Niagara Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Niagara, Kentucky
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.7 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.1 hours per day
The average amount of peak sun hours in a day is a different and more useful number as it relates to solar panels than total sun hours. Total sun hours are exactly what you would expect; the total amount of hours that the sun is out during a 24 hour period. Peak sun hours, on the other hand, are the total number of hours in a day where the sunshine is strong enough to to be absorbed and used by solar panels. Sunlight early in the morning or late at night is often not strong enough to count toward peak sun hours. Because of this, total sun hours will always be more than peak sun hours. Looking at the average peak sun hours in Niagara throughout the year can help you better estimate the amount of solar panels you will need to power your business or home.
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 Niagara. However, still knowing that the latitude of Niagara is 37.7 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
You will notice the difference in peak sunlight hours depending on the panel type. The more flexibility the solar panel has the efficient it can be throughout the day and the year. A fixed solar panel remains in the same position at all times. A 1-axis panel follows the sun throughout the day as it moves through the sky and eventually sets. A 2-axis panel not only tracks the daily movement, but also adjusts based on the sun's changing position in the sky throughout the year as the seasons change.
Peak sun hours are greatly affected by weather patterns. Cloud coverage is a huge factor in peak sun hours per day because heavy cloud coverage will diminish the power of the solar insolation. You can use historical climate data to estimate average cloud and weather coverage, but it will obviously vary slightly from year to year.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Niagara, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 4.7 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 5.4 hours per day because the panel would be facing the sun throughout the day. A 2-axis system that tracks the sun in the sky every day of the year would get approximately 6.1 hours per day in Niagara.