|Fig. 1: Rows of solar panels on racks in a solar farm|
|Fig.2: Cover the field with horizontally-placed solar panels|
|Fig. 3: Comparing two hypothetical fields.|
It turns out that, although the simple-minded design can surely generate maximum electricity, each individual solar panel in it does not necessarily generate a maximum amount of electricity over the course of a year, compared with other designs. In other words, it may just use more solar panels to generate more electricity. As engineering design must consider cost effectiveness and even put it as a top priority, an engineer's job is then to look for a better solution that maximizes the production of each solar panel.
|Fig. 4: Compare outputs of single panels in two fields (Boston).|
|Fig. 5: Compare outputs of single panels in two fields (Phoenix).|
What about low-latitude locations?
|Fig. 6: Compare outputs of single panels in two fields (Mexico).|