Tonopah Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Tonopah, Arizona
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.1 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.8 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 9 hours per day
The average amount of peak sun hours in a day is a different and more useful number as it relates to solar panels than total sun hours. Total sun hours are exactly what you would expect; the total amount of hours that the sun is out during a 24 hour period. Peak sun hours, on the other hand, are the total number of hours in a day where the sunshine is strong enough to to be absorbed and used by solar panels. Sunlight early in the morning or late at night is often not strong enough to count toward peak sun hours. Because of this, total sun hours will always be less than peak sun hours. Looking at the average peak sun hours in Tonopah throughout the year can help you better estimate the amount of solar panels you will need to power your business or home.
The latitude of the location is important for measuring peak sun hours. The latitude determines how much overall sunlight there will be in a day. With a given latitude, time and date, one can accurately determine when sunrise and sunset will occur. Areas with latitudes closer to the equator will have a more consistent range of solar insolation throughout the year. Whereas areas closer to the poles will have a greater variance during the summer and winter months due to their higher latitudes.
You will notice the difference in peak sunlight hours depending on the panel type. The more flexibility the solar panel has the efficient it can be throughout the day and the year. A fixed solar panel remains in the same position at all times. A 1-axis panel follows the sun throughout the day as it moves through the sky and eventually sets. A 2-axis panel not only tracks the daily movement, but also adjusts based on the sun's changing position in the sky throughout the year as the seasons change.
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 Tonopah the average yearly peak sun hours for a fixed tilt non-tracking solar panel mount is 6.1. 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 8.8 hours if you are using a 1-axis panel, and to 9 hours if you upgrade to a 2-axis solar panel.