Snowflake Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Snowflake, Arizona
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.1 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.7 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.8 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 equator has a latitude of zero while Snowflake has a latitude of 34.5. Any city located on the equator will receive the most sunlight throughout the year because the sunlight arrives at a perpendicular 90 degree angle to the earth at the equator. The further you are from the equator the more your daily sunlight hours can vary.
The sun moves through the sky during the day, and changes positions in the sky throughout the year as the seasons change. A fixed solar panel remains fixed in position during this movement. So, although it is effective in capturing sunlight, a 1-axis or 2-axis panel can be more efficient. A 1-axis panel tracks the sun's movement throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. In addition to that, the 2-axis panel also accounts for the movement throughout the year.
Another reason to consider average peak sun hours is because weather can dramatically affect the day-to-day output of solar panels. It goes without saying that a dark stormy day will produce less output than a clear sunny day. Looking at a yearly average helps account for these daily variables.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Snowflake, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 6.1 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 8.7 hours per day because the panel would be facing the sun throughout the day. A 2-axis system that tracks the sun in the sky every day of the year would get approximately 8.8 hours per day in Snowflake.