We're about to start building a small house with solar panels and I was wondering what I can use to ensure I get my house oriented to the compass as accurately as possible? I want to make sure to get the most solar exposure as possible for the solar panels.
Also, when aligning to the compass for solar exposure, do we use Magnetic or True orientation?
Of course you use true orientation, but also take into consideration any obstacles to solar exposure at your location.
Personally I enjoy finding true north at night using the North Star. My husband, who has designed a lot of solar heated buildings, prefers a plumb line and shadow at 12:20, which he says is solar noon here. Or you can google how to find the magnetic north declination for your location.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
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