Summit Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Summit, Arizona
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.7 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 Summit 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.
Knowing that the latitude of Summit is 32.1 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.
Depending on your output needs, to get more out of your solar panels you can either upgrade your technology, buy more panels, or buy different tracking type panels. A fixed solar panel remains fixed at one angle throughout the year. A 1-axis panel will produce more output because it follows the path of the sun from sunrise to sunset to maximize sun exposure. Even more productive is a 2-axis panel that not only follows the sun's path throughout the day, but also accounts for the more subtle sun changes throughout the year with the different seasons.
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.
Using the latitude of Summit along with historical data of sunlight and weather patterns we can estimate that a fixed mounted solar panel will receive an average of 6.5 hours per day in this area. That number can be increased with better technology including add a 1-axis or 2-axis tracking mount, which would increase the average peak sun hours per day to 8.7 hours and 9 hours, respectively.