Capa Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Capa, South Dakota
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.3 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.8 hours per day
The average peak sun hours of Capa 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.
Although you can easily predict sunrise and sunset hours each day to the minute, looking at latitude can help with your solar planning. The closer you get to the equator the closer your latitude gets to zero. Sunlight hours on the equator are consistent throughout the entire year. Places further from the equator can have large variance in daily sunlight. For example higher latitudes can have very long summer days with lots of sunlight and very dark winters. The latitude of Capa is 44.1.
Throughout the day the sun obviously moves throughout the Capa 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
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.
Since we know the latitude of Capa we can take the average amount of total sunlight hours and estimate that with a fixed solar panel there would be an average of 5.3 peak sun hours per day. 6 hours per day with a 1-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset, and 6.8 hours with a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun everywhere in the sky.