Understanding these 3 acronyms and their definitions is the key to understanding solar module production and performance.
There are many factors that determine how much energy a solar module will produce in a certain location. A module in one location will not produce the same amount of energy as the same module in another location. Furthermore, what if you need to select the optimal roof plane to install the modules. The annual solar access (ASA), tilt and orientation factor (TOF) and total resource fraction (TSRF) data will address these questions.
The Basics: Tilt, Azimuth, & Shade
The angle or slope of your surface that you are mounting the modules on. (Example: 8/12 Pitch roof = 34 degree angle = 34 Degrees tilt)
The direction the module is facing, orientation / bearing. (Example: South facing roof = 180 degrees Azimuth)
How much of the sun is blocked in this location on a yearly basis?
Putting these terms together...
📘 Annual Solar Access (ASA)
Solar Access is the amount of Sun a location receives in a given year, scored out of 100%, with only shade effects factored in.
Example: A solar array in an open field with 10% shade has ASA of 90%.
📘 Tilt and Orientation Factor (TOF)
TOF is the amount of Sun a location receives in a given year, scored out of 100%, with the impact of its Pitch/Tilt factored in.
Example: A solar array facing South has a TOF of 100% (In North America)
📘 Total Solar Resource Fraction (TSRF)
TSRF is the amount of Sun a location receives in a given year, scored out of 100%, with both the TOF and ASA taken into consideration.
Example: A solar array facing South with a tree shading 10% has a TSRF of 90%. (100% * 90% = 90%)