Baltic Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Baltic, South Dakota
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.6 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.1 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 Baltic throughout the year can help you better estimate the amount of solar panels you will need to power your business or home.
Knowing that the latitude of Baltic is 43.8 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.
Since a fixed solar panel is set in one position it is ideal to place it at an angle that will expose the panel to the most sunlight throughout the year. This angle is generally the same angle of your latitude which is 43.8 for Baltic. You do not need to strategically place a 1-axis or 2-axis panel as much as you do a fixed panel. A 1-axis panel follows the movement of the sun during the day. Additionally, a 2-axis panel also adjusts for the suns various positions in the sky throughout the year.
Weather is one of the major culprits that will cause inconsistent total peak sun hours for any given day. The sunrise and sunset will always be predictable every day, but the weather is hard to predict and cloud coverage can greatly diminish the efficiency of a solar power system on any given day. On the bright side, a location that is known to have cloudy weather a majority of the year could have unexpectedly more sunny days, so it can go both ways.
Using the latitude of Baltic along with historical data of sunlight and weather patterns we can estimate that a fixed mounted solar panel will receive an average of 4.6 hours per day in this area. That number can be increased with better technology including add a 1-axis or 2-axis tracking mount, which would increase the average peak sun hours per day to 6.4 hours and 7.1 hours, respectively.