Fultondale Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Fultondale, Alabama
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.2 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.3 hours per day
Peak sun hours are a vital measurement to understand when considering the installation of solar panels. Peak sun hours are not the same as total sunlight hours because not every hour of sunlight during the day has enough strength and solar insolation to qualify as a peak sun hour. The rule of thumb is that a peak sun hour is when the intensity of the sun that is hitting your solar panel is providing at least 1,000 watts per square meter. This is an arbitrary number, but it is a number where most solar panels will be producing an efficient output and not underperforming due to sunshine that is not strong enough or direct enough.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Fultondale is 33.6. Knowing the latitude of Fultondale can help you plan for your solar panel setup, as the larger the latitude the more variance you will see throughout the year for total daily sunlight hours.
Depending on your output needs, to get more out of your solar panels you can either upgrade your technology, buy more panels, or buy different tracking type panels. A fixed solar panel remains fixed at one angle throughout the year. A 1-axis panel will produce more output because it follows the path of the sun from sunrise to sunset to maximize sun exposure. Even more productive is a 2-axis panel that not only follows the sun's path throughout the day, but also accounts for the more subtle sun changes throughout the year with the different seasons.
Although weather predicting technology has greatly evolved over time, it is still a rather unpredictable factor that will affect the amount of peak sun hours your solar power system will receive. Cloudy days for example will usually have lower peak sun hours that a clear sunny day. And areas that usually have more average sunny days per year will probably have higher peak sun hours that areas that are often overcast or stormy.
Since we know the latitude of Fultondale we can take the average amount of total sunlight hours and estimate that with a fixed solar panel there would be an average of 5 peak sun hours per day. 6.2 hours per day with a 1-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset, and 6.3 hours with a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun everywhere in the sky.