Silver Spring Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Silver Spring, Maryland
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.6 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6 hours per day
The amount of hours from sunrise to sunset is equal to the total sunlight hours in a 24 hour period. Similarly, peak sun hours are the amount of total sunlight hours in a 24 hour period that are strong enough to provide power from being captured by a solar panel. Not every hour of sunlight delivers the same amount of energy resources. The sunlight at sunrise does not provide as many resources as the amount of sunlight mid-day. Thus, looking at the average peak sunlight hours for Silver Spring is valuable for calculating your solar needs.
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 Silver Spring. However, still knowing that the latitude of Silver Spring is 39.0 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.
The sun is a great ball of gas that rises and sets every day that the earth rotates while in orbit around the sun. Barring any major disasters this is a very predictable occurance every day. Latitude helps predict this even more, narrowing it down to the minute for sunrise and sunset. But some things aren’t as predictable that will greatly influence the efficiency of solar panels. Weather and cloud coverage for example can greatly diminish peak sun hours on any given day. Thick storm clouds will block a high percentage of the sun's rays, resulting in lower output of your solar panels. Weather needs to be factored into deciding when to use your system, or how much output one expects to get.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Silver Spring, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 4.5 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 5.6 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 hours per day in Silver Spring.