Sheffield Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Sheffield, Alabama
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.8 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.1 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.2 hours per day
It goes without saying that throughout the year the amount of sunlight in any given day is going to vary. The time of year and weather will have a strong influence on daily sunshine. Looking at the average amount of peak sunshine hours in a day during an entire year stretch is a valuable exercise when trying to determine the amount and type of solar panels you need to install to power your business or your home. 4.8 peak sun hours means that in Sheffield on average there are 4.8 hours a day where the sun is strong enough for solar panels to harness its energy. This number is less than the amount of total sunlight hours in a day because there are times during the day (ex. sunrise and sunset) where the sun is not strong enough to benefit solar panels.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Sheffield is 34.8. Knowing the latitude of Sheffield 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.
A tracking mount will increase the average peak sun hours for a solar power system. Think about a panel that is tracking the sun in the sky vs a panel that is fixed and not moving: you will see a higher efficiency ratio of productions. A 1-axis mount will track the sun from East to West from sunrise to sunset and move on a single axis of rotation. A 2-axis mount will track the Sun from East to West the same as a 1-axis mount would, but it will also track the angle of the sun in the sky as it slowly varies season to season. A 2-axis mount is more necessary in high latitude regions where the angle of the sun in the sky changes dramatically between each equinox.
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.
We can use previous years of data to estimate the amount of peak sun hours in Sheffield. A fixed tilt mount for example will receive 4.8 average hours per day. For more efficiency for your system in Sheffield you could use a 1-axis tracking mount and increase your daily peak sun average to 6.1 hours, or even further with a 2-axis panel to get an average of 6.2 hours.