Sand Point Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Sand Point, Alaska
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 3.1 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.1 hours per day
Looking at the average peak sunlight hours in Sand Point is a valuable number for determining your solar power setup. Peak sunlight hours are only the hours a day in which the sunlight is strong enough for the solar panels to do their job. Not every hour of sunlight was created equal. For example, solar panels do not provide much use during early sunrise and sunset, and therefore you should not look at total hours of sunlight in a day, but instead focus on peak sunlight hours. Using this number will provide a much better estimate of your needs for setting up panels in Sand Point, Alaska.
Knowing that the latitude of Sand Point is 55.3 can be helpful for understanding total sunlight hour variance. As you approach the equator latitude approaches zero. The closer the latitude is to zero, the more consistent the daily sunlight hours are throughout the year. Total sunlight hour consistency simply makes planning for your solar power needs easier, but it is certainly not a requirement.
Although most things are out of our control, like the sunrise, sunset or the weather, we can control the angle and the kind of mount we use for a solar panel. The angle of the solar panel, if using a fixed mount, should generally be around the angle that is equal to the latitude of the location to maximize output. In the northern hemisphere, panels angles should be lower in the winter months and higher in the summer months As a fixed mount is set, it is ideal to place it at an angle that will capture the most sunlight during the year. A 1-axis tracking solar mount will track the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset, but the angle will remain the same throughout the day. A 2-axis solar mount will track the sun throughout the day from East to West, but the angle will also change automatically as the seasons change and the angle of the sun in the sky changes. Thus, a 2-axis will have a higher rating of peak sun hours compared to the 1-axis or fixed.
Peak sun hours are greatly affected by weather patterns. Cloud coverage is a huge factor in peak sun hours per day because heavy cloud coverage will diminish the power of the solar insolation. You can use historical climate data to estimate average cloud and weather coverage, but it will obviously vary slightly from year to year.
In Sand Point the average yearly peak sun hours for a fixed tilt non-tracking solar panel mount is 3.1. This is for a fixed panel mounted at an angle that is equal to the latitude of the location for the entire year. The amount of peak sun hours increases to 4.4 hours if you are using a 1-axis panel, and to 5.1 hours if you upgrade to a 2-axis solar panel.