Riverside Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Riverside, 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
If you put your solar powered math calculator in your backpack it will turn off from the lack of sunlight needed to power the device. As you slowly open your backpack and begin to let sunlight in, the calculator will eventually turn on when the amount of sunlight is enough to power the calculator. Similarly, peak sun hours refer to the hours of they day where the sunlight is strong enough to power a solar panel. This is different from total sunlight hours, which is simply the amount of hours in a day when there is any sunlight.
The latitude at the equator of the earth is zero degrees. This is where sunlight strikes the earth most directly. Due to the earth's curved shape, sunlight hits at a various angles depending on location. As latitude increases, the further you are located from the equator and more variance you see in sunlight hours. The latitude of Riverside is 33.6.
Since a fixed solar panel is set in one position it is ideal to place it at an angle that will expose the panel to the most sunlight throughout the year. This angle is generally the same angle of your latitude which is 33.6 for Riverside. You do not need to strategically place a 1-axis or 2-axis panel as much as you do a fixed panel. A 1-axis panel follows the movement of the sun during the day. Additionally, a 2-axis panel also adjusts for the suns various positions in the sky throughout the year.
Looking at latitude, average peak sun hours and various data can obviously help when planning for your solar power needs. The one thing you can never fully account for is changing weather. Storms, rain, cloud coverage all have an impact on solar panel capabilities.
We can take the latitude of Riverside and use that number to know the amount of total sunlight hours in the region from sunlight to sunset and estimate that with a fixed solar panel, Riverside will receive 5 average peak sun hours per day. This number can be increased to 6.2 hours by using a 1-axis tracking mount, or 6.3 hours from a 2-axis tracking mount.