?

If the solar lights are positioned incorrectly, they will not be able to get enough sunlight to charge the battery, the lights will not stay on all night and the battery life will be shortened.

Calculating the shadow can be complicated. Solar Street Lights Australia can perform a site survey and advise the positioning and height of the solar lights.

If there is any shadow on any part of the solar panel then the voltage will drop exponentially.