Hillsborough Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Hillsborough, California
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.4 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.9 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.1 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.
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 Hillsborough. However, still knowing that the latitude of Hillsborough is 37.6 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
There are a few ways to increase average peak sun hours per year for your solar power system. One way is to use a tracking mount solar panel instead of a fixed tilt solar panel. A 1-axis mount will track the sun throughout the sky from sunrise to sunset, giving your panel a more efficient facing direction towards the sun throughout the day. A 2-axis solar panel will track the sun in the sky throughout the day, but also change and follow the angle of the sun in the sky throughout the year. Both of these axis system solar panels will produce higher average peak sun hours than a fixed solar panel.
Weather is one of the major culprits that will cause inconsistent total peak sun hours for any given day. The sunrise and sunset will always be predictable every day, but the weather is hard to predict and cloud coverage can greatly diminish the efficiency of a solar power system on any given day. On the bright side, a location that is known to have cloudy weather a majority of the year could have unexpectedly more sunny days, so it can go both ways.
By taking the latitude of Hillsborough one can get a close estimate of the amount of average peak sun hours per day for the geographical area. It varies with technology and the type of solar panel mount you use, but for a fixed mount solar panel in Hillsborough one can expect close to 5.4 average peak sun hours per day. With a 1-axis tracking mount you would get 6.9 hours per day, and 7.1 hours per day with a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun everywhere in the sky.