Berkey Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Berkey, Ohio
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.4 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.5 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.3 hours per day
The average peak sun hours of Berkey is a crucial measurable component needed to efficiently implement a solar power system in a home or business. Put simply, peak sun hours are the hours of sunlight a day that are strong enough to be efficiently absorbed by solar panels and eventually turned into usable electricity. Not every minute of sunlight during a day is strong enough to be useful to a solar power system. Think about just minutes after the sunrises, which officially counts towards total hours of sunlight, but is usually too weak to be counted in peak sun hours because the strength of the solar insolation is not strong enough near the horizon to be absorbed and turned into electricity at an efficient rate. Times during the day like this, where the sun is out but not strong enough, are not counted as peak sun hours. In other words, the amount of peak sun hours in a location will theoretically always be less than total sunlight hours for a given day.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Berkey is 41.7. Knowing the latitude of Berkey 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.
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.
There are more variables than latitude that can change average peak sun hours. Weather patterns and geography will influence solar insolation that reaches your system. Thick grey storm clouds for example will block out a lot of the sun to the point where there may be no peak sun hours in the middle of the day when the sun is usually very powerful. Trees and mountains can deflect the sunlight, so be sure your solar panel is selectively placed.
In Berkey the average yearly peak sun hours for a fixed tilt non-tracking solar panel mount is 4.4. This is for a fixed panel mounted at an angle that is equal to the latitude of the location for the entire year. The amount of peak sun hours increases to 5.5 hours if you are using a 1-axis panel, and to 5.3 hours if you upgrade to a 2-axis solar panel.