Petersburg Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Petersburg, Kentucky
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.9 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.5 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.2 hours per day
Peak sun hours is one of the most important criteria to examine when considering installing a solar power system. Peak sun hours are different than total sunlight hours in a day because the strength of the radiation of the sun varies throughout the day. For example, during sunrise and sunset the solar insolation from the sun is less powerful than at noon. For a moment of sunshine to be considered a peak sun hour the intensity needs to be at least 1 kilowatt per square meter. This means that a square meter of your solar panel should be receiving 1 kilowatt of energy from the sun. This number is used because it is an amount of light that allows a solar panel to produce output efficiently and not under perform due to lack of sunlight power.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Petersburg is 39.1. Knowing the latitude of Petersburg can help you plan for your solar panel setup, as the larger the latitude the more variance you will see throughout the year for total daily sunlight hours.
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 39.1 for Petersburg. 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.
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.
Since we know the latitude of Petersburg we can take the average amount of total sunlight hours and estimate that with a fixed solar panel there would be an average of 4.9 peak sun hours per day. 5.5 hours per day with a 1-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset, and 6.2 hours with a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun everywhere in the sky.