Cato Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Cato, Arkansas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.2 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.8 hours per day
The average peak sun hours of Cato is a crucial measurable component needed to efficiently implement a solar power system in a home or business. Put simply, peak sun hours are the hours of sunlight a day that are strong enough to be efficiently absorbed by solar panels and eventually turned into usable electricity. Not every minute of sunlight during a day is strong enough to be useful to a solar power system. Think about just minutes after the sunrises, which officially counts towards total hours of sunlight, but is usually too weak to be counted in peak sun hours because the strength of the solar insolation is not strong enough near the horizon to be absorbed and turned into electricity at an efficient rate. Times during the day like this, where the sun is out but not strong enough, are not counted as peak sun hours. In other words, the amount of peak sun hours in a location will theoretically always be less than total sunlight hours for a given day.
The equator has a latitude of zero while Cato has a latitude of 34.9. 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.
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
In Cato you can look at the average peak sun hours of a fixed solar panel mount, which will be 5.2 hours. This number iis an estimate based on data of previous years. With a tracking mount in Cato you could theoretically increase the amount of peak sun hours per with a 1-axis mount, and get 6.4 hours, or a 2-axis mount and potentially increase your average to 6.8 hours.