as to location/postion of the solar panel:
keep in mind, i believe - you might want to check this out, you want the angle of incidence of the sun's rays striking the solar array to be as close to 90 deg as possible for max. output.
my experience with solar cells is limited to the following:
played around with solar cells for a couple of science fair projects (burgler alarm & a po'boy's "laser"-inspired communication device, used a 5D cell flashlight) when i was young kid in grade school (ok, i was a weird 11 & 12 yr. old) & it, i.e. angle of incidence, was true then. had heard that the astronauts were going to be using a modulated laser beam for communication. so, i figured broad-spectrum light would work too, but over a much shorter distance. six feet was easy to do with the lights in the classroom off.
not sure if anything has changed about solar cells in 40+ yrs.