Hereford Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Hereford, Arizona
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.6 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.8 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.9 hours per day
Peak sun hours are a vital measurement to understand when considering the installation of solar panels. Peak sun hours are not the same as total sunlight hours because not every hour of sunlight during the day has enough strength and solar insolation to qualify as a peak sun hour. The rule of thumb is that a peak sun hour is when the intensity of the sun that is hitting your solar panel is providing at least 1,000 watts per square meter. This is an arbitrary number, but it is a number where most solar panels will be producing an efficient output and not underperforming due to sunshine that is not strong enough or direct enough.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Hereford is 31.4. Knowing the latitude of Hereford 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.
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.
The sunrise and sunset is very predictable every day, but things like cloud coverage and weather are less predictable and vary daily and annually. If a location that is usually very sunny experiences a huge increase in storms and cloud coverage in a given year than the average peak sun hours for that day or year will probably decrease. Tall objects such as trees and buildings can block out the sun during high solar insolation times, so be sure to strategically place your solar panels to get better efficiency.
We can take the latitude of Hereford 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, Hereford will receive 6.6 average peak sun hours per day. This number can be increased to 8.8 hours by using a 1-axis tracking mount, or 8.9 hours from a 2-axis tracking mount.