Oakland Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Oakland, Maine
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.3 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.7 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.2 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.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Oakland is 44.5. Knowing the latitude of Oakland 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.
They type of solar panel you use has an affect on the average peak sunlight hours. Some panels allow for movement, so they can track the sun as it rises in the east and sets in the west, or as the seasons change and the sun's path changes. A fixed panel remains fixed and does not have the ability to rotate, whereas a 1-axis and 2-axis panel can adjust with the sun.
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.
Using the latitude of Oakland along with historical data of sunlight and weather patterns we can estimate that a fixed mounted solar panel will receive an average of 4.3 hours per day in this area. That number can be increased with better technology including add a 1-axis or 2-axis tracking mount, which would increase the average peak sun hours per day to 5.7 hours and 6.2 hours, respectively.