Gateway Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Gateway, Arkansas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.9 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.1 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.1 hours per day
Looking at the average peak sunlight hours in Gateway is a valuable number for determining your solar power setup. Peak sunlight hours are only the hours a day in which the sunlight is strong enough for the solar panels to do their job. Not every hour of sunlight was created equal. For example, solar panels do not provide much use during early sunrise and sunset, and therefore you should not look at total hours of sunlight in a day, but instead focus on peak sunlight hours. Using this number will provide a much better estimate of your needs for setting up panels in Gateway, Arkansas.
If you open the newspaper in the morning or watch the weather channel on the news you can get an accurate prediction of sunrise and sunset each day for Gateway. However, still knowing that the latitude of Gateway is 36.5 can be a helpful number for your solar panel setup and planning. The closer your latitude is to zero the closer you are to the equator. At the equator you find the most consistent total sunlight hours throughout any given day of the year. As your latitude increases you can see larger discrepancies of daily sunlight hours during the year. For example, having very long summer days and very short and dark winter days
Although most things are out of our control, like the sunrise, sunset or the weather, we can control the angle and the kind of mount we use for a solar panel. The angle of the solar panel, if using a fixed mount, should generally be around the angle that is equal to the latitude of the location to maximize output. In the northern hemisphere, panels angles should be lower in the winter months and higher in the summer months As a fixed mount is set, it is ideal to place it at an angle that will capture the most sunlight during the year. A 1-axis tracking solar mount will track the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset, but the angle will remain the same throughout the day. A 2-axis solar mount will track the sun throughout the day from East to West, but the angle will also change automatically as the seasons change and the angle of the sun in the sky changes. Thus, a 2-axis will have a higher rating of peak sun hours compared to the 1-axis or fixed.
The sun is a great ball of gas that rises and sets every day that the earth rotates while in orbit around the sun. Barring any major disasters this is a very predictable occurance every day. Latitude helps predict this even more, narrowing it down to the minute for sunrise and sunset. But some things aren’t as predictable that will greatly influence the efficiency of solar panels. Weather and cloud coverage for example can greatly diminish peak sun hours on any given day. Thick storm clouds will block a high percentage of the sun's rays, resulting in lower output of your solar panels. Weather needs to be factored into deciding when to use your system, or how much output one expects to get.
We can take the latitude of Gateway and use that number to know the amount of total sunlight hours in the region from sunlight to sunset and estimate that with a fixed solar panel, Gateway will receive 4.9 average peak sun hours per day. This number can be increased to 6.1 hours by using a 1-axis tracking mount, or 7.1 hours from a 2-axis tracking mount.