Fort Defiance Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Fort Defiance, Arizona
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.6 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 9 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. 6.5 peak sun hours means that in Fort Defiance on average there are 6.5 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 Fort Defiance is 35.7. Knowing the latitude of Fort Defiance 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.
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.
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
We can use previous years of data to estimate the amount of peak sun hours in Fort Defiance. A fixed tilt mount for example will receive 6.5 average hours per day. For more efficiency for your system in Fort Defiance you could use a 1-axis tracking mount and increase your daily peak sun average to 8.6 hours, or even further with a 2-axis panel to get an average of 9 hours.