Clear Lake Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Clear Lake, South Dakota
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.8 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.3 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.9 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 Clear Lake throughout the year can help you better estimate the amount of solar panels you will need to power your business or home.
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 Clear Lake is 44.8.
Throughout the day the sun obviously moves throughout the Clear Lake 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
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 Clear Lake 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, Clear Lake will receive 4.8 average peak sun hours per day. This number can be increased to 6.3 hours by using a 1-axis tracking mount, or 6.9 hours from a 2-axis tracking mount.