Erwin Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Erwin, South Dakota
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.1 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.7 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.8 hours per day
The average peak sun hours of Erwin 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.
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 Erwin is 44.5.
You will notice the difference in peak sunlight hours depending on the panel type. The more flexibility the solar panel has the efficient it can be throughout the day and the year. A fixed solar panel remains in the same position at all times. A 1-axis panel follows the sun throughout the day as it moves through the sky and eventually sets. A 2-axis panel not only tracks the daily movement, but also adjusts based on the sun's changing position in the sky throughout the year as the seasons change.
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.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Erwin, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 5.1 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 5.7 hours per day because the panel would be facing the sun throughout the day. A 2-axis system that tracks the sun in the sky every day of the year would get approximately 6.8 hours per day in Erwin.