Solar Site Analysis

This activity is designed to utilize the information presented in Chapter 1 of Your Solar Home (Facing the Sun) for evaluating and choosing a location with the least shading throughout the year, to place a small solar panel system. The video tutorial below walks you through the steps. The written instructions include links to printable templates for SunAngle Quadrant, Compass Rose, Sunpath Chart for your location, and a list of other materials needed. Links are also located lower in this page.

Solar Site Analysis – Out of the Shadows and into the Sunlight (video tutorial)

0:36 Tools needed
1:42 Sun Path Chart
2:26 University of Oregon Sun Path Chart Calculator
4:02 Start Site Analysis
4:33 Compass Rose & Magnetic Declination
5:00 Winter Solstice design strategy
5:30 Using the Sun Angle Quadrant to measure shade
Download written instructions for the Solar Site Analysis for small solar projects (PDF)

How to make a Sun Angle Quadrant

Templates for Sun Angle Quadrant and Solar Compass Rose

Magnetic Declination for your location

  • Find Magnetic Declination for your location at this Website.
  • Solar Schoolhouse description of what Magnetic Declination is and how it impacts your solar site analysis. Appendix D PDF.

Print a Sun Path Chart for your location