Buchtel Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Buchtel, Ohio
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.3 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.3 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.
Knowing that the latitude of Buchtel is 39.5 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.
Throughout the day the sun obviously moves throughout the Buchtel sky. The suns position in the sky also changes throughout the year with the seasons. A fixed solar panel does not accommodate for these changes. However, a 1-axis panel rotates and follows the sun’s path during the day. A 2-axis panel both follows the sun’s daily path as well as the seasonal differences
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.
In Buchtel you can look at the average peak sun hours of a fixed solar panel mount, which will be 4.3 hours. This number iis an estimate based on data of previous years. With a tracking mount in Buchtel you could theoretically increase the amount of peak sun hours per with a 1-axis mount, and get 5.3 hours, or a 2-axis mount and potentially increase your average to 5.6 hours.