Natchitoches Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Natchitoches, Louisiana
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.7 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.3 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.4 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 that the latitude of Natchitoches is 31.7 can be helpful for understanding total sunlight hour variance. As you approach the equator latitude approaches zero. The closer the latitude is to zero, the more consistent the daily sunlight hours are throughout the year. Total sunlight hour consistency simply makes planning for your solar power needs easier, but it is certainly not a requirement.
The sun moves through the sky during the day, and changes positions in the sky throughout the year as the seasons change. A fixed solar panel remains fixed in position during this movement. So, although it is effective in capturing sunlight, a 1-axis or 2-axis panel can be more efficient. A 1-axis panel tracks the sun's movement throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. In addition to that, the 2-axis panel also accounts for the movement throughout the year.
Looking at latitude, average peak sun hours and various data can obviously help when planning for your solar power needs. The one thing you can never fully account for is changing weather. Storms, rain, cloud coverage all have an impact on solar panel capabilities.
We can use previous years of data to estimate the amount of peak sun hours in Natchitoches. A fixed tilt mount for example will receive 4.7 average hours per day. For more efficiency for your system in Natchitoches you could use a 1-axis tracking mount and increase your daily peak sun average to 6.3 hours, or even further with a 2-axis panel to get an average of 6.4 hours.