Rainbow City Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Rainbow City, 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 is arguably the most important number to consider before installing your solar panels. Unlike total sun hours, peak sun hours are calculated by looking at the amount of sunlight hours in a 24 hour period that is strong enough to be absorb by a solar panel. One way to imagine peak sun hours is to think about a solar powered calculator you owned in school. If you covered the solar panel with your finger, or tried to use the calculator in the dark, the calculator would not work. As you slowly exposed the calculator to light the calculator would eventually turn on and be usable. The same is true with peak sun hours; these are the hours that your solar panels receive enough sunlight to work. Looking at the average peak sunlight hours of 5 per day can help you determine the amount of solar panels you need to install to power your home or business in Rainbow City, Alabama.
Although you can easily predict sunrise and sunset hours each day to the minute, looking at latitude can help with your solar planning. The closer you get to the equator the closer your latitude gets to zero. Sunlight hours on the equator are consistent throughout the entire year. Places further from the equator can have large variance in daily sunlight. For example higher latitudes can have very long summer days with lots of sunlight and very dark winters. The latitude of Rainbow City is 33.9.
They type of solar panel you use has an affect on the average peak sunlight hours. Some panels allow for movement, so they can track the sun as it rises in the east and sets in the west, or as the seasons change and the sun's path changes. A fixed panel remains fixed and does not have the ability to rotate, whereas a 1-axis and 2-axis panel can adjust with the sun.
Weather is a big determinate of average peak sun hours each day. There are many aspects of weather that can increase or lessen the peak sun hours in a day in a particular location. For example cloud coverage is a crucial variable. And more importantly, what type of cloud coverage; thin scattered clouds will have less diminishing power on the solar insolation than thick rainy storm clouds. Sometimes long periods of sunny days are rare in certain locations, this would increase average peak sun hours for that time-frame
Since we know the latitude of Rainbow City 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.