Solar panel angles
essential non-gas-wasting field trip
Saturday February 27, 2010

First posted
Sunday February 28, 2010 15:57
Wednesday March 24, 2010 11:02

We were curious about direction and panel angle of observed larger solar panel in the Albuquerque, NM area.

First we ventured to Belen, NM, then toward Mountainair, NM


1440 Watt Solar Array 400 Watt Wind Hybrid Generator Back-up

Alaska Railroad tapping into wind and solar power:

BNSF solar/wind powered signal near Rio Puerco on Laguna indian reservation turns on before a train arrives and turns off after it leaves it was discovered on essential non-gas-wasting field trip Wednesday March 3, 2010.

Train approching.

Train passes. Three pulling locomotive and two pusher [seen]

The bottom signal light was red but very dim. So dim, in fact, that it may have been the sun reflecting off the red glass.

As soon as the train passed, the bottom red light went out gving clear indication that a lamp was powered.
Dangerous photography. Trains came off the track just to west of Rio Puerco and entering Wild Horse mesa within the past several years.
Train signals, in the past, have been powered continuously.

Wde have recently notice that some BNSF train signal appear turned off when no train is within visible distance.

Here's an FAA solar panel located on Tierra Grande.

We used the Harbor Freight angle finder

to measure about 45o facing directly south.

We returned to Belen, traveled up I25 to Los Lunas, then west to the Rio Puerco and on to the Laguna reservation to see the Burlington Northern Santa Fe solar/wind signal facility.

Here's looking to the east.

No lights on.

Here's looking to the west.

No lights on.

Maybe the facility has intelligence so that it only turns on lights when a train is approaching from either direction? Or maybe it doesn't work?

Note the small size of the wind turbine. A similar wind turbine was removed from a Bernalillo, NM simliar faciltity. It was replaced by a solar panel seen in Thursday January 7, 2010 photo.

We measured panel angle on this installation on return to Albuquerque.

Measured panels angle is 50o facing directly south, too.

We returned to Albuquerque and proceeded to the PNM solar array at Algodones, NM.

PNM experimental solar array.

We are trying to get technical information about it. No success so far.

We previously thought the array was facing SE. I25 is going NE at this point.

We measured with a Garmin portable GPS. It is facing due south.

The angle of the panels measures about 32o.

Internet searches indicate that 60o is about optimum.

Measuring power, not voltage, out of our Harbor Freight solar panel with 50 ohm load while varying the panel angle measured with our Harbor Freight angle finder should give a good idea of optimal panel angle around Albuquerque.

10.694 * 114, 000 = 1219116 BTU
1219116 / 316.1 = 3856.74 BTU/mile

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