Acton Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Acton, California
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.7 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.4 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.
Knowing the latitude of Acton will help estimate average peak sun hours for your area. The latitude is used to accurately estimate the time of sunrise and sunset, thus giving you the total hours of daylight each day. Once you know the total hours of daylight, you can estimate the amount of peak sun hours based on a number of variables such as weather, time of year, the angle of the solar panel.
Since a fixed solar panel is set in one position it is ideal to place it at an angle that will expose the panel to the most sunlight throughout the year. This angle is generally the same angle of your latitude which is 34.5 for Acton. You do not need to strategically place a 1-axis or 2-axis panel as much as you do a fixed panel. A 1-axis panel follows the movement of the sun during the day. Additionally, a 2-axis panel also adjusts for the suns various positions in the sky throughout the year.
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.
In Acton you can look at the average peak sun hours of a fixed solar panel mount, which will be 5.7 hours. This number iis an estimate based on data of previous years. With a tracking mount in Acton you could theoretically increase the amount of peak sun hours per with a 1-axis mount, and get 7.4 hours, or a 2-axis mount and potentially increase your average to 8.9 hours.