Portage Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Portage, Maine
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.2 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.6 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 Portage. However, still knowing that the latitude of Portage is 46.8 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 a big determinate of average peak sun hours each day. There are many aspects of weather that can increase or lessen the peak sun hours in a day in a particular location. For example cloud coverage is a crucial variable. And more importantly, what type of cloud coverage; thin scattered clouds will have less diminishing power on the solar insolation than thick rainy storm clouds. Sometimes long periods of sunny days are rare in certain locations, this would increase average peak sun hours for that time-frame
Using the latitude of Portage along with historical data of sunlight and weather patterns we can estimate that a fixed mounted solar panel will receive an average of 4.2 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 4.4 hours and 5.6 hours, respectively.