Whetstone Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Whetstone, Arizona
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.1 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.6 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.9 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.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Whetstone is 31.7. Knowing the latitude of Whetstone 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.
You will notice that the average peak sun hours for Whetstone change based on the type of panel being used. The reason for this is quite simple. A fixed panel does exactly what it sounds like, remains fixed in one position at all times. A 1-axis and 2-axis panels have axis that allow them to rotate. The 1-axis rotates with the sun's daily east to west movement while a 2-axis also adjusts for seasonal changes.
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
Using the latitude of Whetstone along with historical data of sunlight and weather patterns we can estimate that a fixed mounted solar panel will receive an average of 6.1 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 8.6 hours and 8.9 hours, respectively.