Rains Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Rains, South Carolina
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.5 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.
The latitude at the equator of the earth is zero degrees. This is where sunlight strikes the earth most directly. Due to the earth's curved shape, sunlight hits at a various angles depending on location. As latitude increases, the further you are located from the equator and more variance you see in sunlight hours. The latitude of Rains is 34.1.
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.
Another reason to consider average peak sun hours is because weather can dramatically affect the day-to-day output of solar panels. It goes without saying that a dark stormy day will produce less output than a clear sunny day. Looking at a yearly average helps account for these daily variables.
We can take the latitude of Rains and use that number to know the amount of total sunlight hours in the region from sunlight to sunset and estimate that with a fixed solar panel, Rains will receive 5.5 average peak sun hours per day. This number can be increased to 6 hours by using a 1-axis tracking mount, or 6.5 hours from a 2-axis tracking mount.