Lamar Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Lamar, South Carolina
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.8 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.5 hours per day
The average amount of peak sun hours in a day is a different and more useful number as it relates to solar panels than total sun hours. Total sun hours are exactly what you would expect; the total amount of hours that the sun is out during a 24 hour period. Peak sun hours, on the other hand, are the total number of hours in a day where the sunshine is strong enough to to be absorbed and used by solar panels. Sunlight early in the morning or late at night is often not strong enough to count toward peak sun hours. Because of this, total sun hours will always be less than peak sun hours. Looking at the average peak sun hours in Lamar throughout the year can help you better estimate the amount of solar panels you will need to power your business or home.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of Lamar is 34.2. Knowing the latitude of Lamar 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.
Although most things are out of our control, like the sunrise, sunset or the weather, we can control the angle and the kind of mount we use for a solar panel. The angle of the solar panel, if using a fixed mount, should generally be around the angle that is equal to the latitude of the location to maximize output. In the northern hemisphere, panels angles should be lower in the winter months and higher in the summer months As a fixed mount is set, it is ideal to place it at an angle that will capture the most sunlight during the year. A 1-axis tracking solar mount will track the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset, but the angle will remain the same throughout the day. A 2-axis solar mount will track the sun throughout the day from East to West, but the angle will also change automatically as the seasons change and the angle of the sun in the sky changes. Thus, a 2-axis will have a higher rating of peak sun hours compared to the 1-axis or fixed.
Peak sun hours are greatly affected by weather patterns. Cloud coverage is a huge factor in peak sun hours per day because heavy cloud coverage will diminish the power of the solar insolation. You can use historical climate data to estimate average cloud and weather coverage, but it will obviously vary slightly from year to year.
Since we know the latitude of Lamar we can take the average amount of total sunlight hours and estimate that with a fixed solar panel there would be an average of 5.8 peak sun hours per day. 6.4 hours per day with a 1-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset, and 6.5 hours with a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun everywhere in the sky.